It's funny how some things that we are exposed to during our youth will stay with us for the rest of our lives. It's like a seed that gets planted within us that is just waiting for the right conditions to grow.
It started for Wayne Tunis of Alberta, Canada, when he learned to drive in his dad's '68 Fury. Then, in the summer of 1970, Wayne's dad was looking to purchase a new car, so Wayne, wanting to be helpful and hoping to influence the decision, went to the local dealer to check out the '71 models. He came back with a brochure for the GTX. Imagining himself behind the wheel from time to time, Wayne thought the Hemi option would be extremely cool but, figuring that dad would never go for that, suggested the 440 instead. Dad humored him for a short while, but then went out and bought a Chrysler Newport with a 383 in it. The idea of a muscle car in the family was apparently going to have to wait until Wayne could find a way to do it himself. Nevertheless, the seed of Mopar high performance was planted.
A few years later, while he was in college, Wayne managed to pick up a '69 340, four-speed Swinger to use as a daily driver. This both satisfied--and further fueled--Wayne's high performance desires. But college, marriage, children and establishing his professional career all still had priority over Wayne's Hemi dreams.
Eventually, Wayne's family and professional priorities made room for another car and he bought a freshly done '71 Hemi 'Cuda convertible replica. The car was (and still is) a lot of fun, but Wayne had some difficulty with it always being considered someone else's car. Besides, as Wayne said, "I began to lust after a little more power.
By this time, Wayne was missing the Dart he used to have so he began considering an original L023 car. During his search, he found Muscle Car Restorations in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where owner John Balow planted another seed into Wayne's life. Namely, to build a faithful replica of the race Hemi Dart but add enough modern technology to make it streetable, fun, and much safer to drive. The results far exceeded anything that he could have hoped for from the GTX he wanted his dad to buy.
The carbon fiber dash is an...
The carbon fiber dash is an exact replica of the original including the A/C vents except of course for the Auto Meter gauges in a fiberglass panel. With Konig V racing seats, a Stroud harness, a full custom roll cage, a custom console, a tilt wheel, A/C, and a state of the art Pioneer sound and DVD system, Wayne has the best of everything; beautiful, fast, safe, and comfortable.
While most of us would be more than satisfied with a 650 HP 5-speed Hemi Dart, there is a principle of life that causes whatever we feed to grow. Wayne had definitely fed his high performance Mopar desires, so there was still one thing that he didn't realize he was still craving and that was a great handling Mopar. Also, the classic car with modern technology seed hadn't fully developed yet.
As it turns out, John knew of a '72 Pro Touring 'Cuda project that he thought might interest Wayne. The idea was to marry the very best of modern technology with classic Mopar styling to produce the ultimate street 'Cuda. Of course Wayne was on board but with one caveat: It had to have a Hemi. Fortunately, the 6.1 liter version had recently been released and MCR was able to convince PFC Enterprises to let them have one of the earlier castings. PFC also provided the AEM computer and wiring harness. An intercooled Paxton supercharger was also deemed necessary to help provide real Hemi power levels. Wayne also likes to really "drive" his cars so only a manual transmission would do. A Keisler prepped Viper 6-speed fills the bill nicely with enough gear to rocket out of the hole and enough overdrive to achieve orbit.
Supporting the Hemi is Magnum Force tubular K-frame with QA1 adjustable shocks and coil over shocks. An MCR fabricated tubular four-link suspension carries a Mitler Brothers sheet metal 8 rear housing, filled with a 3.55 geared rear end. Stainless Steel Brakes disc brakes promise to bring the 'Cuda back to earth when the ride on the Weld Legacy 18x12 and 18 x 8 wheels is over. Tires are Proxes RA1 335/30 and 225/40, respectively. Also underneath is a full tti 3-inch exhaust with long branch Hemi headers.