Doug & Marie Ousdigian • Chaska, MN
“I have owned many Mopars. My first was a ’68 ’Cuda,” Doug Ousdigian says. We knew right away Doug was a Mopar man through and through. His latest venture is this extra evil ’72 Challenger that he and his wife, Marie, purchased in 1995. It originally was B5 blue with a 318. Nice, but a far cry from the beast Doug envisioned it becoming. Since then Doug and Marie have worked on it every winter, slowly transforming it piece by piece. The first year, they built and installed a 360 small-block, drove it on the street, drag raced it, and performed minor upgrades until 2003. After that they decided it was finally time to tear in and go all out with a new 485ci Hemi built by Tim Banning at For Hemis Only. With the help of a .610/.570-inch lift COMP Cams solid-roller cam, Stage V aluminum heads, and Stage V aluminum dual-quad intake, the new Hemi bestowed 742 hp at 6,500 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 5,400 rpm. Getting that grunt to the ground is an A727 TorqueFlite mated to a Mark Williams chrome-moly driveshaft and a Dana 60 with Hi-Torque axles and 3.54 gears. After the power came the shine; the body received a partial restoration in 2005 by Muscle Car Restorations. No word on the quarter-mile times, but Doug and Marie report that the Challenger now consistently receives “First Place in Class” trophies as well as “Best of Show” and a couple Spectator Choice Awards.
Lee McClure • Wichita, KS
Lee McClure bought this car about four years ago—right before his second deployment to Iraq. He figured it would give him something to keep his mind busy while being gone. Though he’d had a ’64 El Camino as a daily driver for eight years, the Nova felt like his first true hot rod. He even already had a good story; he “wrecked” the Nova a few hours before he bought it while doing the first testdrive. The owner had removed his chrome wheels and put some junk rollers on. Unfortunately, he didn’t torque the lug nuts properly and the driver-side front tire passed him while doing about 20 mph. Some minor suspension and body damage, and a long walk back was all that happened, and Lee still bought it. Looking over the smoking 327ci, TH350, skinny tires, and no interior after he dragged it into his shop, the urge to wrench came on strong. What started out to just be a mild build quickly turned into an all-out effort thanks to combat pay, SummitRacing.com, and the guys at Holzman Racing in Wichita, Kansas. Don’t feel bad Lee, it’s a common contagion around here too. Now the Nova packs a 383ci with 10:1 compression, a TCI frontend with rack-and-pinion steering, manual disc brakes and a line lock, a four-point rollcage, manual valvebody reverse-pattern TH350 with a B&M ratchet shifter, and a shortened 10-bolt rearend with 4.10 posi. That’ll have to do for a while; Lee recently got married and now has a 4-year-old stepdaughter. He’s also currently stationed in Germany, but getting behind the wheel of the Nova again is giving him plenty to keep his mind occupied.