His and Hers Mopars
Jan 19, 2016 6:43 PM - 1704 Views
Over the years, it’s become pretty obvious that Judy has been converted into an all-out, no holds barred, Mopar maniac. “When Art bought the Coronet I started learning a few things about what makes a car work. When he bought the Dart for me and started restoring it, I was totally in,” Judy smiled.
When Art started working on his wife’s new ride he did so with her in mind. Judy made it clear what she wanted her piece of muscle to look like; it had to have an overall appearance that exuded neat and clean. No gaudy metallic or metal flake paint, absolutely no spoilers or big stripes anywhere on the car, no hood scoops, or big over sized wheels. When Art finished the restoration, Judy stepped back and readily approved her husband’s handiwork. “The car is just perfect, just what I had envisioned.” Judy stated with pride.
Judy was now the owner of a super clean, no frills, black on black on black, 1974 Dodge Dart. Nothing gaudy or extra to cause any distraction, just a very tasteful red pin stripe, highlighting the classic, upper body line of the car. The chrome wheels and raised lettered tires added just the needed bit of accent. The real bling is under the hood of this ebony beauty. “Judy wanted chrome under the hood,” Art affirms. “And chrome is what she got.”
Judy’s Dart is a 1974 “A” body sitting on a stock suspension. The front torsion bar suspension is a modified K-frame with upgraded ball joints and spool-type engine mounts that Chrysler made standard equipment with the 1973 model year.
The rear suspension is the standard Chrysler leaf springs with an eight and three quarter inch differential with a 3:55 rear gear. The brakes are upgraded single-piston, 4.5-inch bolt pattern discs on the front, and standard drum and shoe on the back.
The 360 Cubic Inch steel block motor under the hood has been bored .030 over and retains the standard bottom end; The crankshaft and connecting rods are stock Chrysler, the only exception is the over sized flat top pistons to accommodate the .030 bore. The heads are steel heads with a standard hydraulic vale train common with the X-casting high performance heads. The intake manifold is a high rise polished Air Gap, paired with a four-barrel carburetor.
The ignition system is the stock electronic system that Chrysler offered as standard equipment on all of its engines of this era, and the revised starter motor for faster engine cranking is also bolted to the side of Judy’s motor. The exhaust system is comprised of 2.5 inch Hooker headers and retains the 2.5 inch dimensions through the back of the car. A Chrysler 727, 3-speed automatic transmission moves the power to the rear end.
The interior is just as neat and clean as the exterior of this beautiful little black dart. The car was originally equipped with a bench seat in the front however, Judy wanted bucket seats and a center console in her car, so, during a trip to the Nationals, Art came across a pair of high-backed bucket seats and he knew they would be perfect for his wife’s Dart.
Once the seats had returned a family friend , designed and fabricated the center console that would sit between the newly redone, black leather buckets with a red “Dart” embroidered into the back of the seats. The dash and instrument package are original with the exception of the added oil pressure, temperature, and voltage gauges installed in the center console.
Now, let’s take a look at Art’s car. Art’s ride is very unique in the sense that, according to the Chrysler archives, this very pretty red on red, two-door hardtop Coronet is one of just 83 ever produced. Most of the first generation two-door hardtops had a white or tan interior.
This 1967 “B” body Chrysler is as close to its original condition as it was when it rolled off the showroom floor. Art paid strict attention to maintaining a complete numbers matching car throughout this particular build. The chassis components are strictly stock; torsion bar front suspension and standard leaf springs on the back. The front has been upgraded from the original drum and shoe to a single piston disc system. Art made this change to the braking system for safety and reliability reasons.
The engine is the original factory 383. The engine was bored .030 over and stock .030 flat top pistons were installed to accommodate the bore. A purple shaft high-performance camshaft was installed to help with the overall performance. The original 383 cylinder heads were replaced with 906, 440 steel heads with a standard hydraulic lifters. The top side includes a polished intake manifold with a 750 double pumper carburetor.
The engine exhausts through 2.5-inch Hooker Headers, coupled to a 2.5-inch Dual exhaust system clear back to the dual chrome exhaust tips. The power is moved to the 3:91 rear gears through a modified 727 transmission. Art installed a manual valve body in the transmission to allow him the ability to manually shift gears when he races the car, which he does just once a year at the Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. His best time to date is a very respectable 13.75 at 102 mph, not bad at all for an old full-size Coronet 500.
The interior in the car is completely original with the exception of the carpet, seats and door panels. The headliner remains factory original. The dash and instruments are completely original and still 100 percent functional.
The body was repainted using the original Chrysler paint code for this particular vehicle. All chrome on the car was removed and re-plated. Just like his wife’s Dart, there is no body filler anywhere on this car.
Today, both cars reside in the warm sunshine of Florida where the Frank’s use the cars as occasional drivers. You will find Judy and Art proudly showing off their cars at various local shows and displays throughout the Tampa Bay area. When you come across these cars at one of the local shows, you will notice they are always parked next to each other, just like their owners, after all these years, side-by-side and still looking good. StreetRodding.com
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