Todd Hayworth of Kannapolis, North Carolina, has been building cars since he could stand. Beyond that, Todd has been building Sprint Cup cars for the last 15 years, and has gained a lot of connections in that world. This came in handy when he shifted from NASCAR to Pro Touring and resto-mods for his shop, Knowbody's Sheet Werks. He's incorporated many race car parts into his builds to give them a little extra authenticity.
Todd is building this car for hardcore Mopar fan Jeff Griffen, of Mint Hill, North Carolina. Jeff plans to take his new toy to the 40th anniversary of the Superbird at Road Atlanta in the fall of 2009. This isn't just going to be a car show princess. With some tricky gearing, Jeff will be shooting for over 200 mph at Laurinburg-Maxton Air Force Base, the East Coast's answer to Bonneville.
"Has that thing got a Hemi?" you may ask. The answer is no, it's got something better. Todd worked his Sprint Cup magic and scored a clean 2007 R-4 Sprint cup motor. Due to Chrysler's block redesign in 2008, racers were looking to unload their 2007 models. These motors pack 742 horsepower and sound wicked. Above that, being able to say you run a NASCAR motor is pretty impressive.
To go with the real racer theme, Todd scored some old Trans Am spindle-mount wheels he got from a GT-1 racer buddy. The mix of traditional race-bred parts and modern performance translates into a really unique car.
On top of being a show car racer, Jeff's Superbird will be comfortable to drive, too. Jeff had bought a wrecked '04 Pontiac GTO to borrow drivetrain components for another build, and had nearly the whole car leftover. Todd couldn't let these parts go to waste, so he borrowed the interior and door handles to incorporate into the Superbird. It will be complete with A/C, so cruising to the shows and around town will be comfortable.
1972 Dodge Dart
Hemi Power Rules
A loss can be viewed solely as something tragic, or it can be looked at as a jump-start to a new beginning. Garret Lewis of China Grove, NC, founded a shop called Dixie Rods and Restorations. He and his team specialized in historically accurate restorations using many factory parts. Garret had dabbled in the mostly custom side of car building before, but running a shop with employees geared toward restorations made it hard for him to pursue more complicated jobs. With a twist of fate, his employees ended up quitting, leaving him alone with his business. He saw this as his opportunity to re-open his doors with a fresh new name and fresh ideas. This is how One Time Customs came to be.
Garret dove deep into every project he could, as long as it had a metal body and an engine inside. He built four-wheel-drive rigs, traditional hot rods, cruiser bikes, dune buggies, and g-Machines. By experimenting, he found the g-Machine style his favorite to work with. Lucky for him, his father asked him to build a '72 Dart with the same blend of performance and comfort that has made the Pro Touring style so popular.
The emphasis of this project would be on the body. Garret wanted the car to look really smooth and clean, without making it look hacked up. He shaved the door handles, trim, cowl vent, and bumper bolts. Even more impressive, he fit the bumpers closer to the body. To the untrained eye, the bumpers look unmodified, like they should've come from the factory.
Power will come from a late-model Hemi 5.7- or 6.1-liter plant. He has a 5.7-liter right now, but he tells us he may just use it as a mock-up motor, and use the 6.1-liter in final assembly. This won't be a mild motor by any means; Garret plans for a twin-turbo setup to top the new-age power.
Truth be told, he isn't only building this car for his father, but as a display of what he can do. Dad is letting Garret parade the shows with his super-smooth, powerful Dart. Plans are to go to the Year One Experience, Goodguys Southeast Nationals, and the Shades of the Past show. With the increased exposure, Garret hopes to expand his business with a larger shop and more help.
This 2007 NASCAR motor is...
This 2007 NASCAR motor is a unique alternative to the Hemi or wedge-head motors. Chrysler's 2008 redesign helped builder Todd Hayworth score this motor to pack a little more punch in the '70 Superbird project.
Borrowed from a donor 2004...
Borrowed from a donor 2004 GTO, these door handles give the car a much sleeker appearance. The handles installed in this picture are mock-ups, but the final product will be the same, minus the door lock key.
You can see the work that...
You can see the work that was lavished to smooth out the body and bumpers. Notice the bumper bolts are missing? Also, we were told the taillight's location was a secret.
This car gets special treatment...
This car gets special treatment with a custom triangulated four-bar suspension, complete with Air Ride's springs. Wheel tubs were also welded in to stuff enough rubber to hold the Hemi's twin-turbo power.