Back in the '60s, Detroit drag race engineering teams discovered acid dipping as a cost effective way to shed vehicle weight. Also known as chemical milling, the process involves physically immersing a metal object--from a single bolt to an entire body shell--in a solution of hydrochloric acid . . . and waiting. In a few minutes to several hours, depending on the potency of the acid, unprotected surface layers are eaten away and the item in the drink becomes lighter. Chrysler's Ramchargers group is believed to be the first professional organization to apply this aviation-industry trick on its '65 fleet of altered-wheelbase Dodge and Plymouth A/FX drag cars. That was then. Nature also has its own version of chemical milling. It's called rust. It takes a lot longer to deliver results, but as anybody living in a Rust Belt state can attest, the end result is just as effective. Here's a pair of lightweight Mopars we found recently at Winkel Auto in Milford, New Hampshire (603/721-6654). The bottom lip of the trunk lid on this ’65 Dodge Coronet W11 sedan is literally falling away from rust. The trunk panel and floors are also punky beyond belief. But since these post-coupes are superhot properties among builders of A990 Hemi Super Stock clones and altered-wheelbase Match Bash machines, this shell is actually workable. Still in place is the desirable one-year-only B-Body 83⁄4 axlehousing. Its slightly narrower track allows wider tires without fender trimming on ’62 to ’64 Mopar B-Bodies. The bottom lip of the trunk lid on this ’65 Dodge Coronet W11 sedan is literally falling a Factory-fit steel repair patches are available from Kramer Automotive (KramerAuto.com) to deal with the floor, trunk and body rot, and reproduction A/FX fiberglass dashboards are available from Sled City (SledCity.com). Real A990 Hemi Super Stocks built with the 727 TorqueFlite automatic used a column shift such as this one but with slight tweaks to the detents and a reverse- pattern indicator. Yep, a repop shifter is available from Mosher’s Muscle Car Motors (MoparsByMosher.com). Stick junkies can get perfect repop steel four-speed floor humps from Brewer’s Performance (BrewersPerformance.com). Factory-fit steel repair patches are available from Kramer Automotive (KramerAuto.com) to With some determination, a rotted hulk can be transformed into a thing of beauty. Seattle’s Richard “Performance King” Lefebvre cobbled this amazing altered-wheelbase Match Bash clone from a four-door donor car. As the logo on the front fender says: “It’s Hemi Powered.” This Match Basher currently resides in New England and frequently makes the street and strip scene. With some determination, a rotted hulk can be transformed into a thing of beauty. Seattle’ Groovy Factoids * The term Match Bash refers to a modern re-creation of an altered-wheelbase match racer from the '60s. Though some are all-out race-only machines, most Match Bash replicas are built to be street driven. Learn more at Afxer.com. * Rust results when iron-containing material is exposed to oxygen in the presence of moisture. Bare metal must be immediately coated with paint, oil, or a similar barrier to prevent oxidation. Hardtops are not as popular among A990 Super Stock fanatics (all 202 of the Dodge and Plymouth A990s were pillar coupes), but let’s not forget that all but one of Chrysler’s ’65 factory FX fleet of 11 cars were based on hardtop models. This ’65 Coronet 440 W32 hardtop is a great Match Bash candidate. The missing front-end panels are a blessing in disguise. Lightweight fiberglass fenders (with the wheel openings already moved forward 10 inches), hoods, doors, trunk lids, and bumpers are available from Sled City. Relocating the front axle 10 inches and the rear axle 15 inches is a simple five-day operation. Your author sells a 90-minute how-to DVD. Find it at TheFunnyCarFarm.com. Hardtops are not as popular among A990 Super Stock fanatics (all 202 of the Dodge and Plym Coronet engine choices for 1965 included the 225 Slant Six, 273 two-barrel (seen here), 318 polysphere two-barrel, 383 two- and four-barrel, 426 Street Wedge, and 426 Race Hemi, with output ranging from 145 to 425 hp. This example has standard nonpower brakes and manual steering, details we prefer in a Match Bash buildup. And contrary to collector-think, factory A/C is not a plus on Match Bash candidates of any make. It just adds to the number of holes in the firewall you’ll have to weld shut later. The passenger-side inner fender is raunchy but fixable. Coronet engine choices for 1965 included the 225 Slant Six, 273 two-barrel (seen here), 31 Seattle’s Arnie Gundersen built the amazing Untoucha-Bel II recently and really did it right. The 496ci Hilborn-injected Hemi is backed by a slick-shifted Chrysler four-speed and Dana with 4.56 cogs. This perfectly executed Match Basher runs 10.70s at 128 but is fully streetable. Check it out on YouTube (search Arnies altered-wheelbase Plymouth). Seattle’s Arnie Gundersen built the amazing Untoucha-Bel II recently and really did it rig By Steve Magnante Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!