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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At little overdue in making this thread but as some have seen my whoring posts last year I acquired a car that was in my list of dream builds but didnt think I'd own. Probably a long winded post but here we go.

Many years ago in 2015 one of the Speedhunters Editors aqcuired an ugly Mopar from the era when smog was overtaking the ability to stuff giant motors in small cars. It was born as a 1975 Dodge Dart sport with an automatic slant six with powder blue paint and a bench seat. Somewhere along the line it received a 318 swap and then sat for probably a long time (discovered some fun in that myself as well later) The car was intended to be a mild diy build with basic improvements and his personal touch for adding some inspiration from the decades of JDM and Trans Am cars he also was obsessed with. Over a short time, the build gained serious traction with several companies joining in sponsorship to provide parts to the car which would be destined to appear at SEMA 2016 as a feature for the new Mopar Plug and Play Crate Hemi engines. At the time I was dailying my Mustang Cobra and had been running similar thoughts of blending JDM influence into an american body so this build was right up my alley since I was already in love with classic Cuda's and Demon's. The transformation from an ugly late year duckling to an aggressive race inspired cruiser was pretty impressive.

You can view the Speedhunters articles on the build progress here. Project Yankee - Archives Speedhunters

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Plant


Wheel Tire Vehicle Sky Car




Fast forward a few years later and the car had mostly been sitting at the owners house in Socal where he decided to list it for sale. At the time i was interested but did not have the room or financials to acquire any sort of car. So it disappeared eventually and i lost track of the car and didnt think it would pop up again. Fast forward a few more years and the entire world is stuck in quarantine. I originally bought a Corrado in the beginning of May as a quarantine project but quickly fell out of love with the car realizing that it was too nice to ruin with mods and required too many fixes as a result of a decade of neglect. In August a friend came across the ad for the car on Ebay via facebook or ig i think. He sent it right over to me and prodded me to yolo. I was very hesistant, being that I am already 4 cars deep at the time 2 being the Corrado and an attempted Gambler mustang i was trying to get rid of already and the other being my fateful Scirocco. I messaged the seller on ebay and we had a bit of back and forth before I made an offer without seeing the car. (Should also note the car was in Texas, having come from another buyer in New York who bought it from Mike in Socal a bit before that.) I debated flying out but with the pandemic in full force and the seller seemed trusting, I knew what to expect as not much had changed since the build so I wired some money and arranged a shipper to pick up the car.

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car Vehicle


A few days later the car showed up. Not without a little bit of issue. The shipper immediately asks "hey did you know about the clutch" and now I'm worried. I'm not sure if it was something that wasn't disclosed or the shipper broke the master but the reservoir on the clutch cylinder was completely empty when he tried to back the car off the lift. We couldnt move it at all so I quickly ran off to grab some brake fluid to hopefully get some pressure back in the line. Thankfully was able to pump it up enough to get it working and off the truck. Had a bit of back and forth with the seller and they didnt seem to have issue with it so i just let it go and added it to the list of things I would change. In the meantime I hadn't actually told anyone I was buying the car and had been keeping a secret from my close friends for fun. First on the list was get the car registered again in California which also had me on some hesitations when I bought the car knowing very well first hand how out of state reg can be very annoying. The car also arrived with no license plate so I was terrified to drive it further than dmv or around the block so i still hadn't gotten any seat time. Thankfully the car was pre-smog and despite the obvious engine change and other mods the car was able to be California approved after a few seperate trips and the acqusition of a reproduction door VIN sticker. It was also fun having 2 purple cars at the same time and 1 dedicated garage spot with 5 cars....

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Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood




Among the first things on my list was remove the tacky 69 decal that had been added and some of the other stickers that i wasnt a fan of. When the car was first being brainstormed for sema there were several renders with a body line gold stripe that mimic'd a specific Kenmeri race car. And since a Kenmeri is probably top tier of my classic dream cars I figured why not pretend its JDM a little more.


Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood



Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Car



Unfortunately around this time I started noting all the little issues that needed to be fixed to enjoy the car and also improve it. A lot of things were to be expected, the wrap has a fair amount of fading after 5 years and I wasnt concerned about that but several other areas cosmetically are also in need of some help.

The clutch issue was still persisting with a slow leak from the master cylinder. Seemingly caused by overextension of the pedal. As well as being the heaviest clutch I've ever driven with a horrible throw. (and i thought cable clutch mustangs were bad)

The previous owner had a shop perform some terrible work which resulted in a fan shroud that doesn't fit the Radiator properly and is wired to be constantly on.
The trans had apparently been serviced but shifted like stirring a bucket of rocks and would not shift into 3rd in higher RPM.
The exhaust was modified from the original side exit pipes and just made into a straight axle dump, causing horrible noise inside the cabin and making every little metal piece inside rattle like its falling apart.
A Texas Speed big choppy cam was installed and tuned allegedly but the car suffers from horrible rev hang.
There seems to have some horrible clunk on left turns randomly. Been checking bolt suspension and diff is now suspected source (maybe needs friction modifier).

Started off with some of the easy things, the main being interior rattles. The interior was built with some nice looking rolled aluminum panels originally but at no point did any previous owners put any sound deadening or soft material behind them so they constantly rattled while driving. So I took them all out and added high density foam to the entire panel creating a full seal between the panel and the body so they couldn't rattle as much. The dash still suffers but that had some ideas brewing for removal.

Still hadn't been able to enjoy driving the car as much as I was hoping in the first few months but was making the best of it.


Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Sky


Car Vehicle Sky Water Tire



I'll pause here for now since I'm limited to uploading 10 photos per post.


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
was wondering if you had turned your back on TCL. now that you’ve had a while, is the exhaust better? Perhaps a lighter flywheel will help with the rev hang?
Never forget tcl. Just had been away until last year.


Exhaust is definitely better so far. I can now drive without earplugs. Still working on getting a good video. Will post pictures of the changes in my next posts.

I think the rev hang is due to tune and the drive by wire. Idles fine and goes into gears well but the throttle closes really slowly around 2k rpm when I blip it.

speaking of JDM... are those Volk TE37s???
Yessir. In an unusual spec too. Unsure if they were custom but they were def ordered specifically for the car. Fitment is good and I like them but I still have my eyes on some alternatives to try.


I remember seeing this on Speedhunters and then having seen your posts of it here I was curious what the back story was. This is such a cool car, thanks for sharing (y)
It's been a unique experience and I wanted to give myself a record of ownership before I forget all the details so far. Have more to post and will definitely keep updating.
 

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Awesome! It looks like you're missing your long braided oil cooler hoses and fender flares though.

also it probably needs some dashboard tsum-tsums and headrest pillows


When I was a kid my family had a baby blue '74 Valiant 318. My dad wisely sold it the spring before my older brother turned 15 1/2 (learners permit age)
 
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I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!!
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Also Erik, I don’t know if i mentioned it on IG or not but one of my brothers had a Duster 340 of similar vintage when I was a child and it blew me away. The first muscle car I ever rode in, it was so damned cool. This was probably maybe ‘85ish? other than trucks this was the first domestic I remember him owning, he was the aircooled VW patriarch of the family and it was a shock to see him pull up to my folks place in this. It was a creamy brownish color, but it has the stripe and the awesome Duster decal on the back with the bitchin split tail lights. Such an amazing body style and it has aged extremely well.

I’m really happy that somebody I’ve (kind of) known for years picked this up and I’m really excited to see what direction you take this car in. I’d been following along before this car was acquired and I really enjoyed watching the build and how it turned out. Now that it’s in your hands I can continue watching this car vicariously through you. I think the world needs more oddball restomod malaise era domestics and less high water mark auction babies.
 

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This thing rules!
 
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