Inside the Shop
To truly understand Muscle Rod Shop and its unique approach to building cars requires taking a closer look at the man behind its inception. In his past life, Steve worked as a computer programmer and built cars out of his garage strictly as a hobby. After many years on the job, he realized that being a code monkey wasn't the most fulfilling way to exercise his artistic talent. "Writing computer programs requires lots of artistic creativity, but the problem is that not everyone can appreciate it. You can't walk around a computer program and analyze it in three dimensions from multiple angles," he explains. "If a program ever goes away or becomes obsolete, then you have absolutely nothing left to show for your hard work. Cars, on the other hand, are much more permanent. They're like a blank canvas, and everyone can appreciate the work that goes into building them."

In pursuit of a more gratifying profession, Steve opened up Muscle Rod Shop in 2002 along with his sons, Jeff and Brandon. The trio of men balance each other perfectly, with dad overseeing the overall direction of the builds, Jeff handling the powertrain development, and Brandon tackling the hard-core sheetmetal fabrication. "I'm in the car business less for the speed and more for the artistry. The other guys on staff are more into the performance aspect of car building, so it works out well," he says. After a while, you know how to slice, modify, and fill in panels. It's not that big of a deal. There are a lot of shops that can do paint and body, but what sets us apart is that we can start out with a car that's all ratty, bulk it up, give it some steroids, pour some wild color on it, and show what can be accomplished by improving upon an already sweet design."


By The Numbers
1968 Dodge Charger
Steve Enochs, 54
San Antonio, TX

Engine
Type: Chrysler 389ci big-block
Block: factory B-series (low-deck) iron, bored to 4.280 inches
Oiling: Melling pump, stock pan
Rotating assembly: stock crankshaft and connecting rods, Keith Black 9.0:1 hypereutectic pistons
Cylinder heads: ported factory iron castings
Camshaft: COMP Cams 224/224-at-.050 hydraulic flat-tappet; .470-/.470-inch lift; 110-degree lobe-separation angle
Valvetrain: COMP Cams lifters, timing set, valvesprings, and pushrods
Induction: Weiand dual-plane intake manifold, Holley 750-cfm carb
Ignition: Mopar Performance distributor, coil, and plug wires
Exhaust: Doug's 1.75-inch headers, custom X-pipe, dual 3-inch MagnaFlow mufflers
Cooling: stock water pump, Griffin radiator

Drivetrain
Transmission: Chrysler A833 four-speed manual trans, McLeod clutch, Hurst shifter
Rear axle: Chrysler 8¾-inch rearend with Strange 33-spline axles, 3.55:1 gears, and limited-slip differential

Chassis
Front suspension: rebuilt stock
Rear suspension: rebuilt stock with raised spring perches
Brakes: Baer 11-inch discs with two-piston calipers, front; 10.75-inch discs with single-piston calipers, rear

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Centerline Lazer II 18x8 (4.5-inch backspace), front; 20x12 (5.5-inch backspace), rear
Tires: Nitto Invo; 245/40ZR18, front; 315/35ZR20, rear