to tear down the suspension to construct a chassis strong enough for its soon-to-be-added power. With the help of his brother, C.W., and friend, Mike Ethridge, they completely revamped the suspension. All the bushings were replaced with poly pieces, and heavy-duty sway bars from Firm Feel were installed along with Edelbrock Performance shocks on all corners. Up front, the factory control arms were replaced with CAP Automotive upper and lower tubular control arms supported by heavy duty Torsion bars and a "firm feel" steering box.
The rear was extensively modified to make room for the large, 11-inch-wide rear tires. A Mopar Performance spring relocation kit was put in place, and big-block leaf springs were installed to help put down the power and make the car sit with a killer stance. Shelley's Performance in Spokane installed a custom 8%-inch housing with Moser Axles, 3.55 Motive gears, and a Detroit True-Trac. With the suspension all buttoned up, it was capped off with a set of custom J-Line wheels measuring 17x8 up front and 17x11 rear. The wheels wear Michelin Pilot Sport 255- and 335-series tires, respectively. Sitting behind the massive wheels are 12-inch Wilwood rotors with four-piston calipers to slow the Challenger down quickly.
The "hideous" interior was finally going to be addressed as Chris, C.W., and Mike began tossing plaid bits and pieces out onto the garage floor. "I figured the best idea was to buy a donor car with black interior instead of buying everything new. What I couldn't find or use, I purchased through YearOne." He found a '72 donor car and was able to use its carpet, headliner, trim pieces, and kick panels, but everything else was recovered or replaced. "What we pulled out of the donor was replaced with the plaid pieces from my car. We painted them black and sold it," he claims. The front seats were found in a Jeg's catalog and are A/R Racing buckets with custom upholstery from Fast Recovery in Spokane, and the steering wheel is a leather-wrapped Tuff wheel. Chris didn't forget the sound system and put in a mixture of Pioneer and Kenwood components, CD player, and subwoofers. The gauge cluster was rebuilt, recalibrated, and resurfaced by AutoInstruments.com.
With the rest of the car out of the way, he could once again give into his healthy obsession—power. A new Mopar Performance 360 Magnum block was given to Brian Rothmund at Shelley's Performance, and was bored .030-over and filled with forged JE Pistons, forged Eagle H-beam rods, and a forged Eagle stroker crankshaft. Final displacement came to 408 inches and was ready for boost. The ProCharger kit was modified and bypasses the intercooler. "When the kit showed up and I picked up the intercooler, I thought it was just too heavy and large. I didn't want to cut the car and put all this weight on the front end. That's when Brian suggested I run a methanol injection kit," Chris says. The methanol would cool the inlet air and also increase his octane rating, allowing him to run pump gas and get away without an intercooler. The kit was sourced from Snow Performance and uses a 1.5-gallon tank mounted in the trunk. Fuel delivery is also key, so Chris didn't skimp there either. An Aeromotive A-1000 pump using a %-inch Mopar Performance sending unit sends the fuel up to a modified Holley 750-cfm carburetor built for boost.
The air and fuel are forced into an M-1 single plane intake, then onto ported Magnum r/t heads. A .544/.555-inch lift 232/242-degreee duration Comp Cam on a 114 lobe angle opens the valves and releases the exhaust into tti headers with Dynomax mufflers. Sitting behind the engine is a rebuilt 727 TorqueFlite with a Gear Vendors overdrive, making his 727 a six-speed automatic. A full MSD ignition was installed and then the car was strapped to
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