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1966 Dodge Dart - Green With Optimism

Donnie Delmain's 11-Second, 416ci, '66 Dodge Dart

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Who: Donnie Delmain
What: '66 Dodge GT Dart
Where: Cedar Hill, Missouri, the Show Me State

Engine: This is really the car's focal point. Donnie started with a 340 iron block, boring it 0.040 over to 4.070 inches and then adding an arm-stretching 4.00-inch Eagle 4340 steel crank producing 416 ci. Muscle Motors in Lansing, Michigan, did the machine work, also adding the 11.5:1-compression forged pistons and their own custom grind solid lifter, flat-tappet camshaft that specs 284 degrees at 0.050-inch tappet lift, producing 0.580 inch of maximum valve lift. The 2.05/1.60-inch stainless steel valves are located in a set of ported Edelbrock aluminum heads that Donnie says flow 295 cfm. A Mopar Performance M1 intake mounts the 850-cfm Demon carburetor, Hooker 15?8-inch headers take care of the exhaust, and an MSD 6AL box lights it all up. The simple exhaust system is little more than a length of 3-inch tubing with a pair of two-chamber Flow-master mufflers and turndowns.

Transmission: In the '60s, some Fuel Funny Cars used 727 TorqueFlite transmissions until the Lenco made its debut, so an updated version with a reverse Cheetah valvebody and custom 3,800-rpm 8-inch converter all detailed by Tach Transmissions makes Donnie's Dart fly.

Rearend: At barely 3,200 pounds with a driver on the starting line, a Dana would be overkill, which is why Donnie went with a simple 8 3/4-inch rear out of a '69 Dart complete with 4.10:1 Richmond gears and a Detroit Locker differential. The axles have also been redrilled from their tiny 5x4-inch arrangement to the fullsize Mopar 5x4 1/2-inch pattern.

Chassis: Besides the enormous amount of work that went into the body, the plan also called for framerail connectors to stiffen the entire body along with a homebuilt six-point rollbar with side bars. The frame modifications were made by Matt Williams.

Suspension/Brakes: Donnie retained the stock front crossmember but added drag shocks up front, replacing all the bushings and ball joints. The rear suspension got a little more attention with a set of stock rear leaf springs, adjustable Rancho shocks, and a set of CalTracs bars. For stopping, he added a set of '75 Dodge Dart discs, while a pair of 10-inch drums bring up the rear.

Bodywork: It might be a shorter list to detail what pieces Donnie didn't change or repair on this field Dart. You can safely assume that everything from roughly the lower body line and down was rusty, but we also have to include both rear quarter-panels. That's a '69 Road Runner 6BBL hoodscoop, if you're wondering. The color is "just green."

Interior: It's drag racer sparse on the inside. Donnie eliminated the stock dash, choosing to go with a length of aluminum sheet that houses an Auto Meter speedometer and gauges and a race car rocker set for the necessary switches. The Auto Meter tach sits on top of the dash. The seats are a simple pair of Jaz fiberglass buckets, while the door panels are also aluminum. There are no frills here--and don't bother looking for a stereo.

Performance: Here is where the little A-Body shines, with its best pass an 11.30 at 118 mph on 93-octane pump gas. Our techsheet asked for gas mileage, and Donnie's response was "Who cares?"

Crew: Matt Williams, Kevin Otty, Donnie's brothers, his dad--and Donnie wanted to give a shout out to Clayton, Dan Jr., and, of course, the Labadie Bottom Boys.

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