DION MARSON 1963 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE
Dion Marson’s Plymouth Belvedere was the total package — show-spec looks, mega power, and the right underpinnings to make the most of that power. Despite that, Dion eventually decided he wanted something else. He found it in a 1970 Dodge Coronet that was built to the same formula. In fact, the Super Bee also graced the cover of NZV8 — Issue No. 109. Around two years ago, the Belvedere was onsold to Wanganui’s Bill Armstrong, who happens to be even more horsepower crazy than Dion. Under Bill’s ownership, the big Wedge engine was removed and a blown 572ci Hemi dropped in, although that engine is really destined for Bill’s Dodge Charger.
Bill tackled the Masterton Motorplex drag strip in the car and, despite the car’s tubbed rear end, had all sorts of traction problems. Those issues have now been resolved, thanks to some suspension tweaking and new shocks.
The original motor was torn down by Dave at TPE Racing, where it was discovered that the crank had a large crack in it; it was only pure luck that it had not destroyed the block. The rebuilt motor now has a displacement of 473ci, thanks to the 400 block being fitted with a 440 crank. The valve springs have been replaced, as they were toast, and a new set of billet caps holds the BME rods to the new crank. Bill’s plan now is to run the car this coming season, hopefully with some decent run times, and then sell it to fund the Charger build.