Who: George Sarno
Where: Elmira, New York
What: '72 Plymouth Duster
Family Cruiser-By George!
George ordered his Duster new in late 1971, a year after he got out of the service, choosing the base model over the Duster 340 for insurance (and newly-married/family) reasons, and choosing just about every item he could on the '72 Duster option sheet except for bucket seats and a console. It was his family's daily driver until an accident in June of '92 led to him restoring it.
The Duster received new quarters, plus a lot of new parts up front--hood, grille upper grille support, lower grille panel and front bumper. The 318 got its share of attention, gaining a stock 340 intake manifold and a 600 cfm Edelbrock four-barrel, electronic ignition and dual exhausts (using the stock 318 manifolds).
George says that he's tried to keep it looking as stock and original as possible, and he's succeeded. He says that it runs and handles great, is fun to drive, and he's shown it in local events in and around Elmira and New York State's Southern Tier, as well as at Chryslers at Carlisle (twice).
He says that he'll pass it on someday...but not just yet.
Who: Bob O'Keefe
Where: Lenoir, North Carolina
What: '74 Plymouth 'Cuda 360
Back in October of 1973 when he was just a year out of high school, Bob put down a deposit on a new '74 'Cuda 360. In January, the dealer told him that the E-Body cars were being discontinued and the one he'd ordered was not going to be built, but they'd try and locate one for him. In late March of 1974 (a few weeks after Ma Mopar ended E-Body Challenger/Barracuda production for good), one was found at a dealer in Tennessee that had the 360 and four-speed Bob wanted, as well as TX9 Black paint which was Bob's first choice. He drove it daily through the '70s, putting over 100,000 miles on it, before parking it when family and financial pressures got bad in 1981 (but not so bad that he considered selling it).
Bob says that he's promised this car to his daughter when he's gone, which he hopes won't be for a long time yet.
Who: Ron Crandell
Where: Hilton, New York
What: '66 Dodge Charger
273? What 273?
Ron's Charger is a "coulda/woulda/shoulda" car that he bought in July of 1967 (for $2,599 + NY State taxes) and has kept all along. Right now, its odometer is showing just 16,600 original miles.
It wasn't until 2003 that Bob started the restoration work on his 'Cuda, but other family health and financial problems have kept him from finishing the job. He hasn't done the final paint and bodywork yet, and the bumpers are off for re-chroming, but what Bob's done makes this last-year E-Body look as good as it did when it rolled out of Hamtramck Assembly.
And, yeah, it's got a Hemi-it's one of 250 Hemi, four-speed Chargers built in 1966.
For more than a few years, Ron had "273" fender badges on it, because he was sick and tired of everyone wanting to look under the hood and see the Hemi. (If he'd charged admission to see it, New York State probably would've taxed it!)
The hood and C-pillars are the only places on the body that have seen new paint sice the Charger was new-the hood got new Bright Red paint plus a scoop, while the rear roof pillars were painted in lace by two friends of Ron's back in 1969 (who are stil friends with Ron to this day!)
The Hemi has only had two sets of spark plugs in it, and the interior is all original and in great condition. Except for the tires, wheels, battery (and the hood scoop and lace-painted C-pillars), this Charger's original, including the factory "spoiler" on the trunk lid.
The picture of Ron and his son was taken back on Easter Sunday of '68, and you can see the "273" fender badge on the Charger.