The Budnik GTB 18-inch wheels...
The Budnik GTB 18-inch wheels have been custom powdercoated titanium and matte black by Budnik. Mike says the black rims are designed to make the sidewalls look taller. They also complement the satin black graphics on the hood and flanks. At the time Mike built his Coleman/U.S. Brakes/Wilwood brake combo, Wilwood hadn’t started offering the big caliper packages for Mopars that they now have.
Out of school and with a steady job, Mike was now hard on the throttle, but by 1998, racing was taking a mental toll. “I got tired of blowing stuff up,” Mike says. “You work on them all week just to go racing on Friday. You get 30 minutes of seat time racing, and another racer will use you as a guardrail. It got to be too expensive. I just decided I wanted a nice street car instead.” Then, while scouring a car show, he saw a ’69 Charger that he snatched up for $1,500. The primered 318 ex-rental car barely ran, but Mike saw potential—even if only momentarily. When he got wind of a ’69 Hemi Charger, he sold the 318 car to a local kid to raise the cash. Fortunately, Mike got the car back five years later in slightly better shape—and for the same $1,500—when the kid bailed on a stillborn Duke’s clone project.
One lonely night in 2004 at his garage-mahal, Mike found himself gaping blankly at his welder, metal brake, Bridgeport, lathe, and his many boxes of tools. The silence was eerie. Then, the spirit of grandpa “Snake” Guillot paid a visit, hovering over the dormant B-Body. The inspiration of the Biohazard Charger emerged magically from the miasma as if Mike were staring into a crystal ball. The following day, Mike wasted no time and brought the car to Brian Dowdy at Golden Age Restorations, explaining his vision of Pepper Gray paint and contrasting matte black graphics with biohazard motif.
The 446ci Mopar Wedge that’s...
The 446ci Mopar Wedge that’s currently in the car is a temporary engine that Mike Williams yanked from his ’68 GTX—but it’s still plenty potent. Built by the defunct B&B Performance & Machine, it cranks out 563 hp with ported iron heads, an M1 intake, a 1,000-cfm Barry Grant carb, and a mild .540-inch lift hydraulic cam. Nevertheless, Mike has a more powerful 512ci stroker in the wings. He also built the custom radiator shroud and hinged cover in his shop, and used Dupli-Color engine enamel and—get this—graphite wheel paint for the valve covers and intake.
Back from paint, the empty roller reclaimed its silent corner of the shop, and over the next few years Mike gradually collected the parts to complete the Biohazard Charger. In the interim, he had built a ’72 ’Cuda for his niece, which played a small yet important part in the Biohazard’s completion. When the ’Cuda was unveiled at the 2010 Mopars At The Strip in Las Vegas, it was a big hit, especially on the autocross, where Mike had a blast. To his good fortune, he met autocross legend and Hotchkis consultant, Mary Pozzi. “Mary Pozzi was up there, and talked with me a lot about the Hotchkis stuff, and that made me want to finish my Charger that much faster,” Mike says. “In the meantime, I had a running, driving ’70 Firebird that had given me the autocross bug real bad.”
A project that had started in 1998 was now suddenly front and center, and subject to the full brunt of Mike’s resources. He vowed to have Biohazard ready for the following spring, where he would take it to Mopars At The Strip (now Moparty At The Strip), the Speed Fest at Willow Springs, and the Mopar Spring Fling in Los Angeles. To pull off this Mopar hat trick, he’d need to act fast.
Mike began by mocking up the engine, suspension, K-member, trans, cooling system, and brakes. He built a custom radiator shroud, seam-welded the K-member, and sent those parts, along with the engine accessory brackets, power steering cooler, and motor mounts to Platinum Powdercoating (Chico, California). With those items in hand, Mike worked on the brakes, combining Wilwood hubs, Coleman rotors, and U.S. Brakes calipers in a home-brewed system using caliper brackets Mike built himself. This was done early on in order to establish the wheel offset, which Mike nailed down, thanks to a Wheel Works Tire MountMate fitment tool. A gentleman’s agreement with Discount Tire allowed him to order just two Nitto NT05 tires (front and rear) in the sizes he wanted, with the caveat that he could exchange them if they didn’t fit. Thanks to the Wheel Works tool, Mike found that the huge 275/40R18 and 295/45R18 Nittos would fit, if he ordered just the right size and offset wheels. The resulting custom 18x9 and 18x10 Budnik GTB alloys were powdercoated titanium and matte black, and fit like a dream inside the Charger’s sexy fender bulges.