Who: Jim Molitwenik
Where: Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada
What: '68 Dodge Charger
Another B.C. B-Body
Back in 1995, Jim saw a '68 Charger advertised for sale in a nearby British Columbia, town. He left a note on it for the owner to call if it was ever for sale. A couple of months later, he got the call, and soon after, the 383-powered, non-R/T Charger was his. It was rough. But Jim resto-modded it into the car he wanted, and could afford, over the years.
Replacing the 383 is a 440 bored .030-inch over, with a forged crank, "Six-Pack" pistons, and an Edelbrock camshaft, dual quad intake, 600 cfm carburetors and high-flow water pump. There's also an aluminum radiator and MSD ignition, and Hooker Super Comp headers flowing into a three-inch exhaust with a crossover and Flowmaster mufflers. The 440 is backed by a 727 with a shift kit and a 3,000 stall converter, with an 8 3/4-inch rear end with a 3.54-geared Sure Grip in back.
Chassis features include front disc brakes, a driveshaft loop, KYB shocks and heavy duty rear springs, plus BFG-shod Cragars. Inside, other than an aftermarket tach and a Grant steering wheel, the cabin is stock '68 Charger.
Jim says the Charger is still a thrill to drive every time-and it makes him feel 20 years old again when he does. He can set the carbs' progressive linkage to give 16 mpg on cruises, and he can drive it in 100-degree-plus weather with the coolant temperature not going over 180 degrees.
Who: Ron Wright
Where: Cazenovia, New York
What: '66 Dodge Coronet 500 hardtop
The Wright Way
Ron bought his Coronet new in March of 1966, ordering it with a 383 four-barrel, four-speed, a 3.23-geared Sure Grip and a Music Master AM radio. The dealer--Penn-York Valley Motors in Sayre, PA-- was hesitant to sell it without options like power steering or power brakes, because (as Ron says) he was concerned about future trade-in value. That's something Ron wasn't worried about then-or now.
It was his daily cruiser and sometimes drag racer through 1969, with a 4.10 rear end, Hemi rear leaf springs, "915" heads and a 440 intake manifold, a Racer Brown camshaft and Jardine 4-into-1 headers going on. In 1969, Ron got married, and parked the Coronet. During the '70s, he pulled the 383 out for a rebuild, but he didn't get to it for a long time. His plan was, once his kids were out of the house, he'd resume work on his '66 again.
Ron's twin sons (pictured with Ron, above) towed the B-Body to their buddy's place in 1993, and helped him refinish the Coronet's underbody and front end. A few years later, Ron took all the key engine parts to a local machine shop. The block was bored .030-inch over and decked .030-inch, the crank was turned .010-inch under, the heads were pocket-ported and hardened valve seats installed. Ron rebuilt the engine with Clevite bearings, TRW pistons, a Crane camshaft, Melling oil pump and Cloyes double timing chain. However, excessive valve lifter preload kept the engine from running once it started, and the project was again put on the back burner.
Finally, in 2007, Ron got going again on the Coronet, and-while he and his wife were on vacation-Ron's sons towed it to their buddy's place and did a week-long thrash that got the car finished, state-inspected and registered. Ron says that after neary 40 years, it felt great to drive the Coronet on the road again.
Who: Jim Ray
Where: Moparville, USA
What: '70 Plymouth Sport Satellite hardtop
Now A Superbird
Jim's B-Body wasn't one of the 1,920 factory built Superbirds, but that didn't stop him from creating one out of the Sport Satellite that he'd owned for a long time-and was in dire need of help.
Before the Ted Janak reproduction nose cone and wing went on, off came some very-rusted steel (both rear quarters, the trunk floor and extensions, outer wheel houses), replaced by reproduction parts. In fact, Jim did everything on it except the paint and vinyl top-he rebuilt the original 383 (now bored out .030-inch) with Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, a Hughes Engines roller camshaft, a ported and port-matched Six Barrel intake and 3x2-barrel carburetors, tti exhaust system, and much more. Jim thanks his wife and family, plus CBR Service, Springerville Auto Service, Valley Auto Parts, and Nick's Classic Parts for all their help and support.
Lest you think this is the only Mopar in the garage at Jim's place, think again. He and his family also have a Max Wedge-equipped '64 B-Body, a '70 Challenger, a '67 Coronet R/T and a '69 two-seater AMX.