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We hit Cyclone Automotive Products (Burbank) for some equal-length headers plumbed into a low-restriction exhaust system. Aside from taking 60-70 pounds off the front end, we didn’t know what they were worth in terms of a power increase. Next, we got Dick Landy (Van Nuys) to screw with the factory-set lean condition, now running even leaner with the headers. He hand-drilled the metering plates 0.003-inch larger with a 0.92 bit. He made the ignition advance come in fully at 1,600-1,800 rpm and disconnected the vacuum advance.
Although I wrote the story, CC’s tech editor Jerry “Twin” Mallicoat (best known for the Mallicoat Bros turbocharged Willys Gasser and a stretch with Chrysler’s Viper racing team) kept the keys in his pocket most of the time. But he put in his time and expertise. He excised the stock shifter for a rugged Hurst Super Stock rendition. This one, however, positioned the stick nine inches closer to the driver and it wasn’t made for the Charger. Itwas specific to a slick-shifter transmission. Pulling that short stick on a full-synchro tranny was a chore. Twin had to make the hole in the floor bigger to make it fit. What I omitted from the story was the way he’d installed the rest of it. The mount was too far to the left of the console for the
Twin had glommed some 8.90x15 slicks from the Goodyear guy and stuck ‘em on 6-inch wide steelies. They fit right under the fenders. Twin liked to ride ‘em on the street, too. At a Wednesday night Lions we opened the headers, and loosened the alternator belt. The tires were already on. Seemingly, the slicks did the trick. I couldn’t get off the line without bogging the engine, even at 5,000rpm. I pinned the throttle at 6,000 and side-stepped the clutch, changing gears at 6,200. Ooooouuu. The Charger liked this. I liked the 13.18/106.54 even more. But it wasn’t so much a matter of too much bite rather than lack of low-end response. We bumped timing to 40 degrees. Then Ralph Hanson stepped up and did another one of his things.
This time he put a 4783 two-barrel on either end of the manifold. These carbs didn’t have vacuum diaphragms. They had accelerator pumps requiring custom mechanical linkage, but I alerted the readers that the Edelbrock Equipment Company had already begun working on it. Obviously we’d taken the usual liberties of the period, stuff that would send a PR flack into apoplectic spasms today. The unwritten deal was that you put everything back to stock before relinquishing the car.
For the final assault on the fabled Lions asphalt, we knocked the Goodyears down to 10psi. The bite was good. The launch was straight. The Charger bellowed for blood. My best pass was a 12.87 at 109.54. The next day, pain shot through my shoulder. The Visigoths were happy. Jack McFarland wouldn’t be.