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1967 Dodge Coronet - Build Or Buy

Picking Up Where The Last Guy Left Off May Have Its Advantages.

Photography by , Terry McGean

There seems to be some sort of unwritten rule governing the realm of drag-dedicated cars, the gist of which states that to truly gain the respect of your motorhead peers, you must create your machine with your own hands. Buying a finished car or writing a check to have someone else spin the wrenches is verboten, and it won't get you a seat at the cool-kids' table the next time you go to the track.

Glenn Forbush's yellow Dodge doesn't represent an attempt to buy into the gearhead fraternity even though he bought it much as you see here. He became a member back in 1978 when he purchased a '70 Challenger, then ditched the 318 for a 440. Twelve years later, he picked up a '74 Challenger Rallye-another 318 car that had received a 440. It was to be a mild refresh and repaint, but it turned into a total teardown, right there in the Forbush garage. Three years passed before the Challenger re-emerged with show-car finish and trim and a better 440, mostly as a result of Glenn's own effort along with help from his then-adolescent daughter and some friends.

In the meantime, Glenn had purchased a '67 Coronet so he would have a vintage Mopar to satisfy his jones while cruising the local scene. It was supposed to be sold upon completion of the Challenger, but once the E-car was done, the Forbushes missed their garage sessions. That set a plan in motion to turn the Coronet into a mild street/strip machine. "I started doing the math to figure out what it would cost, then I saw the yellow car on eBay." The Coronet up for bid was a fairly radical street machine, with a 500-inch big-block slung from a motor plate, a manually shifted TorqueFlite, a four-link rear between the enlarged tubs, and a 'cage. "The car was a lot more serious than I had intended for the project we were planning, but the Buy It Now price was a lot less than the estimates I was coming up with." After lengthy conversations with the owner, a deal was made and the big, yellow '67 came back to So Cal. "The car turned out to be just what the previous owner had said, and I'm pretty sure I paid about half what he'd spent to build it."

If there were any disappointments, it was only after the first trip to the strip, where the best the Dodge could muster was a 12.19 at 110 mph-not great considering its hardware. But after subsequent ignition and carb tuning, Glenn had it down to 11.61 at 114, though his sights are set firmly on the 10s. "My next move will be a custom converter; this one seems to be slipping too much in High gear. Next I'll go with a custom grind on a solid-roller cam, and I'm thinking of shaving the heads to get compression up to 10.6:1." By that time-and it won't be long-Glenn should have enough of the Dodge's grease under his fingernails to squelch any doubt that he's earned the right to take credit for its performance.

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