GREETINGS FROM THE GRAVE

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - BY MARK WORMAN

Hello Mopar mus­cle fans! Wel­come to my very first ar­ti­cle in Mopar Mus­cle. It’s a great honor to be able to share some of my Mopar knowl­edge and thoughts with all of you.

As some of you may know, I have a tele­vi­sion pro­gram air­ing on the Ve­loc­ity net­work, called Grave­yard Carz. For those of you fa­mil­iar with the pro­gram, you know I eat, sleep, and breathe all things Mopar. For those of you Mopar mus­cle car fans who haven’t had a chance to catch the show, this is the pro­gram for you. At GYC, the car is the star!

For my first ar­ti­cle, I wanted to share some up-to-the-mo­ment go­ings on at GYC and fu­ture ar­ti­cle sub­jects I hope you’ll look for­ward to. We be­gan air­ing our ninth sea­son, which in­cludes our 100th episode, of GYC on March 7 on Ve­loc­ity. I’m re­ally proud of how the show has done and of all the folks who help make it pos­si­ble. Our in­cred­i­ble team of restora­tion tech­ni­cians de­serves all the praise for the fin­ished prod­ucts. I own the pro­duc­tion com­pany, The Divi­sion, which pro­duces the show. There too, I’m very proud of my team. The guys and gals in pro­duc­tion, post-pro­duc­tion, and so­cial me­dia give the show a great look and man­age to make our au­di­ence feel like we’re talk­ing di­rectly to them. I’d be se­verely re­miss to not thank each and ev­ery fan who has sup­ported our pro­gram since day one and came on board along the way. You are our test group, we lis­ten to your feed­back, and we’re al­ways chang­ing to bet­ter in­form and en­ter­tain.

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AROUND THE SHOP!

We just com­pleted and de­liv­ered Chris Ja­cobs’ ’68 GTX to the SEMA show. It was un­veiled at the Mopar booth on the first day of the show and ap­peared on the first episode of sea­son nine on March 7. Chris’ GTX re­ceived a Mopar Per­for­mance 392 crate Hemi and con­troller unit, just like last year’s ’71 ’Cuda. Re­cently, we fin­ished a beau­ti­ful ’70 Road Run­ner 383 fac­tory three-speed car that had been con­verted to a D21 four-speed. We also com­pleted the way-too-long-in-the-mak­ing ’70 Chal­lenger R/T 440 four-speed, Plum Crazy (FC7), Black Vinyl Top (V1X) and White Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Stripe (V6W), which is 1 of only 916 made and likely the only one with that color com­bi­na­tion. Our fear­less Gen­eral Lee was also fin­ished. Fea­tured in the 2005 movie The Dukes of Haz­zard, this car was one of our big­ger chal­lenges. It was the “free­way launch car” you see in the film, and holds the record for the long­est jump in any The Dukes of Haz­zard TV show or movie. My buddy John Buck got his ’71 Chal­lenger R/T for­mal roof car back. He bought this car brand new off the show­room floor in FJ6 Green-go. How­ever, when it was just a cou­ple of years old, it was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent. John wanted them to paint the car com­plete at the time and they did. The prob­lem is, they painted it FJ5 Sub­lime by mis­take. Our reveal was the first time John had seen the car in its cor­rect color since 1973.

I love work­ing on these in­cred­i­ble cars, but I’ll be hon­est, I get jeal­ous of my cus­tomers. So I’m very pleased to say that one of the coolest ve­hi­cles we’re work­ing on here ac­tu­ally be­longs to me. I’m build­ing a Grave­yard Carz ver­sion of Bill Mav­er­ick’s Lit­tle Red Wagon, aptly re-named, The Lit­tle Dead Wagon. Cur­rently, it’s in our metal shop where I’m work­ing with one of the tech­ni­cians on re­in­forc­ing the uni­body to han­dle the pow­er­train. The LDW is get­ting a Mopar Per­for­mance 426 Hemi that’s be­ing built by Ray Bar­ton. It will fea­ture a BDS 871 blower and dual De­mon carbs. There’s a lot to share with you on this one so stay tuned for fu­ture ar­ti­cles fea­tur­ing build de­tails.

We’re in the fi­nal assem­bly stages of three ul­tra cool and rare Mopars:

•1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Mag­num, au­to­matic,

air con­di­tion­ing, in TT1 Medium Green Metal­lic over green •1970 Dodge Chal­lenger R/T SE 440 Mag­num, au­to­matic, air con­di­tion­ing, power win­dows, leather seats, in FF4 Light Green Metal­lic over black •1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Mag­num, au­to­matic,

in stun­ning MM1 Tur­bine Bronze Metal­lic over white •1969 Ply­mouth GTX 440 Su­per Com­mando,

au­to­matic, in B5 Bright Blue Metal­lic over B5 •1969 Ply­mouth GTX 440 Su­per Com­mando,

au­to­matic, in Q5 Seafoam over black •1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Con­vert­ible, 426 Hemi,

four-speed, in FT6 Dark Tan Metal­lic over tan (1 of 2 built)

These are just a few of the 110-plus cars we have at the shop right now. In each is­sue, I want to share a lit­tle tech, a lit­tle tip, and a lit­tle love for each of these Amer­i­can leg­ends. In next month’s is­sue of Mopar Mus­cle, I’ll dis­cuss what it was like to pur­chase a ’69 GTX from the Ply­mouth dealer back in the day. I’ll share orig­i­nal deal­er­ship color and trim se­lec­tor guides, fac­tory price guides, and what you could and couldn’t get in the way of op­tions and pow­er­train com­bi­na­tions. I’ll also share up­dates on the cars men­tioned above, as well as some re­ally handy tips on met­al­work for the DIY guys and gals.

GYC’S 100th episode aired on March 21. In cel­e­bra­tion of our 100th epi-ver­sary, we re­flect on our un­aired pi­lot, show­cas­ing a lot of never-be­fore-aired ma­te­rial. I know it’ll be easy for all of you to see our mis­takes, mis­cues, and novice in­dis­cre­tions, but we had to start some­where. When I had the idea for GYC, I thought the first thing we needed was a pi­lot. I didn’t learn until years later that a pi­lot is usu­ally cre­ated af­ter a net­work has com­mis­sioned the pro­gram. What did I know? Any­way, we made the pi­lot with very hum­ble means. We bought a Vixia camcorder from Wal­mart and bor­rowed our pro­ducer, Aaron L. Smith’s fa­ther’s cam­era, which was the same model. I ob­tained a cou­ple of used mi­cro­phones and a mixer and off we went. So please keep in mind when you see some of the un­aired pi­lot it was made with heart, not money. And as they say, the rest is his­tory.

I be­lieve the rea­son our lit­tle show is suc­cess­ful be­cause of you, our loyal and new fans. It’s im­por­tant to me that you make your voices heard. From the pi­lot episode through our 100th episode, you’ve helped shape our pro­gram. We lis­ten to you, and I want to en­cour­age even more con­ver­sa­tion as we speed into the fu­ture. So please, if you have ques­tions that can be ad­dressed in fu­ture issues or sug­ges­tions for the show, email me per­son­ally at mopar­revival@ya­hoo.com.

See ya soon!

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