Bob VonSee, a New York City crane operator from Fair lawn, New Jersey, picked up this project car from a friend who had taken care of it for 21 years. This '63 Plymouth Savoy post car was a race car in its former life, and when Bob started work on the car, he carried that theme over with his restification. It's a hardcore performer down to its core, but it has a softer side that includes drop dead good looks that place Bob in the upper echelon of car show entries.

Since Bob was buying a former race car, he knew the Plymouth was only a rolling chassis. The body was in outstanding shape and didn't even have a hint of rust. It did, however, need some work. The floor had been cut up from previous transmission swaps. At one time, it was an automatic car, then it was switched to a four-speed car, and once again, it was changed back to an automatic. So he just decided to replace the floors entirely and start clean. The fenderwells were hacked up from running fenderwell headers so they were replaced along with the trunk, which had been butchered for the fuel cell. The 16-year-old paint job was applied by Fantastic Auto Body. Bob didn't even have to touch it because it was in such fine shape. It's a red PPG base/clearcoat.

The front suspension still uses the factory .810-inch torsion bars with 90/10 Competition Engineering shocks. For the rear, Super Stock springs and Caltrac traction bars are used with 50/50 Competition engineering shocks. All these parts get the job done at the strip. Making sure it looks the part are Weld Pro Stars dressed in the proper attire, Mickey Thompson front runners, and rear Sportsman tires. Outback, the 8 3/4-inch rear uses Richmond 4.56 gears and Moser axles.

Inside the B-Body are custom grey and black velour door panels that match the bucket seats, which were found in a junkyard. The gauges are all Auto Meter with a custom bezel just behind the Grant steering wheel. Five-point racing harnesses are attached to the eight-point rollbar and keep Bob and his wife, Diana, securely inside the Savoy. The welcoming cabin was completed with a replacement carpet kit from ACC.

Bob decided he would build a 440 himself, but during the process that displacement swelled to 500 ci. To achieve this magical number, the block was bored .030-inch over and a set of JE pistons were thrown in and attached to Eagle rods. The rods use Chevy rod-ends to minimize the amount of clearancing needed on the block for the long stroke. A 440 Source forged Platinum Series 4.15-inch stroke crankshaft rests securely in the mains. Total compression comes out to 10.5:1. Topping things off are a pair of cast-iron 906 cylinder heads. Bob gave them some bowl work and mildly ported them to match the Edelbrock Dual-Quad intake manifold. Crane valvesprings and 1.5 roller rockers actuate the Manley swirl polished 2.14 intake and 1.81 exhaust valves. Telling the valves what to do is a Mopar Performance Purple Shaft cam with a .509-inch lift and a 110-degree lobe separation angle. The 500 cubes exhale through a custom 3-inch exhaust that was built by Mufflex Exhaust. It uses stainless steel MagnaFlow mufflers and aluminized pipe. A set of conventional 1 3/4-inch Hedman headers are used-a far departure from the fenderwell headers originally installed on the car. Finally, a pair of Carter 625-cfm carburetors completes the big-block power combo.

Bob lucked out by finding a car in such great shape, but it did take him two years to finally finish his vision on this B-Body. In its current setup, he is able to run an 11.50 at 122 mph in the quarter. These days, the Savoy's duties are to win and attend car shows. This former drag car has a new home, but its performance racing heritage can still be felt.