This car was sold new by Kolesar’s Garage of Westfield, PA to George McAndrews of Wellsville, NY. George traded his 1965 Coronet and $1000 cash to get this factory built drag car with A990 engine.
These cars were basically a one-year only project by the Skunkworks of Chrysler. The Hemi engine had been banned by NASCAR the previous year, so they were determined to build a factory car that would dominate the stock classed of NHRA. During this era, there was a direct correlation between success in racing and retail sales. “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” was the mantra.
There were 102 Plymouth Belvederes built and 101 Dodge Coronets built in quest of NHRA dominance. All had the 426 Hemi race engine and all were factory modified to reduce weight and increase traction. These cars weighed about 3400 pounds on race day.
The A990 Hemi engine was 426 cubic inches, had 12.5 to 1 compression and was equipped with an Aluminum water pump housing. It had a Magnesium intake manifold topped with specially tunes Holley carburetors. The K code Aluminum heads are unique.
The 727 automatic transmissions were built without a park pawl and had high stall torque convertors and a manual valve body with reverse shifting pattern. The reverse shift pattern and no park are labelled on the column shift indicator. This transmission was still cable shifted, yet the column did not house the cable for park. The tail shaft housing of the 1965 727 race transmission is unique.
This car was sold with 4.56:1 gears and a Sure-Grip differential in the Mopar 8.75 inch rear end. It seems hard to believe these rear ends would take the abuse, horsepower and torque delivered to them at the drag strip. But they did!
Many subtle and interesting modifications and deletions were utilized to reduce the weight of the 1965 factory race cars. The body panels were acid-dipped and Corning lightweight glass replaced the windows of consumer cars. The small bucket seats used in the A100 vans replaced the bench seat. The heater, radio, rear seat, outside mirror, sill plates and splash guards were deleted. The carpet was very lightweight and no sound deadener or undercoating was utilized. One headlamp bulb from each side was eliminated and the grill was customized to cover the headlight bucket.
For increased traction, the battery was moved from the engine bay to the right rear corner of the trunk. The spring mounts were drilled to allow the rear axle to be moved forward two inches. While technically an altered wheel base, this tactic was considered as stock.
Evidence that this is a true A990 car would include the never used mounting holes for the battery, splash guards and sill plates. The mounting of the transverse muffler and battery includes specially placed bolts. The engine components are unique for 1965.
This car was never cut-up, tubbed or altered. The body remained in white, although it was lettered. Photographs as included. All factory original components were kept with the car. Much of this car is still original including all body panels and glass, the exhaust system and muffler, the radiator and much of the interior. The seats, carpet and headliner are original and unrestored. The door panels have been replaced. The body has been treated to a rotisserie refinish with underside being as nice as the topside. The chrome valve covers have not been restored and contain their original finish and decals. The bumpers have been replated. The correct sized wheels and tires are new.
The Hemi engine is date code correct. It was completely rebuild by Wheeler Racing Engines of Minneapolis. As raced, McAndrews had it prepared with Clevite bearings, Isky 590 degree cam, springs and retainers. The Prestolite ignition still fires the distributor. The original factory designed steel headers have been restored. They have cut-outs with caps, yet lead into a Y-pipe that begins the single exhaust system with ends in a transverse mounted muffler. McAndrews had filled this muffler with lead for added traction. During the restoration, the original muffler was cut open and the lead was melted away. The original muffler is still mounted beneath the car. The transmission and rear axle are original to the car.
If you prefer the race ready look, the original velocity stacks and sheet metal transition are in the trunk. There are a set of proper M&H Racemaster slicks that go with the car. By mounting these pieces and opening the headers, you would make a grand entrance!
It is very fortunate that all three owners retained some of the original documents from when the car was sold new. The Purchase Order and Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin are in the binder. This car was not street driven, thus is was not registered or titled until 2017, when it was titled in WI. The IBM Build Card was retained. Galen Govier has decoded the IBM Card and the Fender Tag and his report is included. In addition, some hand-written notes by McAndrews and the next owner are included in the binder.
This is a beautiful car worthy of ANY show. The fit and finish is spectacular. It is over-restored, yet still appears as original. The underside of the car is amazing and as beautiful as the topside. All proper fasteners, decals and seals were utilized during the restoration. The man who restored this car is very knowledgeable and has an extensive collection of rare early 60’s Mopar high performance cars.
I have been interested in factory race cars for many years. For the past twenty, I have had my eyes and ears open for an A990 car. I feel very fortunate to have discovered this treasure and look forward to showing it off. It is for sale, but it will never by on sale.