GREETINGS FROM THE GRAVE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
See ya soon!