We love our annual trip to the Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Ohio, and for the past two years we’ve had an even bigger reason to look forward to this journey, as we’ve hosted the AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Dyno Showdown. This year we had Jay at HP Mobile Chassis Dyno meet us at the Mopar Nationals, so we could determine who’s vehicle would make the most power in each of the four classes in our contest.

When putting the rules together for this year’s chassis dyno contest, we decided that the contest should be open not only to professional engine builders or racers, but also to the average readers of Mopar Muscle as well. For the 2013 Dyno Showdown, we ran two classes for street cars, power adder and non-power adder, and also included two new classes, one for diesel trucks, and an Outlaw class open to race and extreme street vehicles. In the Power Adder, Non-Power Adder, and Outlaw classes, the winner would be determined by the highest horsepower number achieved in either one of the two allotted dyno pulls. In the diesel truck class we used torque to determine the winner, and we were surprised at some of the numbers posted by the Cummins diesel-equipped Dodge trucks.

Anyone with a Mopar is welcome to enter our contest, and the application form is provided both on our website, www.moparmuscle.com, and in the magazine. Once we had the applications in hand, we chose a variety of cars equipped with Mopar big-block, small-block, and Hemi engines. Late-model Mopars are also free to compete, and we had several new Challengers, Vipers, and even a Hemi equipped Ram truck in this year’s contest. In this and the next several issues of Mopar Muscle, we’ll highlight the vehicles that competed in the Showdown in random order, ending with the winners of each of the four categories. We encourage you to follow along, as this contest is a great way to see the power that each combination makes. Also, be sure to enter next year’s dyno competition with your Mopar to get in on the fun, get some free stuff, compete for prizes, and to see your vehicle in the pages of Mopar Muscle magazine.

This is only the first article showing the competitors and their combinations, stay tuned for more in the coming months.


Thomas Pedergnana: 1973 Dodge Charger

Making the drive from Evergreen Park, Illinois, Thomas Pedergnana brought his small-block powered ’73 Dodge Charger Rallye to our showdown. Equipped with a 408-inch LA based V-8, the normally aspirated engine in his Charger features Mahle pistons, an Eagle crankshaft and rods, and a Comp hydraulic-roller camshaft. Topped with out-of-the-box Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and with 10.3:1 compression, this Charger runs great on pump gas and Thomas says he drives the car everywhere.

Pushing the power through Hooker headers, 21⁄2-inch exhaust, an 833 four-speed and 3.55 geared 83⁄4 rear, the gold colored Charger has run a best quarter mile time of 14.12 seconds at 104 mph on street tires. On the Dynojet chassis dyno during our contest, Thomas’s Dodge made nearly 350 horsepower at the rear wheels, and torque came in at just under 370 lb-ft. Besides being powerful, we love the fact that this Charger is regularly driven and made the trip to the Mopar Nationals from three states over on its own tires, not on a trailer.


Rob Garrison: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

As a local from Columbus, Ohio, Rob Garrison drove his ’69 Road Runner to the Mopar Nationals to enter our street class for non-power adder cars, but unfortunately had to limp the car home after encountering a rocker arm problem on the dyno. Rob has owned his Plymouth for more than 11 years, and enjoys driving, showing, and racing his car. The big block in Rob’s car displaces 494-inches, and features Diamond pistons and an Eagle stroker crankshaft. With a hydraulic roller cam and CNC ported Indy aluminum cylinder heads, this combination had the potential for laying down some impressive numbers.

On the dyno, it was apparent that the engine in Rob’s Road Runner wasn’t performing as well as it could. With a Holley 850 carb, Hedman headers, manual transmission, and Indy dual-plane intake, this car should have easily spun the rollers to more than 400 rear wheel horsepower, yet it only made some 376 horsepower on its best pull. After making the two pulls, Rob removed the valve covers and discovered at least two pushrods not actuating the rocker arms. Even so, the Road Runner made it home under its own power and Rob says he’ll be back next year to post some big numbers.


Tom Jefferson: 1967 Plymouth Satellite

The Jefferson family from Erie, Pennsylvania, was out in force during the 2013 showdown, and Tom Jefferson entered a great looking, black ’67 Satellite in the non-power adder category of our contest. Though Tom’s dyno session was interrupted by rain showers that came through on Friday, he managed to make his two required pulls, and laid down some impressive numbers. Featured in the July, 2004 issue of Mopar Muscle, this Satellite is powered by a 492-inch big-block, based around a Chrysler 400 block. Topped with Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, a Six Pack intake, and trio of Holley two-barrel carbs, Tom estimated horsepower at over 400 at the rear wheels.

With an automatic transmission, 3,000 rpm converter, and Richmond 3.91gears, the big-block in this Plymouth features coated headers, and tti mufflers and exhaust. Claiming a best quarter mile time of 13 seconds flat, Tom’s Satellite posted a best dyno pull of more than 376 horsepower on its best pull. For a show car that is regularly driven, this Satellite is a good looking example of a Mopar B-Body. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a dyno graph for Tom’s run.


We’d like to thank the sponsors and all of the competitors in our second annual AMSOIL/Mopar Muscle Dyno Showdown, and look forward to bringing you all of this year’s results in future issues of Mopar Muscle magazine. This contest is also a work in progress, so we’d like input from our readers as to any rules changes, additional classes, or coverage that they’d like to see in next year’s event. Remember, Mopar Muscle is your magazine, and the events we host and sponsor are your events, so be sure to let us know what you think.

We plan to make applying for the contest even easier for next year, and instead of downloading an application you will be able to apply directly through email or our website. Additionally, look for some rule changes that will allow a wider variety of powerful Mopars to enter our contest. We really enjoyed seeing everyone at the Mopar Nationals this year, and hope to see you at the Nats and other events we attend next year.