Ken Meckbach has long been a Mopar aficionado. More specifically, he has a long history of building and owning 340 Challengers and Dusters. So why did he choose to purchase this 57 Fargo? Ken replies, To have something different.
Different begins with the truck itself, but remains familiar when it comes to engine selection, thanks to the grafting of a familiar 340 Six Pack engine. Starting with a 70 T/A block, former owner Rick Penner had blueprinted and balanced the engine assembly and topped off the X-headed 10.5:1 compression small-block with the correct Edelbrock Six Barrel manifold and worked-over, two-barrel Holleys. To offer a sound reminiscent of the engines T/A lineage, a 2½-inch side exhaust system was installed.
Backing up the solid 300hp Six Barrel 340 is a 727 TorqueFlite fitted with a Stage 2 shift kit and a 3,500-rpm stall speed torque converter. To keep the dogs out back from barking loudly at launch, a full four-link suspension was fabricated by Hortons Rod Shop in Breslau, Ontario, Canada, to accommodate the massive tire and wheel combination of 15x15 Weld Draglites and 33x19.5 M/T Sportsmans.
Up front, low-down control was the goal; this was accomplished by using the rodders suspension of choicea Mustang II setup. The setup allowed for a modern steering rack configuration and a down-in-the-weeds appearance. Of course, along with extensive modifications, some difficulties will always exist. These hardships came in the way of custom-built, ceramic-coated headers. Also, brake issues needed to be solvedthe installation of a hydraboost system, lifted from a GM application and mounted under the seat was the fix.
As for appearance, Rick Penner also fabricated the rear inner fenders, installed the fiberglass front end grafted to the original steel hood, and installed Lil Red Express truck rear fenders on the original Fargo bed prior to Kens purchase. Rick also applied the black acrylic enamel topcoat.
Inside, the seats were lifted from a 72 Dodge Dart and upholstered and installed in gray tweed by Mike Ryan, as were the door panels. The original instrument panel was used and Autometer gauges were fitted to the steering column. A steering wheel from a 70 Challenger carries the T/A theme to the interior. Audio is delivered via a Kenwood CD system.
Whether Ken has something completely different is for you to decidewe give him and Rick two thumbs-up for originality and performance. If we had three, theyd get that one, too!