If you're into Mopars, chances are you're into racing and the racing heritage that made Chrysler famous. From the dawn of motorsports, Chrysler embraced the racetrack, building cars and trucks to compete in nearly every competitive form of racing. Some argue that they did their job too well, as their purpose built race cars dominated many of the classes they were designed to run in. Some of these cars were handicapped by sanctioning bodies to the point of being non-competitive, while others like the Hemi powered '68 Darts and Barracudas were relegated to run in their own class since none of the competitive brands could keep up. Even today if you watch the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes of NHRA drag racing you'll notice that most, if not all, competitive cars still run a version of the famous 426 Hemi engine.

With so much racing heritage, it's no wonder that many Mopar enthusiasts not only study the history of Mopar racing, but also own, drive, and race classic Mopars themselves. At Mopar Muscle we certainly fall into this category, owning our share of classic muscle cars as well as drag racing these cars any chance we get. And while we love seeing any Mopar running at the events we attend, the ones with a hint of nostalgia really get our blood pumping. For this reason, we make it a point to be sure we're at the starting line any time we hear the announcer call the Nostalgia Super Stock (NSS) cars to the staging lanes.

Already curious about the Nostalgia Super Stock classes of drag racing, we had a chance to really get an education about this class while attending the 2012 Chrysler Performance Trade Show and Swap Meet held at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds. Hosted by Indy Cylinder Head, there were a series of seminars at the trade show including one featuring Doug Duell speaking specifically about Nostalgia Super Stock racing. Unlike NHRA or IHRA Stock and Super Stock classes, the rules for Nostalgia Super Stock don't restrict car owners from building big engines, or utilizing a variety of aftermarket suspension components, so long as the car looks the part of a '60s-era race car and conforms to the published class rules. We love the variety of cars in the NSS class, as some are built as tributes to historic race teams such as Sox and Martin, others are simply the owner's interpretation of how they would have built the car if they had raced during the sixties, and some are actually more modern renditions of classic racecars.

To qualify as a Nostalgia Super Stock car, a Mopar basically just needs to look the part, meaning the body is factory appearing, the firewall is in the stock location, and the engine is of the type that would have come in the car from the factory. Any full-bodied 1960 to 1967 Dodge or Plymouth car equipped with a big-block, or any 1964 to 1967 with a second generation Hemi qualifies for the class, and the car must be foot-braked meaning no trans-brakes or electronics are allowed. The classes are divided by half-second elapsed time indexes, so cars can be competitive whether they run 13 seconds flat in the quarter-mile all the way down to 10 seconds flat for the A class of Nostalgia Super Stock. And if you want to go quicker, Nostalgia FX has classes all the way down to 8.50 seconds in the quarter mile. Of course there are a variety of other rules, all of which can be found on the website www.nssracing.com, and races are held throughout the country.

Since we've always liked drag racing, and picked up a '64 Dodge Polara hardtop at the 2011 Mopar Nationals, we figured the Nostalgia Super Stock class would be a great way to have fun with this car. If you read about our '64 Dodge in the Hidden Treasures column a couple of issues ago, you'll remember that our car didn't have an engine or transmission when we purchased it, making it an excellent candidate for a racecar project. Even better, we don't have to build an all-out race car initially since the NSS classes are based on indexes. We can start off building our '64 Dodge into a solid street/strip car, and then progressively add components to make it quicker in the quarter mile. This is the way many of you build your cars, and will give us the opportunity to highlight and test a variety of parts as we progressively transform our Dodge into a serious race car.

The '64 Dodge we're using as a basis for this project is a fairly clean example, and was evidently taken apart for paint by the previous owner. When we purchased it from the car corral at the 2011 Mopar Nationals, it was a bit of a basket case and was missing many components including the engine, transmission, and both bumpers. Fortunately the interior was largely intact, and the odometer and title reflected relatively low original mileage at some 68,000. The floors, frames, and outer body of our Dodge are also solid, and the car has a decent paint job on it (keyword: decent, not spectacular) but the trim and interior were just piled inside the car and trunk. As for the engine and transmission, we'll install the 451-inch Indy-headed wedge we built in the May 2011 issue of Mopar Muscle, and top it with Indy's new Mod-Man intake for the low-deck big-block to meet class rules. To replace our nonexistent bumpers, we'll use fiberglass units from Sled City Fiberglass and install one of Sled City's fiberglass hoods as well.

This month we'll show you how the car looked when we got it, and highlight some of the work we've done so far. We'll also outline our plans for this project, and we hope you enjoy reading about it as much as we'll enjoy building it. Of course, our main goal is to get the car to the track, and we'll be sure to let you know which events we'll attend and how our testing goes once the car is running. We'd also love to hear your input about this project, so be sure to write in or log onto www.moparmuscle.com to tell us what you think about our latest Mopar project car.

Price tag
1964 Dodge Polara hardtop from car corRal at Nats $2,000
Transportation back to Florida $250 in gas money
3 meals and return favors for buddy Matt Koops endless promises
Building the same model Dodge that you street-raced in high school Priceless

SOURCE
Strange Engineering
8300 North Austin Ave.
Morton Grove
IL  60053
8-47/-663-1701
www.strangeengineering.net
Wilwood
4700 Calle Bolero
Camarillo
CA  93012
805-388-1188
www.wilwood.com
Schumacher Creative Services
Seattle
WA
206-364-7150
www.engine-swaps.com
Indy Cylinder Head
8621 Southeastern Ave
Indianapolis
IN  46239
317-862-3724
www.indyheads.com
MSD Ignition
888-673-7859
www.msdignition.com
Summit Racing Equipment
PO Box 909
Akron
OH  44398
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
www.summitracing.com
Quick Fuel Technologies
2-70/-793-0900
quickfueltechnologies.com
U.S. Radiator
323-826-0965
www.usradiator.com
Comp Cams
3406 Democrat Rd
Memphis
TN  38118
800-999-0853
www.compcams.com
Weld Racing Wheels
933 Mulberry Street
Kansas City
MO  64101
816-421-8040
Aeromotive
7805 Barton Street
Lenexa
KS  66214
913-647-7300
http://www.aeromotiveinc.com
Inline Performance Specialist
Webster
FL
352-568-7591
Powermaster Performance
1833 Down Drive
West Chicago
IL  60185
630-957-4019
http://www.powermasterperformanc
e.com
Sled City Fiberglass
614-875-0369
http://www.sledcityevents.com/