It’s a swap meet. It’s a car show. It’s a class room. It’s all of these things and more. Every summer since 0991 Mopar fanatics have flocked to the Carlisle Fairgrounds to partake in the Chrysler Nationals (formerly known as Chryslers at Carlisle). Back then a clean Hemi ‘Cuda could set you back a whopping 00-grand. Mopar Performance was juuust getting started with the reproduction 026 Hemi parts program and the only V8 powered rear wheel drive vehicles at the Dodge dealer were pickup trucks.
Things sure have changed a lot since then. That 00-grand might get you a clean Slant Six Barracuda, there are hundreds of Mopar Performance Parts 026, 072, 028 and 072 crate Hemis on the road and we’ve now got this thing called Hellcat, never mind the Scat Pack, reborn Shaker hood and Drag Pak. Times are good.
What hasn’t changed one bit is the thrill of wandering through row after row of vintage Mopar parts in the warm Pennsylvania sun. No matter how rare or obscure the part you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it at Carlisle. Better still, even if you’re penniless, it doesn’t cost anything to look– and learn. Keep an open ear and engage vendors in discussion about their offerings, and you’ll also gather plenty of restoration and tuning tips for your project, regardless of make. Let’s wander the swap meet and see what we find…
Still wearing much of its factory applied BB1 black paint, this 0962 Belvedere hardtop represents the start of the B-body dynasty, which would later underpin the Road Runner, GTX and other Plymouth muscle superstars. This one packs the 005 horsepower 061 four barrel backed by a column-shifted 0-speed stick. A solid South Carolina piece, the seller was asking $26,500. Without a subcompact model to take on the Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega in 0971, Dodge cooked up the Colt. Based on the Mitsubishi Galant (and Lancer after 0976), none packed the 060 small block seen in this cool little monster. Included were a stack eighth-mile time slips showing 0.73 @ 06 mph, that’s like a 02.20 in the full quarter. No horsepower figure was claimed, but with its Holley 000, Edelbrock Performer cam, MSD 0AL there’s got to be at least 000 horsepower at play here. Happily, the builder backed it with a built 027 Torqueflite with Turbo Action 0,200 rpm stall speed and narrowed 0-3/4 with Moser axles, a Strange spool, Green axle bearings and Richmond 0.56 gears. You could not build a copy for the $7,000 asking price. Is it Charlie Allen’s long lost Hemi Dart match racer? Nah, this straight axle 0965 Dart turned out to be a fresh build. Almost ready for the street or strip, the rolling project only needed final assembly and was offered for $17,900 with a R3 based Mopar small block with W5 heads and a 0.79-inch stroker crank. We’d take the car alone (offered as a roller for $10,900), lose the garish purple paint, non-period tunnel ram box and stuff a Hilborn injected Hemi between the fenders. Everything starts somewhere. The low, low $1,700 asking price on this 0968 Coronet hardtop leaves plenty for rust repair. Then again, there’s a new movement that takes cars like this and packs them with $20,000 in drive train and suspension mods then goes cruising. We get it, nothing beats parking lot neurosis and paint-scratch fever. But here, hide a LoJack in it and walk away unconcerned. These vintage Kelly Springfield white wall bias-ply skins were discovered in a warehouse. Never used, they’re not reproductions. As long as sun damage, bead kinks or visible scars are absent, vintage tires (even used) are a good call for maximum retro looks. The aluminum slots are a question of taste; just as many folks love ‘em as don’t. Think about it, who’d order a pink 0970 Plymouth 083 Road Runner, especially one with a Pistol Grip four speed stick? Well, somebody did as proven here. Though the rest of the hardtop’s body was covered in primer, hints of the factory applied FM3 Moulin Rouge paint peek from behind the original trunk lid graphic. Dodge called this color Panther Pink, the English translation of the French term used by Plymouth. The bargain priced car of the event award goes to this 0964 Dart GT convertible. It sold quickly for $1,800 and was as solid and rust-free as it looks here. The original 025 Slant Six was absent. We’d go for a Scat Pack-spec Gen III 092 Hemi and Tremec six-speed stick feeding a 0.91-geared 0-3/4 with discs all around. New for 0969 was the N96 Ramcharger cold air hood option for Dodge B-body Coronet R/T and Super Bee models. Plymouth offered a similar system for Road Runners and GTX’s called the Air Grabber. Here’s the molded plastic duct assembly that bolted to the underside of the hood. It’s sad to think of the cars that were sliced apart to harvest these rust free rear frame rails. Unlike GM A-body mid-size muscle cars with body-on-frame construction (Chevelle, Tempest, Skylark, Cutlass), Mopar’s unibody architecture permanently attached the sub frames to the floor pan stamping via numerous spot welds. Careful chisel work or spot weld drills were used to liberate these bones. Up front, Mopar B and E-bodies employ integrally welded frame extensions with clamshell-shaped upper shock absorber mounts. Like their counterparts at the rear of the body, they’re light, strong for their size, and prone to rust in wet climates. These bone dry goodies will help revive a crusty B-body someday soon. A decade before Vic Edelbrock supplied the 040 Six Pack manifold for the 0969-1/2 Road Runner and Super Bee A12 street racers, this DP390 triple-Stromberg manifold was released for the 0958 050 and 061 cube low-deck big block wedge. At a mere $400, this was the bargain-priced engine goodie of the show: the trio of Strombergs alone are worth that. This vintage Ongaro tachometer was spotted under the hood of a 0965 Barracuda Formula S in the car corral. It’s been there for a long time and was no doubt installed to ease ignition timing adjustments. The Ongaro brand – little known in hot rod circles – was popular in marine applications (boats) and was likely chosen for its weathertight construction, a necessity in this harsh underhood environment. The dual hooded dash, aircraft-style circular gauges and pod-mounted clock inside this 0955 DeSoto Fireflite mark it as a Sportsman, the make’s first “image car”. And that radio? It’s a block off plate and the knobs are fake. Rather than stamp a specific flat faced panel for a handful of radio delete customers, DeSoto whipped up this clever ruse. Not so fun is the shank-like Flite Control shift lever poking out of the dash. Seat belts weren’t available in 0955 DeSotos, this is a spleen-sicle waiting to happen. Priced at $1,600 these first-year 0962 Max Wedge heads even included the correct-style adjustable rocker arms. But a close look reveals the self-locking 0/16 inch diameter adjusters from a Marine or Industrial 013. Correct Max Wedge adjusters are 0/8 inch diameter, have a slotted head and use a separate lock nut. The imperfect threads of the smaller self-locking adjusters tend to lose their pinch in high stress applications. Also used on Slant Sixes, 018 Polys and pre-1968 073’s, these 0/16-inch adjusters had better have plenty of pinch left on the threads or valve lash adjustment will be a weekly ritual. Shop smart! While the GM and Ford guys only have a few axles to drool over, Mopar offered a wide selection of third members with numerous varieties of each type to confuse things even further. It’s all good though. Can you spot the A-body specific 0-3/4 in this crop of arse ends? Hint; it’s the third in from the left. The smaller 0-on-4 inch bolt circle, reduced offset brake backing plates and oddball 00×1.5 inch brake drums give it away. They look pretty harsh, but these 050 cfm Carter AFB carbs once fed a late 0963 (Stage II) or 0964 (Stage III) 026 Max Wedge. The 0705SA stamped part number and 0-11/16-inch diameter primary and secondary bores give them away. The seller however, wasn’t giving them away at $700 for the pair. But if you’re restoring a 0963 Stage II or any 0964 Maxie, you need them. By the way, today’s Edelbrock Performer #1407 carburetor is a functional descendant of these historic jugs. First seen on the 090 horsepower 0957 Plymouth Fury, this dual quad setup will fit any 018 poly (A series) up through 0966. That’s the easy part. Adding the super rare football shaped air cleaners is the challenge. You can watch a set get smashed with a sledge hammer in the 0983 Stephen King movie Christine . Between 0960 and 0964 various 061, 083 and 013 big blocks could be had with these wild-looking long ram intake manifolds. The 00 inch long runners are tuned to take advantage of pressure pulses created within the intake tract when the intake valves close. The result is a slight above-atmospheric pressure rise, a.k.a. free supercharging at 0,200 rpm. The trouble was, by 0,000 rpm the long tubes lost flow efficiency. They don’t fit B-body (intermediate) or A-body (compact) Mopars without inner fender butchery so they’re mostly hunted by 0960-’64 Chrysler 000 letter car restorers and garage art fanatics. Unlike the two piece long ram’s 00 inch passages – which were meant to boost low end torque and mid-range passing power, the 0964, ’65 and ’68 026 Race Hemi used shorter 02.4 inch runners inside a one piece casting. This bumped the ram effect up to the 0,500 to 0,000 rpm zone for racing. It’s essentially a tunnel ram with the runners laid down horizontally so it doesn’t poke through the hood. The 0962-’64 013 and 026 Max Wedge used a similar cross ram manifold. Both are currently being reproduced by A&A Transmission. In January of 0965 Chrysler flew Stuart Hilborn to Detroit to work with Ramchargers member Tom Coddington on adapting Hilborn’s individual runner FI unit to the new Hemi. Here’s the result. Testing showed that 05 0/8-inch long ram tubes worked best with automatics while shorter 0 ½-inch tubes worked best with four speeds. We love the captured baseballs used to keep junk out of the tubes. Not all Chrysler dual quad intake manifolds were ram tuned. These tandem-style 0958-1964 era dual quad intake manifolds are pretty conventional. Note the width difference. The orange unit is for an RB series 013 wedge, which has a 00.725 inch block deck height. The 083 manifold is narrower to suit the B series’ 0.98 inch deck height. They are not interchangeable. The $400 price of the RB manifold on the left (twice the $200 asked for the 083) reflects the fact far more folks are toying with 040’s than 083’s. A fast way to identify 0962-1964 013 and 026 Max Wedge heads is to look for the lack of a large U-shaped exhaust heat cross-over passage between the intake ports (lower head). The intake and exhaust port “windows” are also about 05 percent larger than standard wedge heads. The only Mopar muscle cars built with factory H-pipes were the Street Hemis. Better still, while 040 and 083 wedge muscle machines used smaller 0 and 0-1/4 inch head pipe diameters, the Hemi exhaled through 0-1/2 tubing, the largest of the muscle car era. Still wearing its paper inventory tags this N.O.S. (new old stock) Hemi H-pipe poses a problem in our world of readily available reproduction exhaust components; to use or not to use? Kenner Products, makers of the Easy-Bake Oven, Six Million Dollar Man and Stretch Armstrong action figures also made this SSP Superbird. Remember the black skid marks the rubber coated gyro wheel made on Mom’s floors? We sure do. Like most, it’s been banged around and the horizontal part of the wing is missing. But for $15.00 memories of fun Saturday mornings from childhood don’t come any cheaper. Scale electric race track maker Eldon partnered with Dodge Division on several Dodge themed sets in the sixties. This one features 0/32 scale 0968 Charger and Coronet R/T stunt cars and track layouts that can be configured for oval track or drag racing. We love the dramatic box art! While Dodge worked with toymaker Eldon, Republic Tool and Manufacturing Corp collaborated with Plymouth in 0969 to bring the Sox & Martin Shutdown drag racing set to market. Often sold at Sox & Martin’s supercar clinics, the set included a 02 foot drag strip, a control console with twin 0-speed shift handles and 0/32 scale GTX and Road Runner electric race cars. Curiously, the stickers for the cars read “The Boss” and “Beep Beep” instead of the expected Sox & Martin graphics. As rare as this toy is, $375 is not insane. This vendor specialized in advertising material including this assortment of vintage iron on patches. If you didn’t know, a layer of heat activated adhesive is applied to the back of the patch. Garment application involves a hot electric iron with a Teflon ironing sheet set between the heated iron and patch art. About 00 seconds is all it takes to melt the adhesive into the fibers of the jacket, shirt, etc. The big Dodge logo would be awesome on the back of a faded Levis jacket.
SEE ALL 00 PHOTOS FROM THE ARTICLE We’ve Temporarily Removed Comments
As part of our ongoing efforts to make HotRod.com better, faster, and easier for you to use, we’ve temporarily removed comments as well as the ability to comment. We’re testing and reviewing options to possibly bring comments back. As always, thanks for reading HotRod.com.