'71 Challenger Race Car &bull: W.D. Goad • Lexington, VA
The original factory-supplied...
The original factory-supplied gas tank is long gone. Each run down the track will get the needed witches brew from this fuel tank. Note the monster filter underneath.
The Challenger had the original Hemi out of the Charger that W.D. was restoring, but he had to buy the entire car in order to get it. Once home, he decided to replace the engine with a '67 vintage RO mill built by Marvin Hughes, using the old race parts such as the Hilborn injectors, Ramchargers magneto and motorplate, Milodon oil pan, and the Hooker headers from the first Hemi.
Transmission: Since it is a race car with a lot of Hemi under the hood, Fairbanks Performance Transmissions built the 727 in 1971, turning it into a ClutchFlite. It's not very street friendly, but it doesn't need to be. A Lakewood bellhousing holds it to the Hemi, and was there to keep things from flying all over the track and into the driver's compartment if it came apart.
Rearend: Do you remember when you could order a prebuilt and narrowed Dana 60 directly through Mopar Performance? it was an option, and one Cotton and Robert took advantage of. It's filled with 5.38 gears, and we're pretty sure they are not mounted on an open differential.
Horsepower & Performance: Although no one seems to remember how fast the car ran during its few passes down the track, we would really like to hear about the "jousting" that was done on the street.
Doug James' psychedelic paint...
Doug James' psychedelic paint scheme is still intact. Owner W.D. Goad, a bodyman by trade, admits it's a little crazier than he would like.
Suspension: In 1971, the Challenger was built for one purpose-racing. The front suspension is basically stock, with the addition of a rack-and-pinion steering system. the inner fenders were removed, which meant the new shock mounts had to be added to the chrome-moly cage struts. The rear suspension is all old-school mopar with a Dana 60 and leaf springs. It all hangs from custom-built framerails.
Brakes: Although state of the art in 1971, the Airhart brake system is still on the car, which makes W.D. a bit nervous about making a full pass in the car. The single pot master cylinder operates the Airhart discs up front and the factory drums on the rear.
Wheels: In 1971, aluminum slots were all the rage. They're still on the car. So are the American 10-spokes in front.
Rubber: Nothing but vintage stuff here. Good Year 8.00-15.00x15-inch slicks on the back, and standard street rubber up front. These are the same tires installed in 1971.
Body: Chrysler body-in-white, designed specifically for race car applications. This is one of two shipped to Cotton Owens' place. The whereabouts of the other is unknown.
There's very little inside...
There's very little inside except a Cotton Owens fabricated dash with a couple of gauges, a B&M shifter, and lots of chrome-moly tubing.
The Dana 60 was narrowed and...
The Dana 60 was narrowed and sold though Chrysler Performance Parts back in the day. Notice absence of rear floorpans-unsafe, but made the car lighter.
Paint: It was the '70s, man, nothing but hallucinogen-induced colors used. We're not sure where painter Doug James got his inspiration, but he was definitely inspired.
Interior: It's all race car and unrestored. A roll cage, a couple switches, a couple gauges, and one seat are all that was required. The absence of a rear floor aids in emergency escape if the car lands on its lid. We're sure that's not the reason the floor is gone, but it sounds good to us.