Admit it. There's a car that you either used to have, saw around town, or just dreamed about when you were younger. And you've said to yourself that, given the right amounts of funding, time, etc., you'd have it (again). Include Bruce Clark in that category, and in the category of guys who got that dream car built.
Back in the day--when new Charger R/T sticker prices started just north of $3,700 and didn't go above Six Grand, even with a Hemi and every other available option on it--he had one. "When I was a kid in 1970, I had a yellow Charger with a white interior, just like the one you see in the pictures," he recalls.
Due to youth and a heavy foot, he sold the Charger but always had the idea in the back of his mind to have another one. "One of my dreams was, one day when I was financially able to, I would recreate the car of my youth," he says. "I guess everybody's trying to recapture some segment of that."
That dream stayed with him until he was in a position to make it come true. Enter this '70 Charger R/T, which he found in Florida and hauled up North for some major restification at Race Ready Technology's (RRT) shop in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
That Delaware Valley shop took off the aged and time-worn original parts and replaced as needed. "They basically stripped it down to the metal," Bruce says. "They rebuilt the entire car, using a lot of modern components." That included a coilover front suspension system, which replaced the OEM torsion bars, as well as Wilwood disc brakes at each corner.
Other master craftsmen contributed their talents to the Charger--most notably engine builder Ray Barton. "It's a 472ci engine, built by the man himself," Bruce says of the Hemi that sits under the R/T's stock hood. "The horsepower is rated around 650." Backing it is a Tremec five-speed manual transmission and a 3.70-geared Dana 60 rear end.
Auto Meter's array of "Phantom...
Auto Meter's array of "Phantom II" gauges not only monitors all crucial functions, but they look great inside a custom wood dashpanel.
The nearly-40-year-old B-Body got a complete undressing, rust/crash repair, metal finishing, and smoothing before Classic Corvette sprayed on the High Impact Banana Yellow paint. "They've done a number of cars that have won at Pebble Beach and Amelia Island [Concours]," Bruce says. "One of the comments that I consistently get at shows is on the paint. That attention-getting finish is accented by a white "Bumble Bee" stripe in back and a repro vinyl top wearing the correct-for-'70 grain pattern.
Inside, you'll find Auto Meter "Phantom II" gauges set inside a real wood accent panel and a Grant GT steering wheel atop a Flaming River tilt steering column. An OEM-style "Pistol Grip" shifter sprouts from a custom-fabbed console flanked by a pair of Recaro leather custom bucket seats. There's also a Vintage Air A/C system. The seats and carpets were done in white leather by RRT.
The 472-inch Hemi puts out...
The 472-inch Hemi puts out at least 650 hp, thanks to two Edelbrock four-barrels, MSD ignition, and lots of other good stuff.
Not only is Bruce's Charger an eye-grabber when he shows it, it's also an attention-getter for his business, New Clients Inc. "We're a marketing/consulting firm for accountants, and we thought it would be a great advertising piece," he says of his Charger. "We've used it for the past year-and-a-half in national accounting publications. There are a lot of car guys who are accountants, so we decided to take it around to shows and use it as an advertising piece, and it's worked out incredibly."
If you're thinking about recapturing your dream ride--whether by building it yourself or using "the secret of management" to get the right people for the job and letting them have at it--Bruce has this advice: "Really research the people and the company, and talk to a lot of people that they have built cars for. That would be the best advice that I can give." He adds that with this car, there were delays, which he says is just part and parcel with those who build and restore muscle cars. "A lot of times they make promises that they can't really deliver on. And then, they get behind the 8-ball. Ultimately, I was very happy with the car."