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Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we head to Dallas to check out the sights and sounds of the Mecum auction as we roll our Hellcat powered '69 Dodge Charger across the auction block.

(Tommy)>> Plus we jump back on the '85 Buick Regal getting it one step closer to firing it up, adding a new intake and a trick cooling system.

[ engines revving ]

(Tommy)>> Hey y'all, welcome to Detroit Muscle. We're here at Mecum auctions in Dallas, and there's plenty of eye candy laying around this joint. We're also looking for a new build. So we're gonna see what we can come up with.

(Marc)>> Sure this is a good place to buy a car, but it's also a good place to sell one. So we brought along our 1969 Dodge Charger here. You know to free up some capital. Besides you can't keep them all. So here shortly we're gonna see this thing cross the block and find itself a new owner. Until then I'm gonna go check this place out. Mecum is a lot more than just hundreds of cars and trucks for sale. It's a full on automotive hurricane. It takes a lot of hard work to make it the big top attraction it has become. The funny thing is it all started from a giant storm itself.

(Frank)>> We started the auction in 1988. It was just a, our family had been in the car business forever. My grandpa was in the car business. My dad had bought a group of collector cars. He decided that he wanted to sell them at auction. So he got his friends together to bring cars to the auction. Set up for a onetime event. After the event was over a tornado came through. Took down all the tents. He owed everybody so much money after the damages that he had to do it again and that's how it started. This is our 32nd year. We're the world's largest collector car auction selling over 15,000 cars a year. We have two tractor auctions, a memorabilia auction, and a motorcycle auction as well.

(Marc)>> From the humble start Mecum auctions is now like a traveling high tech circus that runs with the precision of a railroad. There are over 1,100 vehicles here in Dallas alone.

(Frank)>> Everybody gets to see the auction on the block and on t-v, but what they don't see is the work that goes into getting the setup. Getting in a week before hand with a crew that gets setup in under three days and ready for a 1,200 car auction. Our business has never been better. We're at a golden point in our business right now. You have more cars than we've ever had. We've also had more buyers than we've ever had. Usually you have one or the other but we're at a point where we have as many buyers as we have cars, and it's just created a great market for us. You're seeing a lot more resto mods becoming popular. The cars with the old look but new technology. You're seeing a lot more younger people coming into our hobby, which is great for the long term, and you see a lot of different cars starting to go to that next level. We've sold airplanes, we've sold trollies, we've sold just about everything.

(Marc)>> It's really impressive to see how much work gets done in just a few days here at Mecum. Now it's time to check out the competition to see what our Charger is up against, and we really wanted to take a look at what other Mopars are here. So we're gonna start with these 10 cars from the Peter Swainson collection.

(Peter)>> Well when I first started out talking to Mecum, talking with Frank, it was five or six cars I guess it was. So Frank paid me a visit. Come up from Wisconsin to my place, my museum, started looking around. In the mean time I'd thought about some cars I had duplicates of. I thought you know what, I have a number of '71 Chargers, and I though which ones could I part with, which ones could do well for me on a return? So that's kinda how that went about, and just to have a mix of stuff. You know they're not all Challengers, they're not all Cudas, they're not all Charger. You know there was a mix of them all. So that's kinda how I ended up doing 10 instead of the 5 or 6 I was talking about.

(Marc)>> Out of Peter's 10 cars 8 sold here at Dallas. Surprisingly this winged Daytona did not.

(Tommy)>> The term resto mod kinda has a broad definition to itself. Check out this '69 Camaro. It's got an LS-3 under the hood, five speed, big wheels and big brakes, and even a few billet touches. It's actually kind of a conservative build.

(Marc)>> Or you can go all out with a build like this fully custom '69 Camaro. This thing is wild! It's got a hot race engine under the hood. There's not a single panel on this car that hasn't been modified. Custom paint, high end wheels, and a full custom interior. This thing is crazy.

(Tommy)>> Our competition here ranges from restored relics, to imports, to American muscle. From street to strip we're up against them all.

Our good friend and car collector Tim Wellborn had this say about the whole auction experience whether it be as a seller or a buyer.

(Tim)>> If you go to auctions you're gonna find that sometimes you walk in and it's just electric. Other times it's not. The other times might be not really Saturday morning. Just getting revved up and getting going. Generally when you've got a great collection of cars coming through that energy's in the room, and people tend to get excited when that's happening. Not only the people who are watching who are not buying, but even the crowd gets into it. So as a buyer sometimes you can hear that revving up and you'll put your hand up another time or two, and that keeps that energy going.

(John)>> So far Mopars at Mecum Dallas have been very strong, but when you start dealing in resto mod cars everything changes because essentially they're all one of a kind. Late '60's, early '70's Dodge Chargers in particular, quite high quantity here. So there is some Mopar buzz but when it comes to resto mods you just never know what they're gonna do.

(Tim)>> I think the car will probably go for $125,000, maybe a little more. It's hard to say on the resto mods but they are developing so much energy these days. They're outdoing a lot of these correct restored cars like I like. I actually would not mind owning a resto mod of that quality.

(John)>> My initial reaction on this car was kinda in the early stages of the build, $75,000 to $90,000 dollars but after seeing the completion of the car, after putting my finger on the pulse of just the way the car looks, the presentation. Certainly the Hellcrate engine is the star of it, but even the subtle things such as the wheel and tire treatment, the paint combinations. I'm gonna stick my neck and predict we're gonna see six figure plus bid on this car.

(Tommy)>> Stay tuned, Hard Charger hits the auction block and Marc and I get our minds blown.

(John)>> Hang on to your hat!

(Marc)>> Alright all has been said and all the work on the car has been done, and we're back stage at Mecum auctions Dallas as our Charger is just minutes away from crossing the auction block.

(Tommy)>> I don't know about you but I'm both nervous and excited because this build has taken almost three years. Here we are now. We're gonna see what it brings. I'd be proud to have that in my garage. You know what I'm saying?

I miss her already.

(Marc)>> We're amazed at the buzz that is surrounding our Mopar as it makes its way through the staging lanes. One final wipe down and our Hellcat Charger was creeping its way toward the old auction block.

(Tommy)>> Our Charger is just about ready to hit the block. Marc's up there with the guys in the booth and I'm gonna be walking around the floor, and I have to say I'm about as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

(Scott)>> Alright here comes the '69 Charger resto mod. This build kinda took a little bit different turn than you had originally thought it might right?

(Marc)>> Absolutely, so yes. Like I said, we made a list of everything we wanted but what we didn't have was that one detail of which engine was gonna be under the hood. We actually planned on doing a full restoration on this car, and we ended up finally going with the 707 horsepower Hellcrate, and I think it was the right choice.

(Scott)>> I'd say that's a good call, huh John?

(John)>> Well I have to confess guys I was lucky enough to go down on the set, the stage at the shop and meet with these guys and look at the project in its early stages, and we had discussions about. They asked me what do you think would be a good direction to go, and I just threw it out there never thinking in a million years that it would ever happen but it certainly did. The Hellcrate engine, 707 horsepower, contemporary Hemi engine. Six speed manual transmission, full resto mod treatment. Hang on to your hat Marc my friend. We're at $160,000 dollars.

(Tommy)>> Still climbing.

(Marc)>> I don't know what to say. That's more than I anticipated. So I love it.

(Scott)>> You guys checked all the right boxes. JK and I looked at this car. It's the first time I really had seen it this week and the wheel package is on the money. The interior treatment, the vinyl top, everything, we're over $200,000 dollars!

(Marc)>> I can't believe it. [ auctioneer chanting ]

(Auctioneer)>> $210,000 if anyone wants to do that? What do you want to do back there Travis? [ auctioneer chanting ] ( )>> Your gonna get it bud!

(Scott)>> Big congratulations Marc. You and Tommy knocked it out of the ballpark. The quality, the selection, the stance, everything. There's your partner Tommy right there. Man did it payoff! $200,000 dollars my friend!

(Marc)>> Yes, he looks happy, I'm happy. I don't know what to say.

(Scott)>> I think you might call that speechless.

(Marc)>> It's hard to put into words just how amazing that moment was, but as we look at the winner, Thomas Patterson, signing for the Charger it's gratifying to see all that hard work and using all the best parts paid off big time. And that gavel price says it all. Tommy caught up with the new owner.

(Tommy)>> Well guys I'm here with Thomas, the high bidder on our car. I have to ask you a couple of questions. What made you really want this thing?

(Thomas)>> The car looks brand new and that Hellcat motor in it was awesome. I mean it's a beautiful put together car.

(Tommy)>> Another question would be what's your plans for this thing?

(Thomas)>> I'm gonna drive it. I mean really? I mean who would not want to drive that car?

(Marc)>> Well we did it. The car's complete and we sent it across the block no reserve and it paid off big time. $200,000 dollars, I can't believe it. That yellow sticker never looked so good.

(Tommy)>> I know man but y'all know what that means now? Well we've got a little bit of money in our pocket, we've still got some time. So it's time for us to go find us another project. What do you think?

(Marc)>> I've got my eye on something. Come here, I want to show you.

(Tommy)>> I hope it's not a Mustang.

(Marc)>> It's an El Camino. Woo!

(Marc)>> Coming up Street Regal gets some performance goodies to dress up that engine bay.

(Marc)>> Well I have to say that was a big win with the Charger, and now that thing's all finished up and gone we can move on to some other projects, like our Buick Regal here. That thing's been on the back burner for a while but we got the exhaust all plumbed up recently. It's time to move on to the plumbing under the hood.

(Tommy)>> Now we've got several systems that we're gonna terminate today, like the induction and the cooling, and when we get both of these done it's gonna get us a huge step closer to having this thing on the road.

(Marc)>> We've just got to get a few bolts out of the way here so we can get this intake manifold out.

(Tommy)>> What we're gonna be swapping to is this modular midrise intake from Holley. It utilizes a dual quad dual plane base plate, and then with a couple of adapters it converts it over to an e-f-i setup. First thing we need to do is install our O-rings on the base.

Here you go boss.

(Marc)>> Oh man, look at that.

(Tommy)>> Let me get some hardware.

(Marc)>> You know it's not too late to go with a couple of 750 double pumpers on here.

(Tommy)>> That does sound pretty sweet.

(Marc)>> You got the torque spec.

(Tommy)>> Yes sir. [ drill spinning ]

(Tommy)>> First step's 50. The next one is 106.

(Marc)>> Alright, thanks. [ torque wrench clicking ]

(Marc)>> Once that's done we can set our wrench to 106. [ torque wrench clicking ]

(Tommy)>> With our base plate torqued down I need to put in our gaskets, and then I can put in our mid plate. I'm gonna have to line everything up. It's not very complicated, and I say this thing's starting to look pretty cool.

Now we need to torque it. [ torque wrench clicking ]

(Marc)>> Left two.

That's it. Alright now we just need to get this O-ring here in the groove, and what's nice about this is it just sits down in the groove, and when we put the hat on, or the lid, to this intake the clamping force of those bolts holding that thing on are what keep this thing sealed. After I get the gasket in place now I can drop on the lid. I'll be using a little lube on the bolts, and install them hand before I torque them down for the first time. [ wrench clicking ]

(Marc)>> Well I just finished the first sequence of 75 inch pounds, and now I'm gonna go to 130. It's really important to follow the manufactures' specs on something like this. Not just torque spec but the torque sequence as well. The other thing you'll notice is they've got the bolts coming in from the bottom. You may wonder why, and that's because Holley's very specific about how they want their product to look and that's just one small thing they do to make it look nice. [ torque wrench clicking ]

(Tommy)>> The next thing we're gonna install is our belt drive system that we got from Summit Racing made by Billet Specialties. Now from where you're sitting you may be thinking that this is a bit intimidating because there's so many pieces to the puzzle, but in all reality if you follow the instructions it's really not all that hard. It comes with 140 amp polished aluminum alternator and a nice and shiny a/c compressor. The first step to getting all this installed is putting on your harmonic balancer. You making any progress cuz?

(Marc)>> Yes sir, I got that factory water pump and this balancer out of the way just for you.

(Tommy)>> Well I appreciate that. Now whenever you're doing something like we are here, swapping out our balance, one thing you want to keep in mind is you can't reuse your factory bolt, and we're swapping ours out for one from ARP.

(Marc)>> If you're doing repairs on a late model vehicle, say from '08 and up, re-flashing the computer tends to be something you send to the dealership to get done. Well not anymore with Matco's Maximus Flash Plus. This little box right here plugs into the vehicle's o-b-d two port using this cable, connects to the battery, and accesses the internet through this ethernet cable. Once all connected and online you simply request service from Matco's factory certified technicians and they take it from there. This will save you those dealership costs, which in turn saves your customer time and money.

(Tommy)>> Y'all stay with us. Street Regal gets a high end cooling system and one step closer to lighting the fires.

(Marc)>> Well we've got our belt drive all installed, and now it's time to move on to getting our cooling system mocked up and figuring out what we're gonna do for our air intake tube.

(Tommy)>> For an induction system we went to Summit Racing and got a universal kit that has several different bins, filter, and some brackets in it. So I'm gonna grab a couple of parts here and we can get started. There's a couple of things you want to keep in mind whenever you're plumbing your filter, and that is your filter location. You don't want it so close to the headers or the radiator to pick up excessive heat, and the other one is moisture. Now what I'm thinking I'm gonna do is place this thing about right here. That's a good central location, and then run the tube over to our throttle body. I am gonna cut out this lower part of our inner fender so that it can give it a little bit more fresh air, but I'm not gonna drop the filter so low in there that it could pick up wheel slosh. So first thing I think I'm gonna do is cut this piece of pipe off about right there so I can slip my filter on. [ saw buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> Now what we're fabbing is kind of a universal setup but it's technically a cold air kit, and what that refers to is it's pulling a cooler, denser charge from outside the engine bay into the engine.

With all that done the next thing we need to do is locate where we're gonna install the boss for our mass air flow sensor. Now there's a few things in our application that we have to keep in mind. One of them is it needs to be 10 inches from the throttle body. As far as the orientation in the tube it needs to be from horizontal up to vertical. As long as the connector is in that position you're fine. And also it needs to be in a six inch straight piece. So about right here should do the trick.

(Marc)>> Tubular man!

(Tommy)>> You're an idiot brother.

(Marc)>> What are you doing?

(Tommy)>> Working on taking this thing off so that I can weld it together and make it one piece.

(Marc)>> Probably gonna need that welder later.

(Tommy)>> Alright I can leave it on for you.

(Marc)>> I'm gonna work on radiator hoses.

(Tommy)>> Now with what he's working on let me paint a little picture for you. Stroll into a parts store and you tell them what you got, '85 Buick Regal. They're then gonna ask you what size engine you got? You say 525 horse LS-3. They look around at the keyboard, look back at you like you're dumb. We don't have any upper radiator hoses for that thing. Guess what you got to do? Make your own.

(Marc)>> And that's where these right here come in. All this stuff we're using is a-n dash 20 that we got from Earl's, and these fittings crew right into the bungs on that aluminum radiator we got from Frostbite. Another reason we're using these is because these are really nice and high end, and it's gonna match the theme of our build. Now I just need to get these ends here and figure out where they need to go. Well this all looks like it's gonna work out really well. I just need to loop that lower hose down. We'll get to that later, and this upper hose here is heading in the right direction, toward the water pump, but the problem is we've got this end right here that's an a-n dash 20 and the pump itself has this slip on bung for a regular radiator hose. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna use this little fitting right here, and it needs to weld on here, and that's gonna solve our problem but I've got to get that water pump off in order to get this welded on. So this entire belt drive system has to get removed.

(Tommy)>> We're gonna use our Lincoln Electric Precision Tig. It's great for welding aluminum like our intake tube. I need to cut a hole in this tube before I weld the bung on so that the mass air flow can slide into it. [ welder crackling ]

(Marc)>> Weld, weld, weld, looks good!

(Tommy)>> Thank you sir.

(Marc)>> Hey while you're all dressed up fancy do you mind welding this on here for me?

(Tommy)>> I guess if you'll put that on. Don't touch it, that's hot.

(Marc)>> Thanks!

Well we got that bung welded on and I went ahead and reassembled the belt drive, and Tommy made us a radiator hold down bracket right there. So now all that's left to do is make some hoses. We're using Earl's Ultra Pro hose and fittings. They're light and designed to withstand harsh environments, vibrations, and high flow requirements. Plus they're quick and easy to assemble. These things will keep our LS-3 cool and happy.

(Tommy)>> Man oh man aren't you fancy?

(Marc)>> Well thank you! That looks pretty good too.

(Tommy)>> Well we've got to have some filtration. You know what I mean. I tell you it sure is nice finally making some progress on this old girl.

(Marc)>> I know, we're getting close. We do a fuel system, and some ignition, and fire this thing up.

(Tommy)>> I think you're putting the cart before the horse on that one buddy.

(Marc)>> Yeah and we ain't even broke the horse yet.
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