The Dodge brothers, Horace and John, founded their automotive company in 1900. They started out by assisting other automobile manufacturers in the Motor City, but Horace became fed up with relying on other manufacturers for their livelihood. In 1914 they introduced the Model 30. From this point on, Dodge would build their own automobiles and enjoyed great success through the teens and twenties. In 1920, both brothers passed away due to illness, but their name lives on.
The simple interior of the...
The simple interior of the '30s received an extensive amount of modification from Rick. Sonny Tetting of Port Charlotte, Florida, put his skills to work on the cabin and trunk, adding new carpet and dash.
Chrysler's purchase of Dodge Brothers in 1928 brought about change within Dodge. In the early '30s the lineup was trimmed down so as not to step on the toes of Chrysler's Plymouth and DeSoto divisions. One of the most notable changes within the corporation came in 1934 when the Chrysler Airflow was released. It was the first car of its kind built in America. It featured a "streamlined" body that was aerodynamic. Up until this point, all cars used a so-called "two-box-design." While its sales were a far cry from success, elements of its design found their way into Chrysler's lineup. This new aerodynamic shaping and classic Dodge style influenced the '38 D-8 business coupe and helped it to stand out from its competitors.
Rick Kamp of North Port, Florida, wasn't looking for a classic business coupe but fell into the purchase of this one. He was attending a car show and chatting with his buddy who was trying to peddle him into buying a 383 engine. He had no need for the engine but, sure enough, his friend had a vehicle in need of some TLC that would make a great home for the 383. Rick went to check the car out, and to his surprise it was a '38 D-8 Business Coupe. They agreed on a price and the car was delivered to him on Father's Day 1998.
The seats were sourced from...
The seats were sourced from a SHO Taurus.
While it may have been a great home for the new engine, it certainly wasn't ready for anything to sit under the hood. "It was in pretty rough shape when I got it," he recalls. "The floors and body were very rough and it was missing the firewall." Rick got to work on the bodywork, fabricating a new firewall and straightening the body. Jacky's Body Shop in Port Charlotte, Florida, took the D-8 into the paint booth and applied PPG base coat and clear coat. When it left, it was wearing retina-searing Sublime. Paint and body was only half of the battle as Rick still needed lots of the trim pieces. Since there are only about 50 '38s left on the roads, they can be extremely tough to track down. "I found most of the parts on eBay and they came from Australia," he says.
After his attention was turned away from the body, the interior was treated to new clothes. His friend, Sonny Tetting of Port Charlotte, Florida, contributed his upholstery skills to the Business Coupe's cabin. The new grey carpet complements the bucket seats that were taken from an SHO Ford Taurus. The body color dash was filled with modern gauges, and a center console was made to house the B&M Quicksilver shifter. Sonny added a nice little touch when he added the Chrysler Pentastar logo.
Power from the rebuilt 383 moves the business coupe at a quickened pace. Rick and his friends worked together to make the swap possible and were able to shoehorn the engine in without modification. It's bored .030 over and has a new .484-inch lift, 292-degree duration camshaft. An Edelbrock Torker 383 intake manifold, port-matched 906 heads and Jet Hot-coated headers move the air and evacuate the exhaust. The massive V-8 is a startling discovery under the hood of a formerly inline-six-powered Classic.