Are you ready to be blown away by another one of RKM Performance Center’s incredible pro-tourers? Remember the 1970 Charger we built called “Maximum Effect”? You know, the black Charger that was featured in numerous magazines, attended the 2010 Mopar Nationals, and sold for a healthy six figures before even debuting on our website? This Plum Crazy Purple cruiser, dubbed “Maximum Effect II” is the sister project to that storied build. And naturally, it was assembled to the same incredibly high standards while incorporating a few tricks of its own.
First off, the car’s body has been fully restored to better-than-factory specifications. And by that, I mean this Charger is INCREDIBLY straight. Look down its massive quarters and you’ll find flowing lines, tight doors and even gaps. That flawless fit and finish is founded on comprehensive prep which included: complete disassembly, non-acidic chemical dipping, first class metal work and additional support bars for the engine bay. Once those basics were solid, the body was subjected to a coating process that included complete E-coat submergence and a 400 degree bake. After E-coating, priming and hours of blocking, Plum Crazy basecoat was layered in PPG clear. When that clear dried, everything was wet-sanded and buffed to an incredible shine. And finally, we installed Lamborghini Silver striping.
While that shell was being subjected to a strict workout routine, its stock trim was plated and polished into immaculate, show-ready jewelry. At the front of the car, an original, Lamborghini Silver grille hangs a modern “CHARGER” script inside hidden headlights, amber parking lamps and bright chrome trim. Above that grille, a pinned hood leads the eye to like-new glass, muted wipers and bright stainless frames. At the sides of that hood, a faceted profile hangs fresh handles and chrome mirrors in front of a bright ‘pit stop’ fuel filler. And at the back of the car, a Lamborghini Silver valence frames wide tail lights and a modern “CHARGER” script above small reverse lamps and a chrome, body-width bumper.
Okay, so it’s drop-dead gorgeous… But can it run? ABSOLUTELY! The car came to us stuffed with a 1967 Hemi engine, so we left it in there. Actually, no we didn’t. We took it out, rebuilt it using every double-throw down piece we could think of and reinstalled it in a freshly decked bay. Today, the big V8 creates snarling 11 to 1 compression thanks to a full roller valvetrain from Indy Cylinder Head. There’s a pair of Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetors under a trick K&N air filter, which was CNC-whittled specifically for this application. A set of March pulleys, custom 6061 aluminum fastener bezels and a high efficiency, 2-core radiator add a bit of flash. That radiator is shrouded with a modern Charger logo - subtle, but effective. And finally, TTI long-tube headers dump spent gases into 3-inch TTI pipes and beefy Dynomax mufflers that make the car sound like an approaching thunderstorm.
In a classic like this, an automatic transmission just doesn’t work. So we upgraded to a bulletproof Tremec TKO600 5-speed. Combining a short 1st gear with a tall 5th gear overdrive, this set up allows the driver to enjoy the best of accelerating AND cruising. Power is transferred from a hydraulic clutch to a Dana 60 axle, which spins a limited slip differential around 3.55 gears. At the front of that drivetrain, a modified Firmfeel suspension mixes tubular control arms, Bilstein shocks and .5-inch lowering springs with adjustable strut rods, a 1.25-inch sway bar and urethane bushings. Out back, re-arched leaf springs, which drop the car an inch, perfectly complement a second pair of Bilsteins. Braking is better than even ‘70s race cars, with aluminum Wilwood calipers clamping 12-inch Wilwood discs at all four corners. And on the outside of those discs, ‘60s-inspired Coys spin 235/45ZR17 BF Goodrich g-Force radials in front of 275/40ZR18 BF Goodrich g-Force radials.
We’re big fans of Dodge’s interior styling, so we chose to leave most of the components on the inside of this cruiser factory-correct. However, that doesn’t mean stock, as even the color is a subtly different Charcoal Gray. Those are fully restored, original gauges sitting behind gorgeous BE/A bezels. The fresh door panels play host to fresh armrest bases and fresh door handles. The BE/A dash pad is close to perfect, matching a fresh console that’s fitted with re-chromed top plates and a cool TKO Pistol Grip shifter. Fresh seat covers, fresh carpet and a fresh headliner complete the soft trim. There’s a duo of vintage-looking Stewart Warner gauges mounted ahead of the aforementioned shifter, while the modern Kenwood stereo features a CD player and iPod interface. The wood steering wheel is a restored original. And a fully upholstered trunk creates the perfect foundation for an Optima gel cell battery.
Well, what else is there to say? This Charger is as finely crafted as any street rod or custom, packs a walloping Hemi under its hood and is an absolute blast to drive. It’s not over-the-top, but rather a subtle evolution of one of the most popular and potent cars Chrysler ever created. If that’s your kind of fun, give us a call! The clock is officially ticking…