John Bretz: 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T
Running in our Non-Power Adder class, John Bretz brought his nearly stock 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T to compete with the field of mostly classic Mopars. As a retired iron worker, John purchased this car as a daily driver, and enjoys the power and performance of his late-model 5.7 Hemi equipped Dodge. The only modifications to John’s Challenger are a cold air intake system, and Cat-rearward aftermarket exhaust.
As a late-model Mopar with only 18,000 miles, we thought it would be fun to see how the Hemi in this Dodge compared to the engines in the classic Mopars in our contest. On the HP Mobile chassis dyno, this basically-stock Challenger R/T spun the rollers to the tune of 332 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque.
Garret Struck: 1995 Dodge Ram 2500
Ram trucks are known for their towing capacity, and many of the cars brought to the Mopar Nationals this year arrived on trailers pulled by Cummins diesel-powered Dodge trucks. Garret Struck of Webster, Florida, uses his truck as a daily driver, and to tow his ’72 Duster drag car to the races. Garret has modified his truck with a Goerend torque converter, rebuilt automatic transmission, and electronic tuner. Otherwise, this 12-valve Cummins is stock.
Entered in the Diesel class, Garret’s truck would be judged based on the highest torque number of the two pulls it would make on the dyno. Strapped to the Dynojet dyno, this ’95 Dodge Ram made a stout 548 lb-ft of torque on its best dyno pull. With more than 300,000 miles on the odometer, this truck is regularly used, and was the highest mileage vehicle in our competition.
Lance Baldwin: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
Lance Baldwin’s ’70 Challenger R/T has been in his family for more than 30 years, and when it was passed along to Lance, he spent the better part of three years transforming it into the car seen here. Lance did most of the work himself, along with some help from family members, including building the 505-inch Wedge that powers this Challenger. Inside the 505-inch big-block, Lance installed an Eagle forged crankshaft, Eagle rods, Icon forged pistons, and a hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft from Comp Cams. Topped with Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads that he ported and polished himself, this engine sports an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold and 800-cfm Mighty Demon four-barrel carburetor.
TTI headers and 3-inch exhaust expel the gasses, and power is transferred to the rear wheels through a 727 TorqueFlite with TCI internals and a 3,500 rpm TCI stall converter. With a best elapsed time of 12.08 seconds in the quarter mile, Lance’s Challenger is both good-looking and quick, which should be expected since he is an automotive technician by trade. On the chassis dyno, this Challenger made nearly 400 rear horsepower with peak power occurring under 5,500 rpm. Torque was more than 400 lb-ft, ensuring this car is a fun ride.
Dave Raver: 1970 Plymouth GTX
Dave’s ’70 GTX is a great-looking B-Body, finished in stunning black paint with white accents. Having owned the car for more than 20 years, the restoration was accomplished just two years after Dave found and purchased the GTX in 1992. Dave restored the interior himself, and built the 440 back to stock specs with the addition of a .510 lift hydraulic cam, Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, an Edelbrock intake and Demon four-barrel carburetor that sucks air through an Air-Grabber hood. The exhaust includes headers, 21⁄2-inch pipes, and stock mufflers, which dump into 2-inch tailpipes.
Shifting through a manual transmission with a Hurst shifter and high-performance clutch, power then goes to the rear wheels via an 83⁄4 equipped with 3.91 gears. Spinning the rollers on the chassis dyno, Dave’s GTX made a best pull of 367 lb-ft of torque, and over 325 horsepower at the rear wheels. These are good numbers for a 440-inch engine, and we thank Dave for entering our dyno competition.
Chuck Lee: 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger
Entered in the Outlaw class, Chuck Lee’s ’71 Dart Swinger is a dedicated race car, and was competing at the Mopar Nationals this year. As a farmer residing in nearby Shade, Ohio, Chuck races his Dart regularly along with his son Chad who has a ’67 Dart of his own. Chuck built the .030-inch over 340 himself, using a NASCAR crankshaft, 12.0:1 forged pistons, a Comp cam, and “J” heads with 2.08-inch intake valves. Double valve springs and roller rockers actuate the valves, and the small-block is fed by an Edelbrock intake and Holley 750 double-pumper carb.
The 727 is shifted by a Cheetah shifter, and stall speed is 4,200 rpm with an 8-inch converter. Moser axles and 4.86 gears get the power to the track, where the Dart has run a best of 11.7 seconds at 111 mph. On the dyno, big racing tires and a loose converter definitely don’t help the rear-wheel horsepower numbers, but the small-block Dart still managed to make 305 lb-ft of torque and more than 307 horsepower.