That first photo is haunting, ain’t it? It’s the kind of scene a true gearhead hopes to stumble upon by sheer luck: they meet up with an older gearhead at a show who is just there to look over the iron, and they strike up a conversation. After a while, the older gentleman makes mention of a car in a garage that he’s been holding on to for years now, and with a little bit of persuasion, he finally lets you see what’s been hidden behind the door of the shop. The slicks, the ‘cage, and the stance tell you everything you need to know about this engineless beauty.
In 1964, the Chrysler Corporation had finally gotten fed up with the speed antics from Ford in both NASCAR and NHRA and set loose one of the biggest bombs ever to hit either racing series, the 426 Hemi. To say it was a wild card is an understatement: Ford was sent scrambling to the authorities, crying foul the whole way, while rumors persisted that it broke dyno gauges while making north of six hundred horsepower. Whatever the case, for 1964 officially no street-legal Hemi cars were produced. However, for competition purposes, a small number of Dodge and Plymouth intermediate bodies were selected, fitted with lightweight components and a pair of van seats, stripped of any and every unnecessary frill, and set loose on drags trips across America. They might not have been as flashy as a Thunderbolt or a Corvette, but these Mopars were not Granny Edna’s bingo ride.
Is this Dodge a real-deal lightweight? We doubt it. It is, however, one tough mother just by the look and deserves something better than just sitting in a shed. A Hemi would be the ultimate option, but really any pissed-off Chrysler big-block would do this monster justice. Back it with a 727, give it enough gear to get loose with, and we’d suggest putting it back on the street. As a Rough Start car, we might be bending the rules where immediate drivability is concerned, but for a bitchin’ project, you won’t do better than by shelling out half of the budget for the rolling body. Use the other half to get the car moving and start building up slowly after that.
(Courtesy: Bring A Trailer)