|I will begin with a bit of
background information. My first car back in 1978 was a
1972 Dodge Dart. I thought I knew Darts, but in fact I really only knew the "A body" Darts
and didn't have a clue about the '60-'62 models.
Fast forward to 2013. I was looking for a classic car that I could
drive while working on as a project, and I wanted the project
to be unique.
I found a Craigslist ad for a 1960 Dart Seneca 4 door. I had never been into 4
doors, but the styling on the Dart really caught my eye. The
"Jet Age/Rocket Age" design of the fins, tailights, and dash sold it. At the
time I knew nothing of the Mopar "Forward Look" cars.
My intention was to restore the 4 door, but it
needed absolutely everything. It was a running car, but it was
During my never ending search for parts on
Craigslist I stumbled across another Dart Seneca. This time a 2
door, and in really nice shape. This car had a great looking
interior, and a decent paint job that appeared to have been on
the car for some time. What made the car really special was it's
turbocharged 225 slant six. Unfortunately that engine never ran well the entire
time I had it. It ran great for short trips, but after a long cruise
on the highway it died out regularly. I would find out later that the turbo's exhaust plumbing had some
severe internal restrictions. That was ok though. My plan
was to put a V8 in it after I saved enough for the project. Trouble
is the car didn't cooperate with the plan. I blew the clutch and
decided that it was time for the project to begin.
The Seneca now has a 318 Poly bored and stroked to 390 CI. The engine is topped with a Weiand
aluminum dual quad manifold and Edelbrock 500CFM, chokeless carbs. Custom headers were built and they flow into 3" bullet
mufflers which exit ahead of the rear axle. The Poly is running a nasty mechanical cam with a great lope to it.
When the engine was out of the chassis I
pulled the front clip apart and media blasted everything from the firewall
forward. I also pulled out the dash, completely restored it, and rewired the car with a Ron Francis Access 24/7 wiring kit.
I replaced the 4 speed manual that was behind the slant 6 with a 727 Torqueflight and Gearvendors Overdrive built by CRT and a 3500 stall converter by A-1..
The chassis has also been upgraded with Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners. The front Wilwood brakes are part of a
kit from Magnumforce which includes lightweight rotors and hubs. Mastercylinder is also from Wilwood. The rear axle has been
upgraded to a Strange S60 with an S-trac positraction unit and 3.73 gears.
Standard 275x60-15s were no match for the Poly's torque so
I have been running Mickey Thompson drag radials to get some grip.