This rust-free car was built in Los Angeles on June 12, 1962. It began life as a Nutmeg Poly Brown two door hardtop with Cocoa interior. It is a V8 car by birth, but I am not sure which engine it was built with. Today, it is something much more tenacious and formidable.
I am convinced it was a low mileage car when it was turned into a high performance car. The odometer reads just over 67,000 and I have a hunch that is very close to actual miles. There is much originality preserved including the original door panels, steering wheel and dash, the original trim and brightwork and even the original glove box complete with Owner’s Manual. The floors and body panels are original and completely rust-free.
The build is 18 years old, yet it is very, very nice. The bright red paint is slick and smooth with minimal touched up flaws. The brightwork was all straightened and polished. The original style glass is in the car with working door window regulators.
The body is very original with exception of the fiberglass hood and Super Stock scoop. The bumpers are now fiberglass, as well. The interior offers some originality, but has been modified for legal racing. That includes a 10 point moly cage, model specific Aluminum seats, safety belts and system monitoring gauges. The back seat has been deleted and the area, plus the floor, is nicely carpeted.
The car was safety inspected by the inspector of the NHRA track at Joliet, IL in 2016. It certified to 8.50. Some equipment is date sensitive, as is the inspection, so depending on where you might race, you may need to make a few upgrades.
Let’s talk about performance. The best test pass was 9.82 @ 137mph. There is more left with some tuning. The engine made [email protected] and 671 ft/lbs. @ 5300rpm. That is impressive!
By those numbers, you can tell the engine is not stock. It is a 400 block that is half filled. It is bored .040, so it should be 4.38 now. It has a forged crank with a stroke of 4.15. In my book, that calculates to 500 cubic inches.
The rods are Aluminum by Bill Miller. The cam is a solid roller style by Cam Motion. All hardware is by ARP. It has Ross pistons and the compression ratio is said to be 12:1. The Harland Sharp roller rockers are pushing Trend pushrods. The heads are Mopar Stage IV’s that have been ported by Modern. The Indy 2x4 intake is freshly powder coated and is topped by a pair of Carter 750cfm carbs. The exhaust starts with Hooker Headers with an evac system and Flowmaster collectors. It is all power-coated. There are clamp on muffler of 3.5 inch diameter tubing for street legal travel. The Mopar ignition is controlled by an MSD 6AL box. The oiling system is by Milodon it has a Charlie’s pan to allow for the tie rod.
Fuel is carried by a 15 gallon trunk mounted cell with a built in A1000 pump. There is a new regulator, billet filter and braided lines with AN fittings. All by Aeromotive. Cooling is by a Meziere 55gmp electric pump, a new Aluminum radiator and two thermostatically controlled 11 inch fans.
The horsepower is sent through a race built 727 transmission. It has a reversed-pattern valve body that is still actuated by the pushbuttons. The convertor is by Turbo Action J. There is a deep pan.
The rear end is a Dana 60 with 4.56 gears and a spool. It has Wilwood disc brakes and SuperStock springs (US made) as well as Caltrac adjustable shocks.
The front suspension is completely rebuilt and powder-coated. It has all new ball joints, bushings and tie rod ends. The shocks are by Strange and are adjustable. It has Wilwood disc brakes and a Hurst Line lock. The front end was just aligned.
Wheels are Sander 4” and 10” x 15. The slicks are MT Pro Bracket radials of 10.5 by 29.5 and the skinnies are ET Fronts.
This car is almost street legal. All lights and signals work properly, including the license plate light. You will need to run some DOT tires. The exhaust is loud, but muffled.
There are no wipers. The horn relay is actuated by the button, so if you hook up a horn, you would have that covered. The speedometer is not accurate, the parking brake cables are missing and the radio does not play. You can secure the car by locking the doors and trunk via the keys.
I have built many race cars. Often, mine are not even close to being this nice. This car is definitely worthy of display at World of Wheels. I have built race cars. Often mine do not have this much power and potential. I have built race cars. Often mine will perform at the track, but most do not have a chance of being street legal. When I boil it all down, I can tell you that you could not build this car for $50000. Just try to find a 62 Dart 440 in such great condition!
This California built car has morphed from a mundane and rather unattractive street snoozer into a very beautiful, tenacious and formidable street/strip race car. It certainly can’t be called a sleeper.