Coming to Vegas from neighboring California, Jess Eddards' "retina melting red" '68 Dart was the only fuel injected Mopar to enter this year's challenge. Powering his Dart, Jess utilized a '72 360 block and Mopar Performance crankshaft, netting a small-block displacing 408 cubic inches. Topped with Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads, Jess originally utilized a carburetor to feed his engine, but swapped to a FAST EZ EFI 1000-cfm throttle body fuel injection system just before our contest. Backing the small-block is a 727 automatic that he built himself with a docile 2,200-rpm stall converter, and an 8-3/4 rear with 3.23 gears. The interior of the Dart was refurbished with help from friends and parts from Year One, and even includes air conditioning from Classic Auto Air. On the track, this '68 Dart ran a best of 13.30 in the quarter-mile, but had gone 12s with the carburetor feeding it. Since the FAST fuel injection "learns" as the car is driven more and more, Jess just didn't feel like the system had tuned itself properly in time for our contest. Even so, this Dart is a great all around performer, and Jess thanks his wife, family, and friends for helping him build a fun and competitive Mopar.
George Russell and his wife Mary took "true street" to a whole new level, by driving their '69 Hemi Road Runner all the way from Wyoming to the show in Las Vegas. Driving this Road Runner is nothing new to the Russells, as this was the first new car they ever purchased. After selling the car to a dealer around 1973, George found the car again in 1986, and eventually purchased it back without the original engine. With help from family and talented friends, George put his Road Runner back together again and even found a correctly date coded 426 Hemi to install in front of the TorqueFlite transmission. George's Plymouth features mostly stock equipment, including the carbs and exhaust, and even has 2.76 gears in the 8-3/4 for easy highway cruising. This car scored well in the show and drivability categories, but the 2.76 gears didn't help quarter-mile performance. Even so, we congratulate George on his beautiful Road Runner, and as one of few who drove his car to Vegas instead of hauling it on a trailer.
Do you think you have what it takes to run in the Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge? Do you have comments regarding the rules or how to enter? Be sure to visit our website, www.moparmusclemagazine.com, for answers to all your questions, and to see exclusive photos from the 2012 and past True Street Challenges. Hope to see you in Vegas next year!