By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 9/17/2021 6:00 PM HeritageVideo7 min readDODGE CLASSICS

Just a little over one month from now, Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions’ Great Texas Mopar® Auction Event will redistribute over 250 vintage and special interest cars, vans and light trucks from a quiet resting place in the Texas prairie to the driveways, garages and workshops of lucky winning bidders. You could be one of them.

Since this amazing collection of vehicles is presently stored in a huge field – sharing space with a herd of cattle and wild critters, including rattlesnakes – and because there are no facilities like restrooms, paved parking, handicap access and all the other details needed when gathering large amounts of bidders together for a traditional on-site vehicle auction, the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event is strictly online. It’ll all be handled via computer screen.

But fear not, every week of every year, Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions successfully conducts major online auctions featuring livestock, construction equipment, coins and jewelry – and, yes, vintage cars – so they have it down to a science. All you will need is a good Internet connection, a computer with video capabilities and you’re in the mix.

And because the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event is a no-reserve event, every last vehicle will be sold. There won’t be any of the disappointing “no sale, next lot number” flops that can happen with reserve-type auctions where seller expectations (and their reserve amounts) may not be realistic. Will many cars sell for very affordable bids? Count on it.

Let’s gather around and preview another five vehicles that’ll soon find new owners.


Like Cadillac to General Motors and Lincoln to Ford Motor Company, Chrysler’s Imperial brand started out in 1927 as a premium model above the Chrysler Series 50, 60 and 70 of that year. As Chrysler Corporation’s most elegant – and expensive – line, the Chrysler Imperial was finally made into a separate division in 1954, known simply as Imperial. This 1956 Imperial four-door sedan is an amazingly well-preserved, unrestored example of the entry-level offering.

Originally priced at $4,832 – $392 less than the sleeker pillar-less four-door hardtop – this one has the factory-installed AirTemp air conditioner, a necessity in its native California (the California “black plates”, which read MGK443, are still with the car). Big news for all 1956 Imperials was an increase in the size of the Fire Power HEMI® engine from 331 to 354 cubic inches and a compression ratio boost from 8.5 to 9.0:1. Output surged from 250 to 280 horsepower and even more hot-rodders began searching for crashed Imperials from which to snatch their HEMI-headed hearts.

But not here. Perched ahead of the Powerflite automatic transmission – with first-year push button controls – the 354 HEMI V8 engine is totally stock and wears its heavily silenced oil bath air cleaner unit. The Virgil Exner designed body and massive chromed bumpers and grille are in great condition with the “gunsight” tail lamps poised atop the vestigial tail fins. Though likely in need of a mechanical look-see before road use, this Imperial is ready for fun. The precise definition of that fun – driving to car shows and daily use, or removing the 354 HEMI engine for a hot rod and salvaging the front clip for a Chrysler 300 restoration project – remains up to the successful bidder.


Ba-ba-ra-ra-cu-cu-da-da. That was the refrain of a vintage radio ad for the Plymouth Barracuda when it made its debut on April 1, 1964, a full 16 days ahead of Ford’s Mustang. This 1964 Barracuda is one of 23,443 built but stands tall for its optional 273 V8 – a $131 upcharge over the base 225 Slant Six – and oddball column-shifted three-speed manual transmission. It also has the $100 Sport Group which added faux bolt-on wheel covers, whitewall tires and the three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel.

Though it wears an Eighties-themed bright green re-spray with “boy racer” paint stripes (not to be confused with the more tasteful Formula S center stripe of 1965), the bones of this Barracuda are very solid and ripe for resurrection. Retro funny car fans will notice the synchronicity between the lot number (43) and the fact NASCAR star Richard Petty (whose race number is 43) campaigned a Race HEMI engine-powered Barracuda match racer during Chrysler’s 1965 boycott of NASCAR race events. Would this solid Barracuda make a fitting tribute to “King Richard’s” 43 JR. HEMI engine-powered Barracuda? You decide.

1965 CHRYSLER 300 SPORT: LOT #44

1965 Chrysler 300 Sport

The entire Chrysler lineup received a total restyle for 1965 and this 300 Sport is an outstanding example of the breed. Unlike the preceding 1963 and 1964 models, which suffered from “muffin top” styling, the ’65s benefitted from crisp lines that made the car seem smaller and tighter despite riding on a two-inch-longer wheelbase.

One distinct – and brave – detail found on 1965 300s and New Yorkers was glass-covered quad headlamps. Also employed on 1965 and ’66 Imperials, these flat shatterproof panes featured fine horizontal lines which added an almost culinary feel to the design. Not to be confused with the 1965 300-L, the last of the 300 “letter cars” which were only offered as two-door hardtops and convertibles, the 300 Sport could be had as a four-door sedan or hardtop, a convertible or this two-door hardtop. Of the 27,678 1965 300 Sports built, 11,621 were sporty two-door hardtops like this.

Though the 300 Sport lacked the 300-L’s 413 big block engine, base power wasn’t too far away, coming from the 383 four-barrel which delivered 315 horsepower and came with dual exhaust, all of which are still present on this very clean, very original example. And while a floor shifted four-speed manual transmission was a rare option on all Chrysler 300s (Sport and letter series), the 727 TorqueFlite® was standard issue.

And while the idea of parting out a clean survivor like this chills the bones, let it be known that builders of 1962-1965 Max Wedge and Race HEMI engine-powered Super Stock clones treasure the one-year-only big block 727 TorqueFlite under the floor pan because of its 1965-only pairing of cable operation (easily mated to 1962-64 push button controls) and modern slip-yoke driveshaft coupling (versus the awkward 1962-64 companion flange). But this 1965 Chrysler 300 Sport is just too nice to part out. Right? Right!


Before WWII, station wagons were less popular than convertibles and wood body construction was the norm. But after the war, as returning servicemen started having families, the steel body station wagon became “a thing”. The breakout year was 1956 when station wagons accounted for 11.3 percent of all new cars of all makes in America – up from 8.2 percent in 1955.

This 1956 Plymouth Savoy Custom Suburban two-door station wagon was part of the station wagon bonanza. As a Savoy, it’s a mid-priced unit, slotted between the entry-level Plaza and top-tier Belvedere. Plymouth offered two- and four-door station wagons in 1956, as they did for many years before 1961 when four-door wagons became the rule. Of the 81,792 station wagons built in 1956, just 9,489 were two-door Savoy Custom Suburbans like this.

Base price was $2,312, just $46 less than its four-door sibling. Though the original 268-cubic-inch polyspherical head V8 is missing (non-V8 wagons lack the “Vee” emblems on the tailgate and grill), the secondary tailgate emblem tells us this car was originally ordered with the $184 Powerflite two-speed automatic transmission. Beyond those amenities, an austere feel permeates this nearly rust-free wagon from its primitive sliding glass side windows to its split “head banger” tailgate.

With its final-year coil spring front suspension (torsion bars arrived in 1957) and first-year push button automatic transmission controls, this original paint two-door wagon is a special find. We can’t see much advantage in performing a showroom stock restoration, but a tasteful 6.4 HEMI / TorqueFlite 8 infusion would add new life to this rare work horse.


1963 Dodge Dart GT Convertible

The Dodge Dart nameplate first appeared in 1960 as a replacement for the Coronet line. Those 1960-61 Darts were big cars. In 1962, the Dart nameplate transitioned onto the smaller – and all-new – B-body series of mid-size cars that hosted the mighty Ramcharger 413 Max Wedge for the first time. After just one year, Dodge once again shifted the Dart nameplate onto an even smaller car based on the compact A-body platform. And it is these compact A-body Dodge Darts that were produced in the largest numbers from 1963 through 1976.

This 1963 Dart GT convertible represents the first of the breed. Based on the compact A-body Lancer of 1961-62, the compact-sized 1963 Dart was born to take on competitors like the Ford Falcon and Fairlane, Mercury Comet, Chevy Nova and Corvair, Rambler American, Studebaker Lark, Buick Special, Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile F85 and Dart’s corporate cousin, the Plymouth Valiant (with which it shares its A-body platform).

While the vast majority of the 153,906 Darts built in 1963 were of the bland, basic transportation variety, Dodge set the Dart GT aside for those who wanted some fun. All GTs came with front bucket seats (an exotic detail in 1963), a padded instrument panel, full wheel covers and specific GT emblems, details which helped attract 34,300 buyers. There was no V8 offered until the 1964 arrival of the all-new 273 LA series small block, but as period magazine road tests confirm, the GT’s 145-horsepower 225 Slant Six was quicker than all but the turbocharged Corvair Spyder and Oldsmobile’s 215-cubic-inch all-aluminum V8 powered Cutlass Jetfire (also turbocharged).

The Dart’s base three-on-the-tree manual transmission was standard in the GT unless $172 was spent for the push button-controlled A904 three-speed automatic seen on this example. But more than the GT package, more than the bucket seats, more than the “dial-a-win” transmission, this Dart’s convertible status places it into a special realm. Again, of the 153,906 Darts built in 1963, just 11,390 – or about one in fourteen – were open air convertibles.

Sure, the vinyl top is in tatters, but the all-important power articulated top frame is present and ready for revitalization. A magnet test for rust and corrosion shows minimal rust and the under hood area lacks the typical holes and patchwork typical of rust belt examples. This little red Dart stands ready for fun and many more miles on the open road.

Well that’s a wrap for this week’s vehicle preview from the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event. But we’ll be back next week right here at the DodgeGarage with more, more, more!



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 9/10/2021 9:00 AM GalleryHeritage9 min readDODGE CLASSICS

As we enter the month of September, the October 13th and 14th date of the Great Texas Mopar® Auction event draws near. This once-in-a-lifetime no-reserve, all-online sale of the 250-plus special interest vehicles (to be sold on Wednesday, October 13th) and thousands of items of Mopar parts, memorabilia, tools and dealership training and sales materials (to be sold on Thursday, October 14th) from the estate of the late John Haynie is sure to set records and make history. And you can be a part of it. Bidder registration information can be found at the Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions website, as can pictures of each vehicle.

Even if you’re not looking to buy, you’re invited to play along by checking out the stories, pictures and videos right here on DodgeGarage. This week’s preview story features an interesting variety of offerings. Check them out!


Muscle cars with four doors. That’s what enlightened car enthusiasts call police cars like this 1974 Plymouth Fury III Police Pursuit. As Dan Aykroyd’s Blues Brothers character famously proclaimed: “It’s got a cop motor. A 440 c.i. plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model built before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas. What do you say? Is it the new Bluesmobile, or what?” This unassuming beige Plymouth is a virtual twin.

Though Jake and Elroy Blues rode in a Dodge Monaco Special, Plymouth’s Gran Fury (as seen here) was nearly identical except for nameplates, upholstery patterns and minor trim. And while the Bluesmobile had the top-cop 440 big block with 275 net horsepower, this Plymouth Fury III has the “next-best-thing” 240 net horsepower P-code 400-cubic-inch, high-performance big block V8. One thing that Elwood Blues (played by Dan Aykroyd) only hinted at is the fact the 1974 model year was the last before federally mandated catalytic converters arrived on the scene in 1975 as the EPA not so gently nudged automakers toward their duty of reducing pollution. As such, this nifty Plymouth has the final-year, full-length, high-flow dual exhaust system – with twin large diameter tailpipes jutting out beneath the rear bumper. And yes, these intimidating details are still present.

Beyond that, it has all of the A38 Police Special goodies, including heavy-duty suspension, 9-1/4-inch rear axle, high-capacity 28-inch wide radiator with shroud and seven-blade clutch fan, 75-amp alternator with dual belts, battery heat shielding, firm feel power steering, heavy-duty 727 TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, huge power assist front disc/rear finned drum brakes, 15×6.5-inch severe service rims, special bench seats with extra springs and thicker pads, tinted glass and that all-important certified 140 mph speedometer. And the metal trim tag even reads “special order”. How cool is that?

Twenty or thirty years ago, a big hulking Plymouth like this wouldn’t have attracted much attention. Supermarket parking lots and the roadways of America were teaming with them. But time has passed and suddenly these cars have come back into vogue. Especially the police versions like this incredibly well-preserved four-door muscle car. Is this your new Bluesmobile, or what?


1966 Rambler Marlin

This Rambler Marlin was a direct competitor to Dodge’s striking new Charger when it was a new car back in 1966. Sharing slick fastback roof styling, the Marlin – like Charger – was an adaptation of an existing model. While the Charger’s bones were shared with the mid-size Coronet, AMC based the Marlin on its Classic, a good thing since a commonly available 1966 Rambler Classic windshield will be needed to replace the broken one seen here.

Though a puny 232-cube inline six was the base engine, this well-preserved example has the optional 287-cubic-inch V8, which added a mere $122 to the window sticker and boosted power from 145 to 198 ponies. Based on Rambler’s first V8 – the 250/327 of 1957 – this 287-cubic-inch variant arrived in 1963 to compete with the 283- to 318-cubic-inch smaller V8s offered by the competition. Shift-it-yourself enthusiasts will enjoy this car’s three-on-the-tree column-mounted manual transmission.

Because Rambler management insisted that a six-foot-tall adult passenger be able to sit upright in the back seat, the Marlin’s fastback roof line has an awkward height not found in certain competitors. Sales weren’t stellar, just 4,547 were built in 1966, a 56% tumble versus the debut year of 1965 when 10,327 Marlins found happy buyers. For its part, Dodge’s Charger debut was stronger, with 37,300 sold, though it too would quickly fade from the scene.

With its (apparently) original paint, this Marlin could be mechanically refurbished and put into service as a fun daily driver. Or if one shares this author’s interest in the wild and woolly altered wheelbase match racers of the mid-sixties, why not move the rear axle forward a foot, replace the coil spring front suspension with a beam axle and leaf springs to whip up a tribute to Preston Honea’s Marlin funny car? Best of all, the real one ran a 426 HEMI® engine. Any self-respecting tribute must as well.

1967 DODGE A100 PANEL VAN: LOT #55

We’ve seen a number of rare and interesting Dodge A100 and A108 vans in our preview coverage of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. They are lot numbers 71159 and 84, but this 1967 Dodge A100 panel van stands apart for the fact it’s very uncommon no windows build configuration. The Dodge Truck Division was very willing to meet the needs of van buyers seeking specialized body configurations. Here, the usual glass windows seen on the rear and side doors are absent, as are the glass windows commonly fitted to the passenger side (at the least) of the cargo area. Though far less common than higher visibility A100 window vans, these closed-off vans were popular with merchants hauling valuable cargo or medical/ambulance-oriented applications where security and privacy were prime goals.

In the case of this particular windowless cargo van, the roof top refrigeration unit hints that it once hauled perishable merchandise that had to be kept cool. Happily, the large “west coast” style rearview door mirrors were put to use and the right rear corner and passenger side body panels are free of the usual scrapes and dents that often go with the “blind corner” driving experience. Likewise, the interior is in great shape with the factory-applied cream white paint still looking good. A 225 Slant Six and 3-speed manual transmission with the usual column gear shift round out this very unconventional Dodge A100 van. Can you see a 6.4L HEMI engine, Viper suspension and SRT® Hellcat wheels and tires? We can!


This nifty 1961 Plymouth V100 station wagon wears what we like to call a “Texas sun tan” on its many horizontal surfaces where the intense Texas sun has replaced the factory-applied light blue paint with what appears to be severe rust. But let’s look closer. While “rusty old cars” are generally viewed as eye sores by the general populous and as bad news restoration candidates by car lovers, a close examination of this Valiant shows the surface rust to be exactly that – surface rust.

The good news is that beneath this essentially cosmetic layer of degraded metal is a solid core that’s easily remedied with some light sanding before it’s ready for fresh primer and paint. Veteran car people know that superficial rust like this is no barrier to salvation at all. What really matters is the condition of the lower body panels where perforation is usually an indicator of rotted floors and frames.

But here, the lower regions of the fenders, rocker panels, doors and rear quarter panels are as solid as the day it rolled off the assembly line in 1961. We couldn’t lift the car to examine the floors, but if the excellent fenders, rockers and quarter panels are any indicator – and they usually are – then this sweet little wagon is a great foundation for revival.

Plymouth’s compact-sized Valiant was in its second year in 1961 and sales were very strong with 143,078 built. Of them, just 17,511 were station wagons like this. Don’t go looking for V8 power from the factory, all Valiants (like their Dodge Lancer cousins) were strictly Slant Six powered through the 1963 model year. A total redesign for 1964 brought the also-new 273-cubic-inch small block V8 to the option sheet in 1964.

Getting back to this little blue gem, we love the 3-speed manual transmission and its sporty floor-mounted shift handle. As the pictures and video will reveal, Plymouth styled the dashboard to accept the optional TorqueFlite automatic transmission’s push-button controls on the left-hand side of the steering wheel in a vertical row. But when the base floor shifted 3-speed manual was specified, the vertical row of shift buttons were covered by an attractive stamped aluminum block-off plate which is still in place.

We love these compact first-generation A-body Valiants. After all, their A-body bones later supported legends like the 1964 Barracuda, 1968 B023 HEMI engine-powered Super Stock Barracuda and “giant killer” 1970 Duster 340, among many others. Though the engine bay is ready to accept a 340 or 440 V8 without much effort (426 HEMI engines can fit but take some prodding), we can see this sweet little survivor gently humming down the road with a rebuilt 225 Slant Six and an owner who’s happy to let the floor shifted 3-speed gearbox transport him back in time.


This 1956 Dodge Coronet Texan four-door is an interesting counterpoint to another 1956 Dodge Texan in the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event. While the other example is a high line Royal two-door hardtop, this unit is based on the basic Coronet four-door sedan and wears its original, factory-applied two-tone black and white paint. The Texan package was a trim group applied to cars sold specifically in Texas and apparently less than a thousand were built.

The 1956 model year was the final year for coil spring front suspension, torsion bar-type “Torsion Aire” front suspension arrived in 1957 and became a Chrysler Corporation trait through the 1970s. Like all Texans, a 315-cubic-inch Super Red Ram V8 with polyspherical heads (non-HEMI) sits under hood with the base two-barrel carburetor (a four-barrel Power Pack upgrade was optional) as does extremely rare factory-installed air conditioning, a feature found on just 1,687 new Dodges in 1956 and which cost $567 extra.

So uncommon was factory Air Temp air conditioning in 1956 Dodges that the controls were not integrated into the dashboard but rather placed on a chrome-plated cluster attached beneath the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. And yes, all of the rare bits are still present, including the trunk-mounted duct box and external air scoops at the base of the C-pillars.

Other factory-installed options include $92 power steering (installed on 24.3 percent of 1956 Dodge cars), $38 power drum brakes (installed on 17.3 percent of 1956 Dodge cars), a heater (installed on 94.8 percent of 1956 Dodge cars) and a two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission with first-year push-button shift controls (installed in 90.3 percent of 1956 Dodges). One item that is surprising in its absence is a radio. The rectangular hole pierced into the lower tier of the dash panel is covered by a chromed radio-delete block-off plate. Likewise, a small metal button atop the driver side front fender, close to the door, covers the antenna mast locating hole. Rare stuff folks!

Originally sold by O.R. Mitchell Dodge of (where else) San Antonio, Texas, this 1956 Dodge Coronet Texan four-door is very solid and – because of its extremely rare factory Air Temp air conditioner and complete, unmolested status – deserves a factory-correct restoration. Maybe you can make it happen?

For past stories, check out the links below:

The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Preview
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part II
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part III
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IV
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part V
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VIII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IX
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part X
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XIII



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 9/14/2021 9:00 AM Heritage4 min readDODGE CLASSICS

Muscle car historians face many conflicting and confusing artifacts on their way toward a fuller understanding of the cars and engines of the first muscle car era (1955-1972). In the case of this 1966 ad for the new HEMI® engine-powered Dodge Charger, the use of the tagline “Boss Hoss” has fooled more than a few new arrivals to the muscle car realm into making a false connection with Ford’s Boss 302 and Boss 429 Mustangs.

Classic ad

While Ford indeed used the term “Boss” to partially identify its canted valve 302 SCCA candidate (Boss 302) and “twisted HEMI” 429 NASCAR homologation bid (Boss 429) Mustangs, those painted ponies appeared three model years later, in 1969. And while there is no valid connection between a 1966 HEMI engine-powered Charger and a Boss Mustang other than the fact they’re all very fun, very fast four-wheeled personal conveyances, the fact remains that the 426 HEMI engine – like the special edition 302 and 429 discussed – materialized to satisfy something called “homologation”.

Having nothing to do with the dairy industry or cow’s milk, the term homologation refers to the act of manufacturing a sufficient quantity of some vehicle or engine (or combination of the two) in order to satisfy the sanctioning body of a specific type of automobile racing (think NHRA, SCCA, NASCAR, etc.) that said engine, vehicle or combination is indeed a regular production offering, available to John Q. Public through regular channels.

In the case of the 1966 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle, it was NASCAR that forced Chrysler Corporation into mass production of this 425-horsepower, dual-carbureted, solid-cam-equipped beast. After the 1964 Daytona 500 grand slam – where Richard Petty’s 426 Race HEMI engine-powered number 43 1964 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop led a 1-2-3 HEMI engine-powered sweep of the first three winning spots – NASCAR asked Chrysler Corporation: “How ‘stock’ is that stock car you’re racing on our tracks”?

Well … although around 271 426 HEMI engine-powered vehicles had been installed in various Dodges and Plymouths in 1964, they were of a strictly limited availability configuration. You couldn’t just walk into a Mopar® dealership and buy a HEMI engine-powered car on a whim. Chrysler Corporation saw the Race HEMI as a special tool built for the special job of competing in sanctioned NHRA drag racing and NASCAR stock car racing events. By winning on Sunday with these highly specialized vehicles, they’d sell lots of less exotic 318 and 383 powered cars on Monday. Or that was the plan.

NASCAR – spurred by a very disgruntled and upstaged Ford Motor Company – called a halt to the proceedings. Though they didn’t disqualify the 1964 Race HEMI engine powered- vehicle’s accomplishments, for the 1965 race season, they told Chrysler Corporation, “Don’t come back with that thing until it’s available to anyone that wants one. Then we’ll consider it ‘stock’ and allow it on our race tracks.”

Chrysler (mostly) sat out the 1965 NASCAR race season but got very busy in NHRA drag strip competition with a fleet of 426 Race HEMI engine-powered A990 Dodge and Plymouth lightweight drag strip stormers and even some altered wheelbase rule benders for Factory Experimental. But NASCAR wasn’t forgotten…

Indeed, during the 1965 calendar year, Chrysler engineers came up with an answer to NASCAR’s homologation requirement. By de-tuning the Race HEMI engine-powered vehicle with lower compression, cast iron exhaust manifolds, a milder solid lifter camshaft and tandem Carter AFB carburetors, but keeping the inherent strength of the cross-bolted cylinder block and high-quality forged rotating assembly, the Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle was born. Though several 1965 Dodge and Plymouth test mules were seen running around the Chrysler Chelsea, Michigan, proving grounds (and Detroit’s Woodward Avenue), full-scale 426 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle production commenced for the 1966 model year and this Boss Hoss magazine ad was part of the media blitz engineered to spread the word Chrysler Corporation was ready to race. On the NHRA drag strip, on the street and in NASCAR.

The campaign worked. Despite a steep $900 price tag (which included fortifications to the host vehicle consisting of an oil pan skid plate, leaf spring mount reinforcements, a pinion bumper plate, larger 3/8-inch fuel lines, police suspension and brakes, special emblems and a massive Dana 60 rear axle on four-speed cars), a total of 2,729 buyers drove off in their Street HEMI engine-powered Belvederes, Satellites, Coronets and, yes, Chargers in 1966.

NASCAR had no choice other than to allow Chrysler Corporation back onto its tracks and a pattern of domination resulted that ran right through the end of 426 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle production in 1971. We like to think this “Boss Hoss” magazine ad played a big role in spurring the sale of 1966 HEMI engine-powered Chargers. And it did. Of the 2,729 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicles built in 1966, 468 were sleek, fastback-equipped Chargers. But the largest number of Street HEMI engine-powered vehicles – 817 – were installed in less expensive Plymouth Satellite hardtops.

Other 1966 B-body HEMI installation rates are as follows: 531 in Plymouth Belvedere II hardtops, 340 in Dodge Coronet 500 hardtops, 288 in Dodge Coronet 440 hardtops, 136 in Plymouth Belvedere I sedans, 49 in Dodge Coronet Deluxe sedans, 34 in Dodge Coronet sedans, 27 in Plymouth Satellite convertibles, 21 in Dodge Coronet 500 convertibles, 10 in Plymouth Belvedere II convertibles, 6 in Dodge Coronet 440 convertibles and 2 in Dodge Coronet four-door sedans.

In subsequent model years, the 426 Street HEMI engine continued its march to victory on the road and track (the new 1967 Dodge R/T muscle car nameplate reinforcing this “road and track” theme) but Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle sales volume never again broke the 2,000-unit mark. In descending order, 2,391 were built in 1968, 1,702 were built in 1969, 1,534 in 1970, 1,234 were built in 1967 and just 356 were built in 1971, the Street HEMI engine’s final year as economic and environmental issues snubbed demand.

As legendary as the Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle was and continues to be, we have to marvel at the fact today’s “third generation” 5.7L, 6.1L, 6.4L and 6.2L SRT® Hellcat/Demon/Redeye HEMI engine-powered vehicles have been produced in vastly superior numbers. The fact that Dodge built three thousand, three hundred of the crazy-insane nine-second 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, let alone over a quarter million HEMI 5.7L, HEMI 6.1L and HEMI 6.4L engine-powered Challengers since 2008, plus similar numbers of Chargers, suggests that the “good old days” are right now!



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 9/3/2021 9:00 AM EventsVideo10 min readAUCTIONSDODGE CLASSICS

You hear it all the time on late night TV commercials for golden oldies record collections and commemorative coin mint sets: “but wait…there’s more!” When it comes to the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard Auction Event there is more – lots and lots more.

So far here at the DodgeGarage in our weekly preview stories, we’ve profiled just 60 of the 260 vintage and special interest cars, vans, pickups and light trucks that’ll all be auctioned with no reserve on October 13, 2021, during this all-online sales event.

And yes, we’re back this week with another group of interesting vintage Mopar vehicles that you can own by placing the winning bid from the comfort of your living room or laptop computer. Like most of the items collected by the late John Haynie – the man who gathered these vehicles together on his family ranch in the great Texas prairie – these are mostly project cars. They won’t start up and drive away because most have been sitting immobile for decades. Shipping will be required. But that’s no big deal. Again, these vehicles are mostly from the extremely dry, arid desert southwest.

By contrast, vintage vehicles sourced from within the rust belt may be closer to your garage, but the time, expense and effort required to eradicate the deep-set rust and corrosion found in most rust belt vehicles makes the shipping cost of desert-sourced alternates seem minimal.

Let’s dig in with another serving of sweet Texas metal from the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event. Information about how to register to bid and post-sale shipping options will appear on Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions website as the auction date draws near. Until then, “but wait…there’s more!”


“Daddy, why does that Plymouth have a toilet seat on the trunk?” Tough questions demand tough answers. This 1959 Plymouth Belvedere two-door hardtop is equipped with the new-for-’59 Flight Sweep faux spare tire affixed to the skin of the deck lid. Cashing in on the Continental spare tire craze of the mid-fifties, this extra-cost stamped metal embellishment was easily lampooned by harsher critics but stands as an iconic – and highly desirable – detail today.

Slotted between the economical Savoy and exciting Fury/Sport Fury, the Belvedere shared the same basic body and chassis but with more (or less) gingerbread than its siblings. One thing all 1959 Plymouths shared was the final year of traditional body-on-frame construction. For 1960, semi-unitized construction would replace the heavy steel frame with lighter gauge frame stampings welded directly to the bottom of the floor pan.

This lighter construction was used from the firewall back. Ahead of the firewall, a traditional sub-frame (which bolted to the underside of the floor pan) supported the engine, front suspension, fenders, hood, grille, front bumper and related components. For this reason, these are known as semi-unitized bodies. Fully unitized construction would never come to the full-size Mopar C-body line though the compact 1960-1976 A-body and mid-size 1962-1978 B-body used integrally welded front inner fenders for a much lighter result, and are correctly described as being fully unitized.

1959 was also the final year for the ancient 230-cubic-inch flathead six engine, which is seen in this well-preserved example. Replaced in 1960 by the much more modern overhead valve-equipped 225 Slant Six, the 230 flathead six had roots going back to 1936. Priced at just $2,461 ($120 less than a similar V8-powered Belvedere), this Belvedere six has the optional Powerflite two-speed automatic transmission, a $189 extra that replaced the standard three-on-the-tree manual transmission. One item that’s absent is a radio. No, the original unit hasn’t been removed. Rather, like vintage cars, this Belvedere is a “radio delete” unit. That is, the original buyer decided against spending $59.00 for the push-button AM radio. Maybe he (or she) wasn’t an Elvis fan.

Elvis fan or not, we do know the original buyer enjoyed smoking because the unique one-piece (radio delete-spec) dashboard dress plate is pierced with a circular hole to accept a cigar lighter, which set the buyer back a whole $4.00. Other austere touches include the basic molded rubber floor mat and front bench seat. With its slick fastback roofline, exotic tail fins and that crazy deck lid, this six-cylinder Belvedere could be mistaken for a muscular Sport Fury – until the gas pedal is mashed into the rubber floor mat. But that can be changed…


Though similar in general appearance to its 1959 predecessor, this 1960 Plymouth Belvedere two-door hardtop is quite another animal. As stated in the description for Lot 65, the 1960 model year brought semi-unitized construction to the full-size Plymouth line. This fastback roofed example is one of 14,085 built, of which very few survived the sixties without rotting into the ground.

Chrysler-Plymouth was known for above-average engineering at the time, but somehow the rust proofing process was neglected to the point where these cars quickly earned a nasty reputation for water leaks and premature rust-out. Not here. As a Texas car, it is in nearly rust-free condition. The front fenders, hood, doors, deck lid and wheel lips all attract a magnet and while a few areas along the lower rocker panels reveal bubbles where rust is beginning, the beauty is that none of it has been “doctored” with plastic filler to hide any flaws.

Packing the base 318 V8 with polyspherical heads and a single two-barrel carburetor, a three-speed Torqueflite® automatic transmission ($211), power steering ($77), heater and defroster ($75), back-up lights ($11) and two-tone paint ($17) are among the factory-installed extras that justified the approximate $2,936 sticker price when new. Some might wish for the all-new Sonoramic Commando 383 with its exotic crisscross dual carburetion under hood, but at a stout $405, very few were built. That said, on Thursday, October 14th, the day after this car (and over 250 others) sell, a second auction consisting of the late John Haynie’s massive collection of engines, parts and memorabilia takes place. And yes, among the goodies are several factory-issue Sonoramic setups… Go get it!


In 1969, Plymouth built a total of 352,844 full-size Fury models. Of them, just 5,708 were convertibles. This 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible is equipped with the base V8, a 318 small block with 230 horsepower and is backed by the Torqueflite automatic transmission with a column-mounted shifter. The engine is partially disassembled but that’s no concern since most buyers would probably be inclined to replace it with something a bit beefier … perhaps a Mopar Performance 472 crate HEMI engine? The folding top has disintegrated but the all-important inner frame and hinges are present and waiting for fresh fabric and a rebuild.

Wearing Texas license plates hasn’t prevented a bit of rust from attacking the lower regions of the fenders and rear quarter panel extensions but what rust is present hasn’t been “doctored” or hidden by previous owners. That means what we see is what we get and few hidden surprises lurk beneath hastily applied shiny paint. Factory options include power drum brakes and power steering.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, cars like this clogged used car lots and junkyards as they trickled down from their original owners to a string of less-caring owners. By the year 2000, big Plymouths were seldom seen on any road and today, few people are old enough to even recognize the year, make and model. But we know better, right? Thanks to its solid bones – and open top body configuration – this pale yellow rider should soon be back on the road.


John Haynie – the late owner of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event – had extremely varied tastes. Fortunately for us, among his interests were police package Mopar vehicles like this 1981 Plymouth Gran Fury A38 Police Pursuit, which is the last of the breed.

Though it’s based on the short-lived full-size R-body (1979-1981), which looked large enough to accept the mighty 400 and 440 big blocks that made earlier Mopar Pursuits legends, Chrysler Corporation’s 1979 discontinuation of all big block engines left the R-body (Chrysler New Yorker, Dodge St. Regis and Plymouth Gran Fury) with 225 Slant Six (really!), 318 or 360 small block V8 power.

The 1979-1980 E58 360 made 195 net horsepower and was reasonably swift, thanks in part to real dual exhaust with two very expensive platinum-intensive catalytic converters. But for 1981, federal emissions regulations scrapped the 360, leaving the smaller 318 as the top power offering. Seen here, the E48 318 four-barrel mustered just 165 net horsepower. Period testing conducted by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) of a similar 1981 Dodge St. Regis A38 Police Pursuit resulted in 0-60 acceleration in an absurd 13.2 seconds while the quarter-mile drag strip sprint took 19.6 seconds at a mere 74.5 mph.

If the reduced performance seems a forfeit to speeders, this quote from a Detroit manufacturer’s representative illustrates a significant change in mindset: “The need for a pursuit vehicle is an emotional one. There is other technology that will do as well. Remember also that in the final analysis, it is safer not to pursue.” In other words, law enforcement began to rely on radios, road blocks and helicopters to nab runaways.

Getting back to Lot 60, despite the reduced performance, this A38 Pursuit packs loads of very unique chassis, suspension and electrical equipment, including a heavy-duty 100-amp Chrysler alternator with dual drive belts, heavy-duty disc/drum brakes with semi-metallic pads, vented 15×7 police/taxi/fleet wheels, aluminized engine compartment heat shields, full gauges, a certified 125 mph speedometer, rubber floor matting, front bucket seats (not the expected bench) and many more heavy-duty items that hide in plain sight. Best of all, despite the appearance of rust along the lower fenders, rockers and rear quarter panel extensions, the fact is the white paint has been sand blasted away by desert winds. The metal beneath is supreme and solid. With its GM-supplied Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor and massive high-flow single exhaust system, this 1981 Plymouth Gran Fury A38 Pursuit is truly the last of a special breed.


Everyone wants to be special. We also want our collector vehicles to be special. In the case of this 1969 Dodge A108 van, it’s special, special, special, special! That’s the number of times (four) the word “special” appears on the stamped metal vehicle identification plate. To be truthful, Dodge’s truck division often used the word “special” to denote unique or unusual equipment specified by a fleet buyer.

This clean, original paint A108 was originally ordered as part of a fleet of service and installation vans by Mountain Bell telephone back in 1969. Like most large-scale work vehicle purchases, Mountain Bell had specific needs that weren’t met by garden variety vans and used its clout to get “special” items added – or in some cases, deleted – for better efficiency. We’re not sure what was so “special” about the make, model and capacity of the rear axle (see photo), but it was enough to trigger numerous odd stampings on the data plate. We’d bet there might be a specific gear ratio, or perhaps a Sure Grip differential hiding within its 8-3/4 axle housing. We lacked the equipment to dig in, so the end buyer will have to solve the mystery.

Getting back to the vehicle, Dodge wasn’t first to the domestic forward control compact van market, but by many accounts Dodge did those best. Starting in 1964, when the smartly efficient A100 arrived, it was the only member of the Big Three’s forward control vans with optional V8 power in the early sixties. And while the G-series Chevy Van (a.k.a. Carryall) was strictly an enclosed van through its entire life, Dodge (and the 1961-1967 Ford Econoline) could also be had as a compact pickup truck.

Things grew in 1967 with the addition of the Dodge A108 van seen here. With an extra 18 inches added aft of the driver seat, wheelbase grew from 90 to 108 inches and cargo capacity blossomed. Records show that in 1969, a total of 47,651 Dodge vans were produced; and while most folks today remember the short, cute A100 – with its tidy 90-inch wheelbase – the longer, more useful A108 accounted for 30,807 units, or around 2/3 of them.

Built for work, many A100 and A108 vans were delivered with curious window arrangements. Some had none (Lot Number 55), some had windows all around (Lot Number 84) and some even had doors on both sides (Lot Number 11). Here we see no windows or doors on the driver side and a full four windows and doors on the passenger side. Power came from the trusty and economical 225 Slant Six. But that was then.

As the pictures clearly show, somewhere along the line, this A108 van was converted into a rather large tag-along box trailer. The front suspension, engine, transmission, radiator and engine dog house have been removed. A simple galvanized steel Shoreline boat trailer frame juts out from the nose, awaiting a tow. Though it may seem that an otherwise nicely preserved van has been crudely sacrificed, close inspection reveals the trailer frame to have been simply bolted to the existing sub-frame and floor pan. A rusty donor A100 van could yield its front suspension, driveline, engine covering, seats and steering column to bring this pristine, rust-free survivor back to life. As simple as these great old vans are, the transformation could be completed in a weekend. It’s really that solid and simple!

Okay, that wraps up this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event. We’ll be back next week – right here at the DodgeGarage – with more, more, more!

For past stories, check out the links below:

The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Preview
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part II
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part III
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IV
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part V
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VIII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IX
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part X
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XII



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 8/28/2021 5:00 PM EventsVideo8 min readAUCTIONSDODGE CLASSICS

Wagons, Crowns, Sleepers and Cruisers, the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard Auction Event presented by Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions ( has something for every car collector. Last week, we reviewed some of the light trucks and vans that will be sold at no-reserve during the October 13th online-only auction.

This week, let’s revert to lighter fare with a group of highly desirable Mopar vehicles, including the tantalizing “cops and robbers” pairing of a 1959 Dodge Coronet Police Pursuit and a 1957 Plymouth Plaza with the street racer’s dream, a swapped-in Chrysler Fire Power HEMI® V8. We’ll also look at Chrysler’s Imperial past, explore a classic pre-minivan family hauler and get a look at one of Plymouth’s first all-steel body shells from 1937.

And as with every week – right up to the October 13th online-only live auction date – we’ll be back next Friday with another bunch of Mopar collectors’ items from the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event.


Don’t go looking for a 225 Slant Six or small block 318 V8 in this 1967 Dodge Monaco station wagon. That’s because for 1967 (like 1966), the Monaco’s base engine was the big block 383. Though a 325-horsepower four-barrel, dual-exhaust 383 was offered for an extra $121, this one packs the base G-code two-barrel 383 with single exhaust and 270 horsepower … or it used to.

A circular Road Runner-style unsilenced air cleaner (a modern-era reproduction from Mopar Performance) has replaced the original single-snorkel “low-po” factory air cleaner to make way for an Edelbrock performer four-barrel carburetor and aluminum Performer 383 dual plane intake manifold. Other non-original items include the 1970-up 15×7 Rally Wheels and 1973-up center caps with modern radial tires. But otherwise, this KK1 Medium Turquois Poly (“Poly” means metal flake paint) wagon is highly original and solid.

Factory options include air conditioning ($311), power steering ($73), power brakes ($16), Music Master AM radio ($47) and TorqueFlite® automatic transmission ($183). Somewhat surprisingly, the Monaco’s standard transmission was still a column-shifted three-speed manual gearbox. The sexy A833 four-on-the-floor was a rare and ultra-cool option at $175, which was seldom seen on full-size C-bodies like this Monaco. Production records show that just 8,900 full-size C-body Polara and Monaco station wagons were built in 1967.


The 1961 through 1963 Imperial stands alone in post-war automotive design for its – stand-alone – headlamp treatment. Meant to conjure images of the massive drum-type headlamps seen on Gatsby era luxury cars, the chromed pods are a love it/don’t love it affair with most viewers. This 1963 Imperial Crown Southampton two-door hardtop is one of just 1,067 built. Far more (6,960) were built with four-door bodies.

At the other end of the body, the fin-top mounted tail lamps of 1962 were integrated into the bodywork and the 413 four-barrel big block wedge was the only engine offering – as it had been since 1959. Still wearing its somewhat faded Formal Black paint, the metal dealership emblem from Pollock Motors in Blackwood, New Jersey, adorns the deck lid as it has for the past 58 years.

Priced new at $5,412, this Imperial Crown Southampton cost $26 more than the $5,386 Cadillac Coupe DeVille and $858 less than the $6,270 Lincoln Continental, its primary domestic competitors (the greater cost of the Continental was largely due to the fact it was only offered as a “suicide door” four-door. Lincoln didn’t offer a two-door Continental until 1966).

In fantastic unrestored condition, this 1963 Imperial Crown marks the final appearance of the neo-classic stand-alone headlamps. As a sleek two-door, potential transformation into a cutting-edge resto-mod is just a Roadster Shop Chassis and Hellephant 426 crate engine away!


Plymouth celebrated its tenth anniversary when this 1937 Plymouth P4 Deluxe coupe was a new car. 1937 was a year of firsts and lasts. It was the first year for solid, one-piece metal roof stampings to replace the (non-opening) fabric roof inserts used in previous years as Chrysler Corporation invested heavily in the massive metal stamping equipment needed to produce such large one-piece panels. 1937 was also the last year for the convenient hinged windshield. A nifty rotary crank allowed the base of the top-hinged windscreen to separate a few inches from the cowl for superlative ventilation – and dust entry.

This two-seat business coupe features a massive trunk compartment that made these cars popular with traveling salesmen – and rum runners. The bone stock 201-cubic-inch flathead six and floor-shifted three-speed manual gearbox are unmolested and factory options are few. The original buyer of this one skipped the $53.95 expense of the Philco Transitone radio (a conspicuous trio of metal block-off plugs fill the voids in the dash) but did splurge on the Accessory Group B, which consisted of the passenger side windshield wiper and right-side brake/tail lamp seen on this car.

Typically found in advanced states of decay, surviving 1937 Plymouths are few and far between. This one is a shining example – even if its paint is faded.


Less can often be so much more. This 1957 Plymouth Plaza two-door sedan may be a base model, but there’s a HEMI engine surprise under the hood. Though born a basic pillar coupe (the polar opposite of the sleek Fury hardtop) with a three-on-the-tree manual transmission (and probably a base 276 or 299 V8), somewhere along the line, a huge Chrysler Fire Power HEMI engine – with dual quads – made its way between the front fenders.

Make no mistake, though Chrysler, Dodge and DeSoto all offered HEMI-type engine options in the 1950s, Plymouth’s optional V8s were strictly of the polyspherical type until 1964 when the 426 Race HEMI engine helped transform the brand – and win the Daytona 500. Not here.

Some speed demon plunked a first-generation 1953-58 Fire Power HEMI engine under the hood (the 1951-early-53 Chrysler blocks had an awkward integral bell housing that’s not seen here). Better still, an aftermarket aluminum intake mounting dual Edelbrock Performer four-barrel carburetors elevates things to dual quad mega-status. This is most likely a 354- or 392-cubic-inch version of the Chrysler HEMI engine (though exact displacement and internal modifications are unknown).

Oddly, the rest of the car is very plain and bare, with manual steering and drum brakes. And perhaps most shocking of all, the stock column-mounted manual transmission linkage is still in place. It’s attached to a three-speed manual transmission of unknown specifications. Could it be a burly Borg-Warner T85 – as used in Max Wedges? The original-style rear axle is also in place – complete with two-piece, flanged axle shafts. Austere 15×5.5-inch police/fleet-type steel rims are still affixed to the hubs via the original bolts (wheel studs and nuts arrived a few years later).

Though a small amount of rust has begun to chew on stylist Virgil Exner’s “Suddenly It’s 1960” finned body, the overall impact of this HEMI engine-powered machine is one of reserved understatement. We hope this car is returned to full function with no changes to its all-business vibe. This is one special “sleeper”!


To many observers, this 1959 Dodge Coronet Police Pursuit rates with the handful of Chrysler 300 “letter cars” as one of the standout offerings in this auction. A real-deal Police model – as identified by the 9 in the third spot of the M394100712 VIN tag (Dodge used this “Special” model designator through 1964) – it’s also got the big block D-500 383, in its first year of production. Only the Super D-500 was hotter with its dual four-barrel carburetors, but many law enforcement agencies balked at the maintenance and fuel consumption issues likely to come with exotic multiple carburetion.

The California Highway Patrol was one such law enforcement agency to shun the dual quad 383 Super D-500 and based on the black and white livery, this Coronet probably came from the CHP. Inside, the TorqueFlite automatic transmission’s push button shift controls share space on the dash with full gauges – including an incredibly rare oil pressure gauge (not the usual idiot light) and certified 120 mph speedometer. The bench seats are specially reinforced with extra springs and thicker cushions (front) for longer wear in police service.

The cowl and rear package shelf wear the red-lens GE police “pull over” lamps and the original Perko Sea-Mite siren stands ready to separate traffic for high-speed emergency passage. As with every 1959 Dodge Coronet Police Pursuit, it rides on heavy-duty suspension with front sway bar, 11-inch drum brakes, high-speed drive shaft and has extra body reinforcements for emergency roof light mounting as well as multiple body and chassis grounds to prevent radio interference.

On November 19-20, 1958, the California Highway Patrol compared a 1959 Coronet Pursuit against a Pontiac Catalina and Mercury Monterey Patrol King at Riverside Raceway and the Palmdale airport. The single four-barrel-equipped 383 Coronet Pursuit ran away from the competition in all tests, a result that undoubtedly led to the purchase of this very Dodge as part of a 100-plus car fleet order for 1959.

Though they receive the best maintenance, police cars also get the harshest treatment and are typically sold at auction after reaching 80,000 miles or so. Those that are not worn out typically live on as taxi cabs or get purchased by scavengers for their high-performance components. Few survive intact. This legitimate 1959 Coronet Super D-500 Pursuit is truly a special discovery.

Well that’s it for this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Auction Event. But fear not, we’ll be back next week with another look at more cars that will be auctioned on October 13, 2021, at no-reserve during the all-day, all-online auction.

For past stories, check out the links below:
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Preview
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part II
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part III
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IV
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part V
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VIII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IX
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part X
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part XI



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 8/23/2021 12:00 PM EventsVideo12 min readACUTIONSDODGE CLASSICS

Trucks, trucks and more trucks! John Haynie loved Mopar® vehicles, but not just those of the passenger car variety. He also rounded up some very interesting light trucks and vans. We’ve seen some of the vans in prior installments of this series, but here let’s take a look at some of the light- and medium-duty Dodge trucks that’ll find new homes on October 13, 2021, during the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. And don’t forget, on Thursday, October 14, a second auction – also online only and no reserve – will handle the sale of thousands of items, including tools, parts, engines, new old stock goodies, toys, model cars, automobilia, and dealer training and sales materials.

So dive in, feast your eyes and dream up the many fun things you could do with any one of the machines showcased this week. You could be its new owner once the dust settles after the October 13th all-online, all-no-reserve auction concludes.

1960 DODGE D100 PICKUP: LOT #76

This Dodge D100 pickup has been treated to a fairly recent restoration and packs the poly-head 318 V8, a $120.75 upcharge over the base 230-cubic-inch flathead six, and column-shifted three-speed manual transmission. In its time, the 318 was the largest V8 offered, with Ford’s 292 and GM’s 283 being notable smaller.

V8 engines were growing in popularity with pickup truck buyers since 1954 when the 241-cubic-inch Red Ram HEMI® engine was first offered in one. By 1960, of the 17,634 long wheelbase (116 inches) D100s built, 6,922 had the 318 V8. Incidentally, another 15,820 D100 pickups were built in 1960 with the shorter 108-inch wheelbase. These smaller pickups were also offered with the optional 318 V8, but only 2,837 buyers needed its 200 horsepower. The other 12,983 stuck with the sleepy 120-horsepower flathead six.


1974 Dodge D200 Club Cab Pickup

In its second year, the Club Cab seen on this 1974 Dodge D200 pickup truck added 18 inches of length to the cab for extra storage or, when the optional jump seats were ordered, room for five adults. Also in its second year on the option sheet was the storage compartment mounted into the passenger side of the Sweptline cargo box. A hinged cover allowed access to an metal-lined horizontal bin capable of stowing tools and sundries below the floor of the regular cargo bed.

As a D200 series, this pickup rides on a heavier ¾-ton chassis than its D100 cousins. This means it packs a big Dana 60 rear axle, heavy-duty front suspension and eight lug wheels, which help to increase the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) from the D100’s 5,000-5,500 pounds to 6,200-9,000 pounds. Moving the load is the optional 360 small block that’s been fortified with aftermarket exhaust headers and an Edelbrock 1406 (600 cfm) four-barrel carburetor backed by a 727 TorqueFlite® automatic transmission.

Still wearing much of its factory-applied two-tone paint, the body is very solid with the usual minor dents and scrapes seen on most work trucks. Outfitted with chromed side mirrors and with tell-tale anchor loops, this burly Dodge probably carried a slide-in camper at some point. A set of 1994-up Dodge Ram 3500 chrome rims add some flash to this relatively unmolested time machine.


1948 Dodge B-2 Stake Bed Truck

So big yet so small, this 1948 Dodge B-2 one-ton stake bed truck is from the first year of Dodge’s total redesign. According to Dodge advertising, among the 248 major changes made, the body was of the new “envelope style” with flush faced front fenders replacing the bolt-on pontoon fenders of the previous series. Headlamps were integrated into the fenders instead of sitting in teardrop pods atop the fenders and most importantly, the front axles were moved rearward several inches to improve maneuverability in tight quarters. A full circle could be made within just 38 feet.

Under the two piece clam shell hood, however, the same flathead six saw duty, an optional V8 wouldn’t arrive until 1954. A manual transmission resides within the all-new “Pilot House” cab, this one being of the custom variety with additional glass corner windows giving what Dodge described as “360 degree vision”. The wood-floored stake bed is ready for work or play. We can see this one hauling parts to the next Mopar Nationals swap meet.


One of two full-size Dodge trucks in the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event, this 1954 Dodge G-Series dualie is so original, it seems to have been pulled from a time machine. Though grimy and dusty, rust and corrosion are minimal and resemble a golden sun tan more than surface rust.

The 1954 model year was an important one for Dodge trucks. That’s when the mighty 241-cubic-inch Red Ram HEMI engine joined the option sheet. Though first offered in 1953 aboard Dodge passenger cars, truck variants of the double rocker shaft-equipped HEMI engine were built for durability and economy rather than freeway cruising and stoplight getaways. A large high-flow water pump with dual drive pulleys, a special two-barrel carburetor – equipped with a speed governor – feeds the fuel, and protecting the piston rings is a tall oil bath air cleaner unit. The fascinating layer of oil impregnated Texas silt caked to the air cleaner housing speaks to many hours of faithful labor.

Though some would say this truck’s ultimate fate would be to donate its Red Ram “baby HEMI” engine to a street rod project, we say that would be a shame. Then again, the cab, with its new-for-’54 one-piece windshield and extra cost corner windows will fit a ½-ton pickup truck chassis. So will the two-piece hood and headlamp and grill panel. The same is not true for the truck-specific front fenders. With their huge wheel openings, they’re too large for use on a light-duty pickup truck. For a look at the other five-ton Dodge truck offered in this auction, look for Lot Number 96 (a 1959 Dodge D400 stake bed) in the ninth installment of this preview series.

1970 DODGE D200 PICKUP: LOT #252

This 1970 Dodge D200 short bed pickup truck marks the end of an era when Dodge trucks rode like, well, trucks. That’s because they had solid, beam-type front axles suspended on parallel leaf springs. By contrast, the all-new A-series pickups of 1972 and beyond adopted car-like coil spring front suspension (on two wheel drive models). Year by year, Dodge trucks – like their competitors – became less utilitarian and more complex.

The beauty of this particular pickup is the fact it’s a short wheelbase unit with two-wheel drive and the sleek Sweptline bed. The tidy 114-inch wheelbase is one inch shorter than a 1971 Dodge Charger and gives the truck a pert, sporty nature, as does the two-wheel-drive chassis, which shares the same five-lug, 5-on-5-1/2 inch hubs and wheel bolt circle as many Dodge passenger cars. This means cool wheels like the 15×7 Rally or Magnum 500 will bolt right on. Hot rodders love these short bed pickups because they’re a lot like cars.

Though born with a Slant Six and 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission (with a fairly rare Slant Six-specific transmission case that’s popular with Slant Six hot rodders seeking more strength than the smaller 904 TorqueFlite offers), the massive, yawning engine bay will accept anything from a 340 small block to a 426 HEMI engine. And the standard equipment 8-3/4 rear axle is legendary for its HEMI-capable strength.

An odd feature is the 16-inch “fleet” rims with riveted hub cap retainer tabs. They hint that this truck might have military or government motor pool origins. The bolt-on bed top tool box is another detail pointing toward a hard-working past. That can change. This fun little shorty is ready for a V8 swap and so much more. Can you see it in sleek black paint with a nasty Hellcrate under hood? We can!

1970 DODGE D100 383 PICKUP: LOT # 259

Big block V8 engines were available in Dodge pickup trucks years before Ford or GM offered them. As early as 1962, Dodge offered the Custom Sports Special (CSS) package, which included sporty bucket seats, a tachometer, hood and cab racing stripes – and while the 318 polyspherical V8 was standard, the mighty 413 big block wedge was offered. No, it wasn’t the wicked, solid lifter, cross ram inducted Ramcharger 413 Max Wedge, but still with 340 horsepower, the single four-barrel 413 was potent enough to require traction bars to tame axle hop. What’s more, for 1964 and 1965, the CSS offered the 426 Street Wedge.

Meanwhile over at Ford, the F100 pickup didn’t get the 352 big block option until 1965 and Chevy waited all the way until 1969 to add the 396 big block to the C10 option sheet (Chevy’s heavier duty cousins at GMC got the 396 “rat motor” a year earlier, in 1968). All of which brings us to this 1970 Dodge D100 pickup truck (Lot Number 259) which was born with the optional 383, a significant step up from the 318 small block and 225 Slant Six.

Things were a little less exotic for 1970, the 413s and 426s were no longer offered in half-ton pickups, and while Dodge’s Super Bees and Chargers were running amok with four-barrel carbureted 383 Magnums, the truck-spec 383 was only offered with a single two-barrel carburetor, single exhaust and torque-oriented camshaft, all of which resulted in 258 horsepower and 375 foot-pounds of torque.

Beyond the 383 big block, features include the 727 TorqueFlite automatic, 8-foot bed on the 128-inch wheelbase and 8-3/4 rear axle with 3.23:1 gearing (according to the metal trim tag), manual drum brakes, manual steering and remnants of the factory air conditioner. Though the 383 and 727 transmissions aren’t under the hood, originality abounds in the form of the factory-applied yellow paint, which is still present after 41 years. A Krugman aluminum bed cap is a classic “day two” addition that reminds us how popular similar caps were in the day. Minor dents – including a bash in the passenger side front fender and cowl – and some roof rust speak to a lifetime of use. But as a Texas machine, there’s still plenty of life left in its rust-free bones. How ‘bout making it into a never-was D100 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicle?

1969 DODGE D200 CREW CAB: LOT #224

In 1969, Dodge enjoyed its second best sales volume with 174,554 trucks sold, of which 71,266 were Slant Six powered and the other 103,288 packing V8s. This 1969 D200 Crew Cab is one of the V8 trucks, built with the optional 383 big block. It was a good choice because with its four-door Crew Cab, 146-inch wheelbase and 6.5-foot Sweptline cargo box, the 4,135-pound curb weight would have meant sluggish going with anything else under the hood.

First offered mid-way through the 1962 model year, Dodge’s Crew Cabs were never built in massive quantities. For 1969, just 5,541 of these convenient six-passenger pickups were built, 1,136 as ¾-ton W200 four-wheel-drive models, 1,841 as 1-ton D300s with two-wheel drive and 2,564 as ¾-ton D200s with two-wheel drive, like this example. Incidentally, of those 2,564 two-wheel-drive D200 Crew Cabs, 857 were Slant Sixes, with the remaining 1,707 packing either the 318 or 383 V8.

In addition to the optional 383, this one has the 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission, power steering and power drum brakes. As a 200 series, it’s built on a heavier ¾-ton frame than the 100 series pickups (which were not offered with the four-door Crew Cab in 1969). The heavy-duty equipment extends to the massive 12-inch drum brakes and eight lug hubs and wheels. Under the rear, the usual 8-3/4 rear axle gives way to the indestructible Dana 60 (similar to those used in four-speed 440 Magnum and 426 Street HEMI engine-powered passenger cars) which – according to the metal data tag – houses 3.54:1 gears. It is not known whether a Dana Power Lock limited slip differential is present – or not.

Despite some floor pan and lower body rust-through, this Texas-sized pickup is ripe for salvation – not salvage. There’s a growing appreciation for these 1963-1971 Sweptline pickups and with so few built, Crew Cabs are rarely found in such complete and unmolested condition.

1969 DODGE D100 PICKUP: LOT #270

Forgive us for not being more precise on the exact model year of this nice Dodge D100 pickup truck, but we couldn’t decipher exact vintage using the serial number on site. Clues indicate it’s most likely a 1970 and the metal trim tag tells us it was originally built with a 318 small block, TorqueFlite automatic transmission, manual drum brakes, manual steering and a 3.55:1 gear set inside the 8-3/4 rear axle.

With its 8-foot Sweptline bed and 128-inch wheelbase, it may lack the “cute” car-like nature of a D100 short bed (which had a 6.5-foot bed and 114-inch wheelbase), but it makes up for it with a solid, rust-free presentation. The original 318 may have been replaced by a later Chrysler small block because the crankshaft harmonic damper displays the external eccentric weight added to most Chrysler V8s in the early 1970s with the substitution of forged steel crankshafts (and internal balancing) with less expensive, lighter cast iron crankshafts (requiring the aforementioned add-on weights).

Manual steering and manual drum brakes simplify operation – and restoration – while the optional 727 Loadflite (as the TorqueFlite was called in truck applications) eases daily driving. And like most of the vehicles in the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event, the factory-applied Arctic Blue paint is mostly present with the right amount of original patina to justify leaving as-is after a mechanical restoration. The dusty Cragar S/S wheel up front offers a glimpse of this truck’s former life as a sharp-looking cruising and working machine.

1959 D300 BOX TRUCK: LOT #225

Before the popular Sweptline Dodge light truck styling cycle of 1961-1971, the nose of this Dodge D300 box truck shows us what Dodge pickups looked like. As for the body, it was manufactured by Murphy Body Works of Wilson, North Carolina, and added to what Dodge sold as a “cab and chassis” unit.

Again, the exact model year of this unit wasn’t determined during our visit, but clues say it’s probably a 1959. Power comes from a 230-cubic-inch flathead six backed by a four-speed manual transmission with an add-on air conditioner unit present. The Murphy body is made up of wood and steel and was once likely refrigerated for dairy use. A homemade camper conversion was performed years ago, including a Serv-Well refrigerator unit and a gas-powered cooking stove.

Commercial vehicles like this are gaining popularity and make great hosts for modernized running gear and underpinnings. Perhaps a Cummins turbo diesel and four-speed automatic overdrive transmission would revive this seldom-seen dairy delivery truck.

This brings an end to the light truck coverage of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. We’ll continue from here on with weekly previews of the many passenger cars that complete this amazing 250-plus vehicle collection that will be sold online during the October 13, 2021, no-reserve auction. See you with more next week!

For past stories, check out the links below:
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Preview
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part II
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part III
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IV
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part V
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VI
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part VIII
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part IX
The Great Texas Mopar Auction: Part X

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Only One, First Come, First Served



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 8/16/2021 7:30 PM EventsVideo10 min readAUCTIONSDODGE CLASSICS

Excitement is building … the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard Auction Event is drawing near. Mark your calendar for Wednesday and Thursday, October 13 and 14, 2021. Those are the dates when Spanky Assiter and his Freedom Car Auctions team will conduct an all-online, no-reserve auction of the late John Haynie’s massive collection of mostly Mopar cars and parts.

Remember, this is an online-only event so make sure your computer is warmed up and your internet connection is strong. The reason for the online-only nature – as opposed to an on-site auction with the usual gathered crowd of bidders – is the fact the massive estate is located outdoors, on a ranch in the remote Texas prairie, too far off the beaten path to expect most folks to even find it.

More specifically, the estate sits on several acres with a small house surrounded by a handful of metal sheds and garages. It’s like “The Little Mopar House on the Prairie”. The parts are stored indoors but most of the 250-plus vehicles are outside under the bright Texas sun. Staging an outdoor auction in Texas is asking for discomfort due to heat, sunburn, wind and possible rain. And there’s the rattlesnake factor. Our slithering, venomous friends populate the Texas prairie like fish do the sea, so special care must be taken when walking among the 250-plus vehicles.

Added together with the fact that few hotels and restaurants exist within the immediate vicinity of John Haynie’s former home and Mopar hoard, it was decided to use the internet to stage the auction. There is nothing new or experimental about internet auctions and every day all over the globe sellers and buyers successfully connect in this way.

But the absence of in-person vehicle bidder inspection requires as many pictures and videos as possible to best describe and identify each item being sold.

And so let’s continue that process here with another preview of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event!


Chrysler Corporation launched its new mid-size B-body platform in 1962 as the Dodge Dart 330, Dart 440 and Polara 500, as well as the Plymouth Savoy, Belvedere and Fury. With its combination of light yet rugged unibody construction, space-efficient torsion bar front suspension, novel 1/3 – 2/3 rear leaf spring axle location and wide choice of power plants, the mid-sized B-body set the stage for a successful decade of competition with similarly sized offerings from Ford and GM.

But there was a snag. The styling of the 1962s was somewhat bizarre. Deltoid and asymmetrical themes dominated and sales suffered. The situation was better in 1963 as more conservative styling was adopted, but it wasn’t until 1964 that the ship righted itself. This 1964 Plymouth Belvedere two-door sedan (Lot Number 89) is a great example of the sleeker, less exotic styling that helped Chrysler Corporation do its best work in the mid-sized field.

And while the top-tier Fury, with its neat inverted triangle B-pillars, used to be the most sought-after closed model (convertibles have always ruled the roost among collectors), recent years have marked a shift toward low-line Savoy and Belvedere sedans thanks to their popularity with builders of Max Wedge and Race HEMI® Super Stock clones. As such, this less-is-more sedan would be a prime candidate for Super Stock conversion except for the sad fact it spent some time on its side and roof at some point.

The accident damage isn’t terminal, but work will be required to smooth out the wrinkles. Originally equipped with extra cost luxuries like a poly 318, push button 727 small block automatic transmission, and Airtemp air conditioning, the rest of the package is austere, with manual drum brakes and steering – exactly what the Super Stock clone set desires most. Best of all is the boxy sedan roof. More commonly seen on the base model Savoy (where 21,326 two-door “posts” were built), the more expensive Belvedere series was more likely to feature the more graceful hardtop roof. As such, just 5,364 of these two-door sedans were built, compared to 16,334 hardtops. Don’t be dissuaded by the accident damage, this one is a solid core for a Max Wedge or race HEMI conversion.


Though its “just a four-door,” this 1967 Dodge Coronet 440 (Lot Number 87) is special thanks to what’s under the hood. No, it’s not a 440 Magnum, something lots of folks assume thanks to the Coronet 440 nameplate. Rather, this one has the optional 383 big block V8. The base engine was the 225 Slant Six, with the 318 two-barrel small block offered for an extra $24. These two engines made up the majority of installations in these four-door family cars. But for those needing more passing and towing power, just $81 was all it took to enter the tire-smoking big block realm with the 383 seen in this car.

Seeking to appeal to economy-minded customers, Dodge (and Plymouth) offered the big 383 with a single two-barrel carburetor (making 270 horsepower) or for $121 with a four-barrel and dual exhaust making 325 horsepower. Interestingly, the 383 two-barrel engine shared its rather plain “V8” front fender medallion with the sleepy 318 small block. Only the four-barrel 383 got a special fender emblem reading “383 Four Barrel”. Thus, drivers of 383 two-barrel Coronets enjoyed something of a sleeper legacy. Would-be contenders didn’t know if the 318 or 383 lurked under hood until the tire smoke began – or didn’t.

This extremely solid Texas-based four-door has the expected factory Airtemp air conditioning (which includes the desirable HEMI-sized 26-inch radiator seven-blade aluminum clutch fan), power steering and three-speed windshield wipers, but is odd for its manual drum brakes, which would have added a mere $16, but for reasons unknown, were not specified.

Getting back to the confusion surrounding the Coronet 440 nameplate, it stems from the Coronet marketing hierarchy which was made up of (from bottom to top) the Coronet Deluxe, Coronet 440, Coronet 500 and Coronet R/T. Following the commonly mistaken logic that would assume every Coronet 440 packs a 440-cubic-inch Magnum, the Coronet 500 would be the ultimate muscle machine, with 500 cubic inches. But it was not so. The top muscle machine for 1967 was the strictly two-door Coronet R/T series (R/T stands for Road and Track … but you knew that) that came with base 440 Magnum or optional 426 Street HEMI engine power. This 383-powered four-door may not be a HEMI engine-powered vehicle, but its 383 surely surprised many a GM 350 owner.


The fender tag reads “Special Order” and this 1967 Plymouth Fury I four-door sedan (Lot Number 86) certainly is special. Beyond the austere hub caps and special 15×5.5-inch fleet rims with their riveted retention clips, the absence of flashy trim, A-pillar mounted spotlight and Commando V8 fender emblems alert the presence of a police car. Often called “muscle cars with an extra set of doors,” police cars often – but not always – contain high-performance driveline and suspension equipment.

Here, the VIN reads PK41G74235810, the “P” confirming the police model and the “G” in the fifth spot identifying the 383 big block V8. But unlike the more typical 383 four-barrel or even 440 Super Commando power expected in a police car, the G-code 383 is the more economical unit with a single exhaust tract and small two-barrel carburetor. Regardless, it’s a big jump above the possible 225 Slant Six or 318 small block V8. Yes, these low-power engines were available for inner city patrol work where high speed wasn’t required but maximum fuel economy was.

Under the skin, as a police unit, its got heavy-duty suspension with thicker torsion bars, full-size 11-inch drum brakes – the same stuff used on 426 Street HEMI engine-powered vehicles – special zinc liners between the leaves of the rear leaf spring suspension and inside, a certified 120 mph speedometer, thick molded rubber floor mat resists the stains and wear that would have plagued a family-style carpeted interior. Though the “RXX982” license plates suggest Arizona origins, there are some rusty spots on the floors and signs of delaminating plastic filler pock mark the body. Regardless, while records show that Plymouth built 29,354 Fury I four-door sedans in 1967, a small fraction of them were PK series police units. The number remaining today is surely minute.


Chrysler Corporation made automotive – and cultural – history with the introduction of the so-called “minivan” in 1983. With its economical and practical union of front-wheel drive, great fuel economy and smart utility-minded design, the traditional American station wagon was soon rendered obsolete – and an entirely new market segment was created to serve “soccer moms” across the world. This 1967 Chrysler Newport Town and Country (Lot Number 85) is a classic example of the massive station wagons the minivan helped to dethrone.

One of 14,703 Newport Town and Country wagons built, this one has the optional 440 four-barrel, a $79.40 upcharge over the base 383 two-barrel big block V8. The legendary performance of the 440 doesn’t need retelling here, but the fact it’s still under the hood speaks to this car’s incredible luck over the past 55 years, Ever since the tall deck 440 appeared in 1966, these full-size Chryslers were targeted by Slant Six and 318 small block owners looking to snatch their hearts for Dart and Duster conversions.

Typically equipped with Airtemp air conditioning ($406), power steering ($107), power brakes ($47), power windows ($106) and add-on (non-factory) electric trailer brakes, this family mover probably hauled a large camper or fishing boat trailer. In pristine condition with minimal surface rust, this surviving 440 station wagon appears to wear its factory-applied white paint. And as always, there is a distinct possibility the rear axle contains a nifty Sure Grip surprise within its beefy 8-3/4 inch carrier. We couldn’t lift the tail to find out but as a trailer towing workhorse, its original owner likely saw the value in the $50.70 outlay for Sure Grip.

Happily, today we have several aftermarket and reproduction 440-type engine blocks and crate engines to choose from. That means this nicely preserved wagon can stop shaking in fear every time a hot rodder walks near. We hope…


The Dodge A100 wasn’t the first compact van on the scene. That designation goes to Ford’s trend-setting Falcon Econoline of 1962 – or to some minds, Chevrolet’s Americanized Volkswagen Microbus, the 1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Corvan. Regardless, when Dodge entered the compact van market in 1964 with the A100, it was the only one with an optional V8, the all-new 273 small block, also introduced in 1964. And let’s not forget how Jay Howell and Dick Branstner’s Little Red Wagon A/FX A100 pickup (later adopted by Bill “Maverick” Golden) helped launch the 426 Race HEMI engine to race fans late in 1964. And we do mean “launch.” When Howell couldn’t keep the front tires on the strip, Golden cultivated the “Little Red” into a single-purpose wheel-standing exhibition machine.

This amazingly original 1966 Dodge A100 Sportsman passenger van (Lot Number 84) is one of the 9,536 V8 powered A100s that year. The other 35,190 (of 44,726 total built) were motivated by the trusty Slant Six. As a Sportsman people mover, this 273 V8-powered machine has eight windows for optimum visibility and comfort on long road trips. By contrast, the more utilitarian A100 vans could be had with several possible window and door configurations, including no windows at all (one of these is part of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event and is offered as Lot Number 55). More typically, worker bee A100s had windows on only the passenger side so the delivery driver could see the curb and sidewalk for parking (and yes, one of these is also offered in the auction as Lot Number 59).

Here, a 727 TorqueFlite® automatic transmission sends power to the 3.55:1 gears within the 8-3/4 rear axle. We know it was built with the 3.55 gear ratio thanks to the metal data tag riveted atop the driver side front wheel arch – a helpful detail found on all A100s – that also spells out suspension details, the VIN and other features. Speaking of VIN tags, another A100 van in this auction (Lot Number 11) wears serial number “2000604”, which verifies it as the six hundred and fourth (604th) A100 van ever assembled! That van also happens to have the extremely rare “walk through” body – with swing out cargo doors on both sides, driver and passenger. Again, that one is Lot Number 11 and can be seen at the Steve Magnante YouTube Channel or at the Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions website (

But getting back to this 1966 Sportsman, though the engine cover has been disassembled for some unfinished business and the rear passenger bench seats seem to be missing, the beauty here is how original and unmolested the basic structure is. They just aren’t found like this anymore.

Well, that’s it for this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. We’ll be back next week with another “bouquet” for your enjoyment. See you then! –Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante



By Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante 19 hours ago Events8 min read CAR SHOWGRASSROOTS RACING

Have you ever engaged in a street race? If so, you’re not alone. But let’s not kid ourselves, street racing is dangerous and about as illegal and socially irresponsible as it gets. But what if there was a magical place where you could choose opponents, do smoky burnouts and blast off the line without worry of harming others or getting arrested and kissing your driver’s license goodbye?

That’s what Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge is all about, and on Saturday, August 14, hundreds of street racers will let it all hang out – without risking a night in jail. Better still, the traction action runs all day, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. with lots of comfortable spectator seating.

Since the first event in 2015, the folks at MotorTrend / Roadkill and Dodge convinced the city fathers of Pontiac, Michigan, to close off a roughly half-mile section of Woodward Avenue for … you guessed it … sanctioned street racing!

And every year since then, with the exception of 2020 due to COVID restrictions, hundreds of racers and thousands of spectators – like nearly fifty thousand – have gathered at Pontiac’s M1 Concourse – and that all-important section of Woodward Avenue next to it – for street racing, Roadkill Nights style.

Although the event is largely sponsored by Dodge, as Dodge Brand Chief Officer – Stellantis, Tim Kuniskis says, “The Brotherhood of Muscle spoke … and we brought it back.” Kuniskis, who built and dragged a fast Fox-body Ford Mustang 5.0 in earlier days, knows that without competition from GM, Ford and import machinery, there’s no party. So drivers of every make of go-fast vehicles are welcome at Roadkill Nights.

As an added bonus this year, the Dodge Hellcat Grudge Race puts Eric Malone, star of MotorTrend’s Fastest Cars In The Dirty South TV series in the crosshairs of teams of contenders seeking to win the $10,000 cash prize. Each team will race an SRT® Hellcat engine-powered Charger or Challenger that’s been modified in no-holds-barred, run what ya brung match race style. Horsepower isn’t the main challenge. It’ll be more about which team can stick that power to the surface of Woodward Avenue!

Beyond the exciting street racing, the M1 Concourse grounds play host to the Dodge Thrill Ride caravan where folks take shotgun-seat rides in SRT Hellcat HEMI® engine-powered vehicles on the road course and drift pad and drag fans can test their skills aboard the Demon Drag Strip Simulators. There’s also a car show – open to all makes – a manufacturer’s midway and plenty of food and drink.

Your author (that’d be me, Steve “Scat Pack” Magnante) will be hosting the all-day podcast from the side of the Woodward Avenue starting line where I’ve had the honor of calling the action since 2017. In my three years of hosting, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing – and describing to the podcast audience – the sight of NHRA Top Fuel superstar Leah Pritchett waiting in her 8,000-plus-horsepower Papa John’s Pizza / Dodge sponsored HEMI dragster as an Amtrak passenger train slowly crept through the impromptu Woodward Avenue bleach box (which is situated right next to a very active railroad crossing). I also watched warily as TV showman Richard “Fast and Loud” Rawlings inadvertently soaked his SRT Hellcat Challenger’s rear tires with water before launching on a squirrely, tire-spinning run that bounced the Challenger off the median barrier on one wheel before settling back to earth. He wasn’t hurt but the video clip went viral in seconds.

I’m looking forward to seeing – and describing – all of the cars and races that’ll take place on Saturday, August 14. You can still secure your tickets for this year’s event, but if you can’t be there in person, you can view all the action LIVE right here on all day. Yes, we’re going street racing on Woodward Avenue! But this time there’s no need to call the bail bondsman! See you there; and until then, check out these sights from previous years.


The clock is ticking … the Great Texas Mopar® Hoard Auction Event is just ten weeks away. On Wednesday and Thursday, October 13th and 14th, the once-in-a-lifetime mostly Mopar vehicle and parts collection of the late John Haynie will be auctioned during an online-only sales marathon. The cars, vans and light trucks will go first, on Wednesday, October 13th, followed on Thursday, October 14th by a massive collection of engines, parts, tools, dealer sales and service items, toys, model cars and general automobilia.

The man in charge of it all is former Barrett-Jackson lead auctioneer Spanky Assiter, proprietor of Spanky’s Freedom Car Auctions of Canyon, Texas. In this week’s installment of the auction preview series, let’s examine another handful of desirable vintage Mopar vehicles.


Though it’s been punched in the nose, this 1960 Plymouth Fury four-door sedan (Lot Number 110) is perhaps the most important car in the entire collection. This is the very car a young John Haynie – the man whose estate is being sold off in the upcoming October 13, 2021, auction – crashed in the early 1980s. This car sparked John’s interest in Mopar vehicles and was his first purchase.

After stripping away the mangled fenders, grille, bumper, hood and driver side door, the rest of the shell is very solid … including those wild, sky high rear tail fins. Born with the base 318 two-barrel and three-speed TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, it’s one of 21,292 four-door Fury sedans built in 1960. The big news for 1960 was Chrysler’s fleet-wide conversion from body-on-frame construction to semi-unitized architecture (except for the Imperial line).

1963 DODGE 440: LOT #103

If only this 1963 Dodge 440 (Lot Number 103) was a two-door. Then, the “door” would be opened for a Max Wedge clone. But as it is, this four-door – one of 44,300 440 series Dodge vehicles built in 1963) is a very solid restoration candidate. Minimal rust has afflicted its body, floors and trunk. Speaking of the trunk, it still retains the cardboard “modesty panels” installed by the factory to cover the deep voids at each end of the trunk floor where it drops to meet the lower quarter panels. As simple folded cardboard walls, these are among the first items to be lost to time.

Under the hood, we see the base poly-head 318 V8 which for 1963 was demoted to two-barrel-only anti-status. In 1962, an optional Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor boosted the poly 318’s output from 230 to 260 horsepower. Factory air conditioning added an extra $445 to the tab; interestingly, the same $445 also could have obtained the mighty 426 Ramcharger (a.k.a. Max Wedge) in any mid-size model and body style except for station wagons. Yes, a handful of four-door Max Wedge Dodge and Plymouth vehicle were built in 1962, 1963 and 1964, but this isn’t one of them.


When it was launched in 1961, the compact Dodge Lancer was nearly two feet shorter and 700 pounds lighter than a standard Dodge. This 1961 Dodge Lancer station wagon (Lot Number 102) takes things a lot further. Somewhere along the line, the entire mid-section of the body was surgically removed and the two ends merged back together in clown car fashion. But the work was actually very well done. This is no clown car.

The lift-type door handles suggest the conversion was performed in the early ’70s (stock Lancer door handles are of the handle-and-thumb-button type). The engine bay is empty though it seems a Slant Six once stood ready. A dual circuit non-assist brake master cylinder conversion supports the early ’70s constriction date. Inside, the instrument panel face plate exhibits the stack of holes seen on TorqueFlite automatic-equipped Lancers and the steering column is smooth, without a manual transmission shift lever handle. But there’s also a clutch pedal. We’d guess a floor-shifted manual transmission was once in play.


This 1962 Plymouth Savoy two-door sedan (Lot Number 98) is the stuff of Super Stock dreams. With its full door frames, fixed B-pillar and minimized use of chrome trim, it’s the epitome of Chrysler’s “less is more” ethos when it came to maximum performance in the pre-GTO era when muscle cars were more about the steak than the sizzle. Though the 1964 Pontiac GTO set the standard for later “image cars”, the beauty of Chrysler’s 1962-65 factory-built drag race machines was the fact you had to look close to tell them apart from lesser commuter models.

This is called the “sleeper factor” and with the optional $612 “Maximum Performance” 413 Super Stock engine, there were no external emblems, stickers or stripes on the body to set them apart from Slant Six or 318-powered models. Though only 300 Plymouths (and 210 Dodges) were built with the 413 Max Wedge in 1962, their ability to run low 13-second quarter-mile times (mid 12s with tuning) made them instant legends. Though the 413 Super Stock was available in any mid-size Plymouth (except wagons), smart buyers chose “strippers” like this Savoy sedan rather than flashier Belvedere and Fury hardtops and convertibles (yes, the Max Wedge could be had in the convertible body style).

Originally built as a Slant Six with a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission and manual drum brakes with manual steering, this no-frills base level Savoy is the perfect launch pad for a Max Wedge clone. The floors and trunk look solid and the all-important body skin is also in excellent condition. To top it all off, it was originally painted Onyx Black, a classic hue for the all-business mood of a proper Max Wedge stormer.


The Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event isn’t just about cars, there are a number of desirable vans and trucks in the mix. The largest of the bunch is this 1959 Dodge D400 stake truck (Lot Number 96), which was a running, driving machine when parked years ago and is probably ready for more with just a little service. Powering a New Process four-speed manual transmission and 6.2:1 geared Chrysler-built axle with 11,500-pound capacity, the Plymouth-built polyspherical head 318 V8 under the hood was new for heavy truck applications for 1959, replacing the heavier Dodge-built 315-cubic-inch poly-head V8 of 1958.

With its massive 171-inch wheelbase and 6,300-pound rear springs, the flatbed stands ready for serious cargo hauling. The possibilities are limitless. We can see it stacked full of clean used sheet metal panels at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals swap meet. Or maybe touring major Mopar shows with restored examples of a 1966 426 Street HEMI and 2021 6.4-liter Scat Pack HEMI bolted to the bed floor that can be started up for exciting comparison demonstrations of HEMI engine horsepower. The mind boggles.

Speaking of swap meets and desirable Mopar parts for sale, don’t forget that on October 14, 2021 – the day after the October 13th online auction of the 250-plus vehicles in the John Haynie collection – a second auction consisting of thousands of vintage parts, tools, new old stock items, dealer sales and training materials, toys and general automobilia will also take place. Maybe buy the truck then load it with nifty parts from the second auction and have them shipped home together.

That’s it for this week’s preview of the Great Texas Mopar Hoard Auction Event. Remember to click on each item presented here for a walk-around video or go to to see lots more.