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By: Rod 11/18/2019

 Originally came with a 235ci I-6, my Dad swapped in a 348 w/Tri-Power and cast iron Powerglide, then it sat pretty much like that for the most part of the next 20 years. Around 2003 he started a resto-mod on it while I was in the Navy, I got out in 2005, about 45% through the process, just in time to dig in and help. The list of work included:

Doghouse off/frame on restoration

New rear glass, safety glass windshield

Reupholstered interior

Updated stereo system

Classic Air A/C

Generator to alternator conversion

605 steering box

Power disk brake conversion to the front/w 2" drop spindles

Air Ride

Removal of the Tri-Power for factory single 4 barrel cast iron intake w/an Edlebrock Performer 650 carb

HEI distributor

Complete re-paint

Next came complete rebuild of the 348, .030 over, 700R4 swap, Air Ride sway bars

Summer 2012, the 348 nearly locks up. My Dad is the farthest thing from being mechanically inclined, he's a paint and body guy. So when the engine started knocking and had a big drop in power, he kept driving it. The result was 12 wiped out cam lobes, trashed all the bearings, scared the crank, broken piston skirt, and 5 seized wrist pins. So another full rebuild, Show Cars Comp Cams roller cam, Edlebrock small port Performer intake manifold. It was like pulling teeth to get that, my dad doesn't want to spend the money on engine mods, engine mods can't be seen, and besides he doesn't want to race, he just wants to cruise.

Over the next year: New lifters will not pump up, turns out the Edlebrock roller lifters that came with the kit were recalled in 07 and somehow never made it, new lifters from Edlebrock. Father's Day '13, both factory stamped steel rockers #3 cylinder broke, one cracked in half, another pushrod punched through. Brand new factory replacement rockers.

After a combination of me trying to educate my dad on why I keep telling him to get these "race engine" parts, and him finding a 409 in pieces at the StreetRod Nationals, he folds and listens to me(mostly). He even surprised me when (after they found out that the crank that came with the 409 wasn't for a 409, it was a 327) he went along with putting a 454 crank in. I had him convinced on the big port intake, but he got to talking to some jack wagon at the Edelbrock booth at the Street Rod Nationals, talked him into keeping the small port intake and opening up the ports just enough to help the transition. I really wanted the big port intake, especially once I found out he stroked it. I went to the School of Automotive Machinists for cylinder head machining, and have had airflow pounded into my head, so it drives me nuts, especially because of the potential of the motor, but my dad won't be out racing this thing, and it's going to have plenty of power for him. That's the reason I had to stop looking at the heads, the ports were no where near what I would consider efficient flow(but I'm positive they are way better than they were factory). So I'm just going to chalk it up as a great foundation for me to build on when the time comes for me to personalize it.

Spring of 2019 I made the first round of my own updates, in preparation to make the 25th running of the Hot Rod Power Tour.

We recently did the Long Haul on the 2019 Hot Rod Power Tour.

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