At 13 years of age I started saving up money for a car. I saved up $500.00 by the time I was 15 years of age, now I did not choose the car, my mother took my money out of my account and bought the car to surprise me and what do you know a Mopar. I was happy just to have the car and used to just sit in it in the driveway just day dreaming about when I could drive it. This was back around 1981. It came yellow, and black interior with a slant 6, which I painted the valve cover and the intake manifold, blue and silver and a 5 on 4 bolt pattern, bench seat, no air, and a big slant 6 rear end.
Well, I got a part time job and really only had enough money to buy a few things so I bought 2 American racing wheels only because at the time I liked big wheels on the back like my Schwinn bike, but did not realize I needed air shocks on the car so the car would not sit on the tires so I got some of those also. Now how I got into drag racing, well I was heading home with my American racing wheels and slant 6, I was at a stoplight on Colfax and a car pulled up revving his motor up and the person looked over at me in his Trans Am and said you want to race and for some reason I said “okay” and the light turned green and he was gone and me and my slant 6, was still sitting there and then I hit the gas thinking I was going to catch him but he was long gone. So I suddenly got the fever and not knowing too much about engines, I was the type that the way you take things apart you put it back a visual learner.
By the age of 16 ½ I was putting in a stock 318 v8 on a slant 6 k-frame and all I had to do was turn the motor mount upside down to make the 318 fit and used the tranny that came with it. Oh yes, I kinda invented my own motor mount for a v8 at that time. Now I was buying Mopar magazines and doing some reading and right before I put the 318 in I put an Erson cam and lifters in. Not knowing a lot I bought a manifold for it and once I did that I started going to street races when I heard about them. Watch them do a smoky burn out and to get my car to do one I would pour a little transmission fluid under my tires thinking both tires spun not knowing while in the car only one tire spun and always did the burnout from a distance did not want anyone to know my secret for a smoky burnout. And then one day doing a burnout I heard a clunk and one wheel in the back was wobbling, I had broke the rear end and had to set out to get a new one and found one an 8 ¾ sure-grip I got lucky at the salvage yard.
At a point in time I started doing high school drags for my high school and I was the only one supporting my school. I dressed up my engine with valve covers chrome Moroso air cleaner, and thought that was it for a time and use the car to drive to school and to work, the only thing was the winter was not so good to me and the big tires. One day I had to go to work and got four blocks away from my house and got stuck in the snow and luckily I had my stock tires that came with the car in the trunk and yes in the snow I changed the tires and when I was done got in the car and went straight through the snow those E78 tires they worked good slicing the snow.
A few years had gone by and I got a home and a good paying job. One day by chance a guy had stopped me and asked me what I had in my car and I said just a 318 and he said does it run and to me I thought so, so I said yeah I think so, he said hey come out to 44th and Tower Rd, Saturday and there will be a few cars out there and it is in a warehouse area and I said okay. Saturday came and I went I saw some guys racing and heating up their tires as I watched from afar. So I decided I was going to give a good smoky burn out so I got out put my little bit of tranny fluid by the tires and this time I had a posi unit and preceded to do a smoky burnout, those guys seeing that they came to me and asked do you want to race that was a pretty good burnout and of course I said yes not really knowing much about horsepower and speed as of yet. There was a 72 Dodge Demon, 74 Dodge Dart, and 70 Roadrunner. They put me up against the Roadrunner it was red it had an air grabber hood white stripe down the side.
We lined up and was flagged off he left so did I but I was no match for the Roadrunner. After it was done I was told by the other guys he has beat all of us and then we all started laughing. After that and more races and losing I decided to go find me a 360 motor, bought some Arias pistons and had it bored 30 over and still used the stock heads and someone said you should buy a converter I was like for what reason I got one already and so they told me about it and I found one at the time made by a company called GER, so I got a 3000 stall after doing some reading. Well after that I was beating people a lot but I was in the middle of the pack and wanted to be among the top guys so after a few years I decided to go big block 440 but before I went out to look I had the car painted a starburst red. Added some different rims some side pipes a rear spoiler and changed the hood scoop and put a sunroof in it. I think I wanted a hotrod with style at the time and put Monte Carlo swivel seats in for a time and that is how I left it until I got all the parts for a 440. I still kept racing and in the mean while got a k-member, found a tranny, got some fenderwell headers from someone getting rid of them and also bought a cam and pistons, all that was needed and this time had the heads done never told a soul. I took a 3 week hiatus in that time I was wrenching living in the garage until it was done. Oh yeah, I had some help from the Mopar guys who had beat me we became good friends. Took the car between the warehouses after it was done and did some testing and all was good, the car pulled and I could hear the air whistle into the carb as if I had a blower but I didn’t, and I also tested it against my Mopar friend with the Roadrunner he got beat pretty bad.
I went out to the races acting as though I did nothing kept the hood closed and waited til someone wanted to race. I had changed my license plate to D E A L ME1. After beating a lot of cars people thought I had nitrous because after hitting second gear it took off. I went through several upgrades in the motor. In Houston it ran a 10.90 but blew a head gasket because it was too lean.
The 440 is now a stroker which I have not ran at the track. It has 15×10 Centerlines on the back, Caltracs on it, also took out the swivel seats for race seats, changed the Starshifter to a Megashifter, a dominator sits on top of the motor, I also installed a roller cam and took out the purple 590 solid that put me in the 10’s. My car is still a work in progress and I’m glad for that because it gives me something to do, it lets me have something to look forward to do because it’s not finished. I also put a flip-top gas cap on it and I like that a lot. I also went online to Streetbeat Customs and got after market headlights from Winjet that fit right in where the original fit, they are brighter, and lighter than the ones that come with the car.
Well it is the year 2013 and I still need quarter panels and a fiberglass hood, and the back seat needs recovered, other then that I have a ways to go before I think it will be done.
This is what it looks like as it sits today 2013.