Resto Corner with
Well, we’re at it again. We have decided to undertake another project car here at Mopar Muscle. We must be gluttons for punishment, as there seems to be a never-ending string of cars in disrepair coming to our world headquarters for us to work on. It could be worse -- if we didn’t have any project cars, we would be forced to stay in the office all day.
This time, however, it’s not going to be built by yours truly, or Tech Editor Dave Young. This time, our intrepid Publisher Rob “Whatcha-mean-left-turns-aren’t-always-required" Fisher felt that he needed to experience working on his first Mopar. Cut him some slack -- it might be his first Mopar, but he’s the office type, and since he does have a history working with a NASCAR team or two, just guess what the final result of this car will be... From the discussions we’ve had in the office, the consensus is that when the car is done, things might get a little out of control from time to time.
Since we’re letting Rob finally get his hands dirty, in regards to wrenching, anyway -- after all, he is from Jersey -- we asked him what he wanted to build, and this is what he told us: “I always wanted to build a big car that would out-handle a Ferrari, out-accelerate a Porsche, and have a top speed that would make Richard Petty flash his trademark smile in approval.”
In the end this car will be one of the nastiest, wildest builds ever. it will be tested, raced, and driven...hard
Since he knew the completed outcome of his vision (Editor’s note: He gets the visions in his mind, and all I get are these voices, but I digress), the plan was to locate the proper car and let him go at it. It turns out, that was the easy part. We’ll let Rob fill you in:
"My love for Dodge Chargers started in 1979 when I was 10 years old. That year was season one of The Dukes of Hazzard, and my second favorite part of that show (next to Daisy) quickly became that orange Charger. I fell for that car the moment I saw it flying through the air chasing Roscoe in the first episode. From that moment on, I wanted to own the legendary Dodge Charger.
"Fast forward some 33 years, and Mopar Muscle’s Tech Editor Dave Young is standing in my office telling me that his good friend Matt has a Charger for sale. Seems Matt had a project car that he didn’t have time to work on, and wanted out of his shop. I went over to look at it and found that what Matt had was a shell of a 1969, along with a 'parts' car of the same year. The parts car looked like something only Fred Flintstone could drive, but fortunately, the shell had a clean title. It was a 318 car with air conditioning, and Matt still had most of the glass. The car was rescued from the crusher (literally) by the guy Matt got the car from, but it was a solid piece. We settled on a price and I took both cars home.
"Feral cats had made the car their 'home' if you catch my drift, prompting me to refer to my new acquisition as 'Pussy Galore' (quit your snickering). Now safely in the Mopar Muscle shop, we sat about putting a plan together. Why not build a classic Dodge Charger with all the modern amenities and performance you can find in a late-model car? Thus was born Project 50 -- a 50-state-legal ’69 Dodge Charger. The ultimate goal is to have people walk by the car and say, 'Wow what a nice Charger,' before doing a double take when they realize the car sits just a little lower and the tires are a little wider. When the hood is popped, they are greeted with a modern marvel of power and performance. In the end this car will be one of the nastiest, wildest builds ever. It will be tested, raced, and driven...hard. It’s our hope that you guys even learn a few things from this build that can make it into your own projects. This Charger is the perfect vehicle (pun intended). It’s a blank slate, a shell, so we are not altering anything of extreme value. Heck, we don’t even have the original K-member.”
So there you have it, the car is acquired, and the outline is conceived. Now all we need to do is carry out this amalgamation of old and new, drive the wheels off of it, and hopefully -- just hopefully -- Rob will let us re-enact his second favorite part of The Dukes of Hazzard with his car when we’re done. What could possibly go wrong?