Detroit Muscle Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to PowerNation
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> Today on Detroit Muscle.

(Tommy)>> We take our '69 Dodge Charger to the Mopar Nationals in Ohio, to get die hard Mopar fans reactions. Then we hit the open road to strut its stuff and lay down some rubber in an all out tire assault.

(Marc)>> Plus I start prepping the shop for our next project. Tommy has a different plan in mind.

[ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Hey y'all, welcome to Detroit Muscle. We've been busy in the shop working some late hours. So I'm chasing me some r&r. If you're into American muscle, pistol grip four speeds, some treasure hunting you're gonna like what we're doing today.

(Marc)>> This is the 39th Mopar Nationals held at National Trail Raceway. It's like someone took a giant bag of Skittles and scattered them all over the 207 acre site.

(James)>> It's kinda like Woodstock for cars. I mean there's a little bit of everything here. ( )>> The drag racing, the swap meet, all the people that we meet. ( )>> It's a closer knit brotherhood. ( )>> The Americans are more crazy than ours that love Mopars.

(Tommy)>> Like most outrageous events the Mopar Nationals started from humble beginnings. Just a few guys with a passion for Mopars and a good time.

(James)>> I went to the '79 Street Machine Nationals in Indy. We had like a little Mopar contingent that were all parked together. Anytime we'd see Mopar car go by we're like hey, come park with us. And we started talking about it and we said why don't we just do a show for Chrysler products. We've got the contacts, we know people. We can go to Michigan. We can do Milan Dragway for the drag racing, and then Sunday we all got into the Chrysler proving grounds. So all the cars got to go on the high bank oval and do laps. So that was just a great time, and it just has snowballed from that.

(Tommy)>> So what is it about this car that keeps bringing those Hemi hellions to the cornfields in Ohio?

(Dan)>> Nothing sounds like a Mopar. Nothing was designed like a Mopar, and nothing has the colors like Mopar. ( )>> They're an elephant motor, they're an icon.

(David)>> It's a great brotherhood of car enthusiasts and people. ( )>> They're cool!

(Tommy)>> Now normally everybody tells you not to spin your tires. That's the actual purpose of this event. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> There's no doubt that the burnout contest is a crowd favorite. ( )>> Woo!

(Tommy)>> One thing I really enjoy about coming to car shows is when they have the swap meets because you never know what you're gonna find, and sometimes you strike gold. ( )>> It's a 1970 Plymouth Superbird. One of 19 known to exist as per the registry. This is car number four. The first 10 cars were all alike, and they were Petty Blue, white interior, four speed, no console, tik tok tach, and 15 inch rally wheels. Now the car came out of Pennsylvania. The owner had actually had four Superbirds at the junkyard there. He had an orange one in the barn and the Petty blue one. They had a V-5 four speed one that they had drove, and they had had a Superbird that was also in the junkyard. When I was talking to the guys that owned the cars he told me that he'd never paid over $800 dollars for any of these cars. That nobody wanted them when they were new and nobody wanted them when he bought them. Everybody sure does want them now. This one we haven't even tried to turn it over yet. We just brung it out for everybody to see it as is. Everybody's always seen them restored. They're just a different color. They all look the same. It's kinda rare to see one in this present shape, and there's been several people come down and say hey, a car like this has to have a story. Sit down, I want to hear it, which is really good and you meet a lot of good people. Car people are the best.

[ engine revving ]

[ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> And with the Nats being such a premier show we knew it'd be a great place for us to show off all of our hard work.

[ engine starting ]

(Tommy)>> To say we were amazed by the reaction to the car would be an understatement. ( )>> Is an incredible car because '69 Charger is the best Charger. ( )>> The engine is something unreal.

(Mike)>> I think the car's phenomenal because it's an ideal blend of old and new. A lot of us that buy muscle cars, they're too much of a beast to really drive a lot or far distances. This is one I could hop in, drive 1,000 miles, have a great day.

(Tommy)>> Don't go away. Marc preps the shop for whatever our next project is.

(Marc)>> But Tommy has a trick up his sleeve, and later we head back to the Mopar Nationals for some cruising in our Hellcat powered Charger.

(Marc)>> Well we've done a clean sweep on all of our projects here and we've got a lot of empty space. We rearranged the furniture a little bit and not only that got it cleaned up real nice. Now with all this empty floor space there's only one thing you can do with a shop like this, and that's fill it up with some new project cars. Here's what I'm thinking. Two door sports car sitting right over here. Maybe lipstick red. Something we can take to the track, or a '70's Trans am themed car over there. Then again we had a lot of fun with that CTSV a while back. Maybe we bring in another four door. Just got so many ideas. I don't know where to start.

(Tommy)>> Shoot man you must have forgot about my baby girl. I had it sitting up there on the shelf and now it's time for us to knock the dust off of it and get back on her.

(Marc)>> Now you would make quite the entrance like this wouldn't you?

(Tommy)>> Well it ain't me that made the entrance, it's the car.

(Marc)>> I thought we put this thing out to pasture?

(Tommy)>> Uh-uh, just on the back shelf letting it ripen with like fine wine, you know what I'm saying?

(Marc)>> When I saw Tommy come in the door withe forklift and that Buick sitting on the forks I couldn't believe it. I mean that thing had been gone for so long. Sat on the back burner. I figured it was solid. Actually I figured Tommy probably traded it. He does a bunch of wheeling and dealing. I've seen him with a new goat. I figured that's probably what he traded it for.

(Tommy)>> Now I know this old Buick isn't necessarily Marc's favorite ride but we've got to finish this thing man.

(Marc)>> You wouldn't believe it but I like this car, and now that I see here in the shop we've actually got quite a bit of work done already.

(Tommy)>> Yeah we've got the bumpers doctored on front and rear, fabbed up a rear spoiler. Plus it's sitting on that trick chassis and the motor and tranny's in it.

(Marc)>> So where do we go from here? What's next?

(Tommy)>> I want to do a bit of plumbing and go ahead and conquer the exhaust. What do you think?

(Marc)>> Let's do it!

(Tommy)>> On our Buick I'm wanting the performance benefits of a set of headers. I've ordered a couple of sets of Hooker Black Hearts that are for an LS swap, but where everything gets all complicated is with our chassis. The engine's been moved further back and down for better handling, and I sure hope one of these two help us out. See if this fits.

(Marc)>> Oh long tubes!

(Tommy)>> Yes sir, we're gonna put these on if they will fit in the hole. Custom chassis, you know you don't really ever know.

(Marc)>> I don't know if the chassis is going to be the problem. I'm hitting the bell housing right here already.

(Tommy)>> Well before I go any further is it really hitting pretty?

(Marc)>> Yeah, it's hitting. You got something else we can try?

(Tommy)>> Yeah I've got some mid lengths.

(Marc)>> Let's try that and if we have to make these fit we'll make them fit.

(Tommy)>> He's probably gonna fit in like butter.

(Marc)>> Let's see. Oh look at that. I am flat up against the head.

(Tommy)>> That one fits nice too.

(Marc)>> Yep, you can go anywhere with that thing.

(Tommy)>> Yeah we'll be able to tuck that pipe a lot closer to the floor board.

(Marc)>> I like that.

(Tommy)>> Well I guess that made the decision for us.

(Marc)>> There you go. You gonna polish these?

(Tommy)>> Heck no I ain't polishing them. Marc's gonna polish them.

(Marc)>> I'm not doing it.

(Tommy)>> Well we've got the header cinched down and now it's time to do some plumbing. Marc's gonna run the pipes from the collector all the way to the back end of the car and me, I've got a little trick up my sleeve.

(Marc)>> I'm gonna start with this "X" that we got from Magnaflow. This is a really good place to start because you figure out where it's gonna fall and then you can plumb from the headers to the inlet, and then from the outlet to the back of the car. There's one more thing we have to take into consideration with this build. We've got this custom chassis here, and it's got the provisions already here for the exhaust pipes to go through. That's great because we can slam this car really low, tuck the exhaust in nice and tight. Drawback is we've got to hit that bullseye just perfectly.

(Tommy)>> I've been tinkering with fabbing up a fancy exhaust tip that's gonna compliment the tail end of our Buick, and this is what I've got so far. What we still need to do is build the inside of the tip and make it so that we can connect it to the tail pipe. What we need to do now is cut off this inside of the bumper.

(Tommy)>> I'm gonna cut this piece out so that I can make room for that inner tip. Now I've got to grind all this paint off so I can weld on my piece. [ welder crackling ]

(Tommy)>> With this piece tacked into place now we're gonna start putting together the inside of it, and I'm making it out of two different pieces. More and less an upper and lower. Once I get it wiggled around into the sweet spot I'll go ahead and tack it into place. I'm making this stuff out of 18 gauge mile steel because it's heavy enough and yet light enough to work with. Next thing we need to do is determine where we want our tube to come in at on our tip. Now I want it to be far enough back that it gives the tip a lot of depth but at the same time not so far back that it interferes with my fuel tank. I need to make me a mark, and then I can get this bumper off and finish up the project.

(Marc)>> Stay with us as we finish up the details on our exhaust and bumper on Street Regal.

(Tommy)>> Plus we had back to Ohio for a Mopar cruise that leads to a smoky situation with our 700 horsepower Hellcat Charger.

(Marc)>> Alright well I've got those first pieces of tubing tacked into place on each side and they're really imperative because you need to make sure that it's level and also point straight toward the rear of the car, but not only that they need to be the same height. I've got that accomplished. Now I can move on to the mid pipe but I've this piece right here that I found out in the warehouse. This is actually an "X" pipe out of a Magnaflow direct fit kit that we had laying around. Somebody already stole some pieces out of the kit. So I took this. This is going to be ideal because the spacing on the pipes here gonna go right through those holes in our frame. So I'm gonna get this mocked up, connect the dots. There we go. We decided to use these V-band clamps from Magnaflow because they're nice and high end, and you can remove then and re-install them as many times as you'd like. Alright I'm just gonna check and make sure this is level with the ground. Looks good!

[ drill spinning ]

(Marc)>> Like a glove!

Look at that!

Now with everything mocked up all the way to the "X" I can take it all back apart now and start doing some welding.

(Tommy)>> Marc's been making some pretty good progress plumbing the pipes up under our Buick and me, well I've been whittling on some steel and we're ready to weld on the top plate. [ welder crackling ]

(Tommy)>> I got all the welding done on the back side that I could. So I flipped this thing over. We're gonna grind off this excess and then finish welding up everything on the front. [ grinder buzzing ]

[ grinder buzzing ]

(Marc)>> Well I'm at the point now where I need to start building the tubes that go up over the axle but before I do that I want to get the mufflers in place and make sure I end up in the right spot. And another thing too, Tommy I need your input. I want to make sure this muffler position's going to jive with your tip.

(Tommy)>> Yeah it should be just fine. We'll have to put a 90 on it to connect it but nothing too serious.

(Marc)>> Cool, well I can start working my way this way. Will you grab me a pole jack please? Let's see I need two 45's.

Let's see how this thing looks on here.

(Tommy)>> It's gonna look amazing!

(Mar)>> That's fancy I'll tell you that.

And it's heavy. Now with the bumper mounted and adjusted I can start making my connection between the muffler and the tip.

We're using one of Magnaflow's universal kits. What's nice about these is they have all the bends necessary to fabricate this entire exhaust system front to back.

Well now that the muffler's tacked into place I know it's not going anywhere. Then move on to get these tubes built over the axle.

[ saw buzzing ]

[ saw buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> Man your plumbing work under here looks pretty nice.

(Marc)>> I appreciate it. Is it up to your standards though?

(Tommy)>> We don't need to be talking about my standards buddy.

(Marc)>> I'll tell you what, the tip looks nice. I like what you did with that.

(Tommy)>> Thanks man, I know each time we're getting a little closer to hearing this thing roar and I can't wait.

(Marc)>> Coming up Tommy takes the Charger out for a stroll that leads to some Mopar mayhem.

(Tommy)>> We're here at the Super Mopar Cruise and this is what it's all about. All those long hours we were putting in, having arrived as finally finished, we're gonna stretch its legs. I've got a good friend of mine. Hope y'all like the ride as much as I do. Riding in this one what do you think about it.

(Ted)>> Well I'm starting to get more interested in this modern application of drivetrain to body. A lot of guys have been doing this for quite some time now but this car here you get the comfort of air conditioning and a nice stereo, a stupid amount of horsepower, and good looks to go with it. So you get it all.

(Tommy)>> I appreciate all those compliments you gave about me but we're supposed to be talking about the car.

(Ted)>> Right, right. The ride on this car is not bad.

(Tommy)>> We've upgraded the suspension on the front, back. It's got big massive brakes on it. Is this stuff what you have to have? No but it sure does make it a lot of fun.

(Ted)>> Yee Ha! That just came out. That wasn't supposed to happen.

(Tommy)>> We gonna see what second gear feels like.

(Ted)>> Wee! [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> You know that was one, two, and three, and there's still four, five, and six to go.

(Ted)>> How fast will this go? About 300 miles an hour?

(Tommy)>> That's if you let the wings down. See that's what's funny. No sir officer I wasn't exceeding the speed limit. I just got to it relatively quickly. Now I know you have a Hellcat and some of these older cars. With weaving the two together are people on to something?

(Ted)>> I think so. Like I said, the ability to cruise, make trips, etcetera in a car like this in comfort makes a big difference. A lot of guys are getting on up in their years now, and they don't want to sweat on those old vinyl seats anymore, and you can take a car like this and drive this thing to the west coast if you wanted to.

(Tommy)>> You know something about them Hellcat engines and that squall if you will.

(Ted)>> That whine. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Woo! You gonna let me borrow your Hellcat one weekend?

(Ted)>> Not the way you drive. It's amazing how smooth this thing is. What are you doing, 65, 70?

(Tommy)>> That's what I'm gonna tell you.

(Ted)>> These Hellcat engines have got such a nice flat pull to them. It makes it a lot of fun to drive and ride in. Like I said, you can't deny the fact that this car has got some of the best lines of any muscle car, era of car, or for that matter any car.

(Tommy)>> Yeah you know you could probably argue that a '69 Charger could be the prettiest Mopar ever.

(Ted)>> I would say that would be a semi accurate statement.

(Tommy)>> You must have another favorite then.

(Ted)>> A '70 Challenger.

(Marc)>> With the sun setting we pulled into the town of Buckeye Lake, and to our surprise the road was lined on both sides with Mopar lovers. Every 100 feet somebody is wetting down the street hoping for a burnout. It felt a little like Mardi Gras. Of course we obliged them. [ engine revving ]

[ crowd cheering ]

(Tommy)>> Well that does it for us here at the Mopar Nationals and with the cruise to Buckeye Lake. It's time for us to head home, and get this thing cleaned up, and head off to Dallas.

(Marc)>> Now with that validation we can go to the auction in Dallas with confidence we have a great ride. [ engine revving ]
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