1962 Impala Road-Built Roadster
Paradise Road Rod & Custom is a fairly new company, having opened its doors in 2005, but its contributors have been building cars as a hobby for 25 years. The shift in car enthusiasts from blue collar to any-color collar has made it possible for shops like these to start up and live their dream.
SEMA always drives car builders to be more creative than they thought possible. Tim and Jim of Paradise Road Rod & Custom acquired a 1962 Impala with big plans for Vegas. They wanted to convert it from a hardtop to a no-top roadster. Ben Hermance helped them realize their vision by transferring their ideas into a rendering. This rendering shows off the "street-thrasher/industrial-style" rod they envisioned.
Paradise Road Rod & Custom has been an active sponsor of high-traffic Pro Touring Web sites such as Pro-touring.com and Lateral-g.net. Through this involvement, they have been able to get lots of input and opinions from real-world hobbyists and professionals. These people believe their cars should be driven no matter the price of the paint job, and we think that's cool.
It isn't all about the show though; this car is packed with parts that work really well. Behind the super high-quality paint job will be a mild-mannered GM LS2 and 4L65E automatic transmission to get this cruiser moving. Suspension will be comprised of tubular control arms, and coilovers front and rear. The fabrication work for the rear coilover setup was handled by Wade Sellers as an experiment that turned out better than expected.
Special treatment will be given to the interior by Tracey Weaver of The Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors. One glance at their work, and you can't help but be impressed. Though the rendering shows a red interior, plans have since changed to something a little less flashy to match the hard-edged theme of the outside.
1974 Challenger Two-Time Build
Brent Jarvis of Performance Restorations accepted the task of building this 1974 Challenger as a Pro Street car at the request of the owner. They built a 605ci all-aluminum Hemi, installed Magnum Force's K-member and coilover kit, brakes to clear 15-inch wheels, and drag-race-style bigs and littles. Unfortunately, the owner's business went under and he was forced to abandon the project. Brent bought the car, even though he wasn't really a fan of the year. One of Brent's best customers, David Wolfe, liked the style, so he offered to buy it and have the shop finish it his way. David had a '71 Camaro built by Performance Restorations about a year ago and loves the car. (See December 2007 PHR, "Show & Go.") It has a 565ci big-block Chevy attached to a six-speed transmission. Brent says: "If it's from us, it has got to have a big engine. Because really, a road-race course is just a collection of dragstrips."
David wanted this car to handle like his Camaro, so there would need to be some changes from its initial Pro Street theme. First thing that would need to go was the wheel and tire combination. Big meaty sidewalls don't fare too well against lateral acceleration, so 19-inch wheels and wider rubber were fitted. With this upgrade, the brakes that once just cleared the first set of 15-inch wheels needed to be larger. To support the big turns, Brent will be adding a drag link and sway bar to keep the axlehousing located and planted.
The rollcage and ladder-bar suspension could be converted to fit the new set of objectives without too much modification. David and Brent were pleased with the easy transition.
To plant power from the dragstrip-inspired 869hp Hemi, 345mm tires will dress the rear. With some slicks at the track, Brent expects the car to pull the front wheels up, and told us: "I can't wait to see the look on David's face when it pulls the wheels-he will drop it down faster than it came up!" This is one of the reasons Brent chose an aluminum flywheel for this application, "To soften the Hemi hit," he says.
|BY THE NUMBERS |
|ENGINE: ||605ci Hemi |
|BLOCK: ||Indy Max aluminum |
|CYLINDER HEADS: ||Indy Max aluminum |
with pump-gas-friendly compression
|INDUCTION: ||Indy Max aluminum intake manifold, |
single Holley Dominator carburetor
|VALVETRAIN: ||solid roller camshaft |
|EXHAUST: ||2.25-inch primary to |
to 3-inch custom exhaust
with 44-series Flowmaster mufflers
|DRIVELINE: ||Passion four-speed manual |
with McLeod twin-disc clutch setup
and aluminum flywheel
|FRONT SUSPENSION: ||Magnum Force's |
Tubular K-member with QA1 coilovers,
adjustable swing arm
and 1.25-inch sway bar
|REAR SUSPENSION: ||Dana 60 narrowed rear axle, |
QA1 coilovers, custom sway bar
|BRAKES: ||14-inch four- or six-piston calipers |
|WHEELS: ||Boze forged 19x9 and 19x12 |
|TIRES: ||Bridgestone Potenza 235/35-19, front; |