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Muscle Car Comparison - Midwestern 'Tweeners

'Tweener Comparisons

Photography by Marko Radielovic, Tom Donchez

OK, what the heck is a 'Tweener, right? Quite simply, it's not a street car and it's not a race car. It's somewhere in between-a 'Tweener. Usually, it's more racer than streeter, but the owner swears it's a street car 'cuz it has current tags and operating headlights and taillights. It might even be insured. We were at the Street Machine Nationals in Lima, Ohio, this year when we met these four guys and got their ideas of what constitutes a street car. Many are still carted around on a trailer, yet their owners insist they are street cars. Current registration and insurance don't necessarily make a street car. Whatever you label them, we like 'em nonetheless. We simply call 'em 'Tweeners because they're not purely either-just ask their owners. On second thought, don't ask their owners!

Road Runnin'Roadrunners were Chrysler's first stripped-down, no-nonsense musclecars. Defining minimalism, they came with a 383ci big-block and a four-speed trans as standard equipment. This particular example relies on a 440ci big-block for motivation. Doug Kelley, of Dayton, Ohio, began building this beast back in 1997. Packing a 0.030-over 440, TRW high-compression slugs, and an MP hydraulic cam in the bottom, and Edelbrock aluminum heads, Victor intake, and a Demon carb up top, Doug's Plymouth has laid down 364 horses at the wheels, and has run a best of 11.68 at 115 mph. A TCI 9-inch converter multiplies the torque in the 727 TorqueFlite, while a 3.91-equipped 831/44-inch rearend rounds out the drivetrain. Doug puts an average of 2,500 street miles on his 'Runner every year. Can a race car do that?

The SpecsCar: '69 Plymouth RoadrunnerEngine: 440ci big-blockHeads: Edelbrock aluminum, 2.18/1.81 intake/exhaust valvesInduction: Edelbrock Victor aluminum single-plane intake, 850-cfm Demon carbCamshaft: MP hydraulic flat-tappet, 248 degrees duration at 0.050-inch lift, 0.509-inch liftPower: 364 hp @ 6,000 rpm (rear wheels), 433 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm (rear wheels)Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite automatic, TCI 4,500-stall converterRearend: 831/44-inch, 3.91:1 gearsFront suspension: Stock, 90/10 shocksRear suspension: StockBrakes: Stock drums front and rearWheels and tires: Cragar Drag Stars with P165/60R15 Pep Boys Futuras, front; 15x8 Cragar Drag Stars with P275/60R15 Goodyears, rearBody mods: Fiberglass cowl hoodPaint: Hemi Orange, by Tim Hyndel, Dayton, OhioBest e.t.: 11.68 @ 115 (quarter-mile)Cost to build: $15,000

Chevelle From HellIt took Kelly Howard exactly one trip to his local dragstrip with his freshly restored '71 Chevelle for him to be hooked-and not just a little bit hooked. Soon after he embarked on a journey to horsepower nirvana, the end result being a burly Chevelle capable of knocking on the 9-second back door. Despite the radical nature of this beast, including the 13.5:1 compression ratio, enormous roller cam, Holley Dominator, and loose converter, Kelly actually drives his Chevelle on the street and isn't afraid to put some miles on it. Kelly's heavyweight (3,860 pounds without driver!) was our Dyno Challenge winner in the normally aspirated category at this year's Street Machine Nationals in Lima, Ohio, pounding out 614 horses at the wheels.

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