On this Hemi block went new MP aluminum heads, which breathe in high octane Sunoco race fuel through one of Barton's hand-picked intake manifolds. A pair of Holley 780s are mounted on top in cross-ram fashion. Once used in the cylinders, the rich smell of that Sun fuel exits into the atmosphere through a Hooker Header/Flowmaster exhaust system that has been given the Jet-Hot Coatings treatment for increased reliability. An MSD ignition and NGK plugs spark the fire with a pair of Turbo Start batteries mounted in the trunk.
Behind the engine is a 904 TorqueFlite built by Pro Trans. It's equipped with a Pro Trans manual valvebody and an 8-inch ATI converter that stalls at 4,500 rpm. A Turbo Action grab handle using an ACD air shifter assures there will be no missing the next gear. The horsepower leaves the driveshaft and goes through a set of Richmond 5.67 gears and Strange components in a 9-inch modular housing before hitting the pavement.
Crew chief duties at the track are the responsibility of Wayne Degen, while "The Cops," John Dimarco and Joe DeLoreto, two of Jack's buddies, lend a helping hand. Jack, however, saves his greatest thanks for his wife, Eileen, for putting up with his second wind. Sponsorship and help on the project comes from Media Camping Center of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, McCormack Motorsports in Michigan, and Ray Barton, along with Flowmaster. Now retired from Winnebago, Jack was willing to admit he spent a lot of his grandchildren's inheritance to relive the '65 dream, not to mention countless hours.
The result, however, was worth it. He ran a blistering 9.29 e.t. at 141.40 mph at the Field of Dreams Supercar Showdown at Maple Grove Raceway. Jack held records in NHRA and AHRA throughout the '60s. With performances like the one listed above, we're willing to bet that part of his former legacy will be back again.
An Interview With Jack Werst
The '60s bred many well-known factory-backed racers. During this time, Jack Werst was employed by Chrysler in the warranty department of the Philadelphia region. He was typical of a number of average Joes who had regular jobs but still got some factory assistance. He raced Super Stock and Pro Stock from 1963 to 1972, during one of the most exciting decades in American racing history. Now coming full circle to run Nostalgia Super Stock, Mopar Muscle recently had a chance to sit down with the man nicknamed "Mr. 5 and 50" to hear some tales from the past.
Mopar Muscle (MM): How did the whole Nostalgia program come together for you?
Jack Werst (JW): Jerry Stein, who used to do a lot of racing, is a good friend of mine. He owns these two cars we have now. He and I got together and built the Plymouth, and I put together some factory support through Mopar Performance. Then, we decided to build the Dodge, which I'm driving now because Dodge is the factory's performance division. Paul Suloff drives the Plymouth.
As for the whole Nostalgia thing, I think it's a lot of fun, and I'm going to keep doing it for a couple more years. I don't know how long it will last. My dad used to talk about '30s-era Model-A Fords, stock ones, and nobody seems to care about those types of cars today. Don't get me wrong-I like this stuff, I just don't know how long it can go on. A lot of kids and guys under 40 come up to me and ask about the car, though.