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Vintage Trans-Am 302CI - Horsepower!

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Vintage Trans-Am 302CI Dodge

Gary Underwood, Wildomar, CARoughly 13 years ago, Gary Underwood ran across an abused little '67 Dodge Dart that supposedly had been raced in SCCA A/Sedan back in the late '60s. The owner didn't know what he had, but Underwood did. For a mere $6,500, he dragged home a basket case, and over the last decade, he and a huge team of friends have restored this obscure but significant competitor from the fledgling days of Trans-Am. The car was originally raced by Ron Grable and wrenched by Jim Hensel. Among the car's many significant accomplishments is winning the SCCA A/Sedan championship in 1967, 1968, and 1969 with Grable behind the wheel. We have a photo of Underwood racing the Dart at the most recent Coronado Classic Speed Festival vintage race on page 78. For vintage Trans-Am racing, the idea is to race the cars as close to the way they were back in the late '60s and early '70s. With all the wild, dual four-barrel small-block combinations, we thought Underwood's single four-barrel little-block Mopar was more than a bit out of the ordinary.

Underneath Engine

Underwood says there are "days" worth of fabrication work by Jim Francis of Maeco Motorsports in Northridge, California, on the oil pan. To begin with, he raised the engine 111/44 inches from its original 1-inch-lower race location to allow a deeper oil sump, on which Francis installed several Aviaid components to make the engine live under its high lateral-g loadings.

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