Once the big-block was back at his shop, Ted tore it down, gave the block a cleanup bore, and freshened it up with new rings, bearings, and 10.25:1 JE pistons. Since the 330 was being built as a driver and not a race car, he retained the stock crank, rods, and iron cylinder heads. Performance mods are limited to a Mopar Performance 228/241-at-.050 hydraulic flat tappet cam, an Edelbrock intake manifold, dual Carter carbs, and TTI long-tube headers. As simple and inexpensive as the combo may be, it still puts down a respectable 380 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque on the chassis dyno. Since Ted's an old-school kind of guy, he naturally opted for a Chrysler A-833 four-speed trans to split the big-block's torque.
From the carbs and alternator...
From the carbs and alternator down to the radiator and mechanical fan, everything looks period correct. The orange block and heads really pop against the white canvas, and spots of rust on various brackets, the brake booster, and the fan blades adds a dash of purposeful patina.
Decades of building movie cars has taught Ted to be resourceful, and that theme is visible throughout the 330. "Instead of buying a bunch of new parts, I wanted to build a car using parts I already had laying around the shop. The motor is nothing special, and I built it to near stock specs, but it makes plenty of power and it starts, idles, and drives beautifully," he says. The deft recycling continues beneath the car as well. The front K-member, suspension, steering box, and disc brakes are off of a '70 B-Body, and Ted says that the setup bolted right in. To suspend the Chrysler 83/4-inch rearend, Ted installed a set of leaf springs off of a factory Hemi car and relocated them inward for additional tire clearance. Custom subframe connectors further stiffen up the chassis. For rolling stock, Ted once again got a little creative. "I found a pair of 15x4 Torq-Thrust wheels laying around the shop, and thought, 'Hey, those would look cool on the car.' I had some custom 15x10 steelies made for the rear, and I think the mismatched wheel combo gives the car a unique nostalgic look."
With the exception of the...
With the exception of the hoodscoop, the 330's sheetmetal is stock. In conjunction with the staggered wheels and tires, it lends a distinct vintage drag car vibe.
The 330 doesn't just look the part, it also drives with genuine nostalgic flair. And Ted wouldn't have it any other way. "It just didn't seem right to put things like power steering, power brakes, a radio, window tint, or air conditioning on a car like this, and as a result, it takes a lot of work to drive it. I took it through an autocross once, which was a real chore with the manual steering, and they had to time me with a sun dial," he says. Despite dripping in sweat for 2,000 miles on the 2008 Power Tour, Ted loved every minute of it. "It was so hot inside the car, but it ran great and didn't have any problems. I averaged 80 mph on the freeway and got 9 mpg. The car has the best sound system in the world, since I can't hear anything but that sweet big-block tune."
While cruising the country, the 330 drew legions of fans wherever it went. Much like the not-so-good-looking rock stars of decades past, the car's funky mug only enhanced its appeal. The 330's unique front end inspired Kevin King of Year One to name it "Mothra," after the '60s monster flick, and the handle stuck. "This car is just so damn ugly, and it looks just like a giant monster as it comes up behind you in the rearview mirror. You hardly see any of them around, and I think that's part of the draw," Ted says. "I thought it was hilarious that there were so many beautiful cars on the Power Tour, but everyone was talking about Mothra. It had a cult following wherever it went." And therein lies the mystery. Why something that looks like this 330 has so much universal appeal is a conundrum that may never be solved. If we could answer that, then pudgy, middle-aged guys like us would be hanging out with Megan Fox, not writing magazine articles.