The story of this 1970 Challenger begins at the 2002 SEMA show in Las Vegas, where John Balow of Muscle Car Restorations conceived the idea of building a muscle car that combines vintage styling and cutting-edge technology. John pitched the idea to the crew at Year One, Mopar Muscle Magazine, Mopar Performance and Skuza Motorsports. The T/A Challenger is a car that Dean Skuza (NHRA Funny Car driver) has always been fond of, and he was eager to get the ball rolling on this project. Year One was immediately on board with their ability to provide nearly every replacement part for the vehicle. Mopar Performance joined the project with their brand new fuel-injected 5.7 Hemi engine. TCI transmissions jumped in and provided an automatic transmission that mated up to this high-tech motor.
A donor vehicle was located, and the work began immediately. The car was stripped of all the paint, body filler, rust and all other foreign materials. From there, the metal work started, where new quarter panels and other replacement pieces were installed. The car was then prepared for paint and sprayed with beautiful Hemi Orange paint from PPG.
With the big stuff out of the way, MCR went to work contacting their network of suppliers that had the rest of the technology to bring this car to life. FAST (Fuel Air Spark Technology) fuel injection systems created a custom fuel and spark management system using their new XFI technology. Deciding that the old K-frame front suspension needed updating, Magnum Force was contacted for one of their new coil-over shock front suspension kits, which helped give this car that mean stance. To help keep cool in this hot car, Classic Auto Air came up with a retro-fit air conditioning system that combines the new technology with the original equipment. To help that new Hemi breathe, Stainless Works created a set of beautifully polished stainless steel headers.
Dean wanted to do something unique with the interior, so MCR constructed a custom carbon fiber dash in their composites department, which makes a big impact inside. The cluster was then filled with gauges from Auto Meter to keep an eye on the vitals of this machine. To help this car stop on a dime, Stainless Steel Brakes came up with a set of 4-wheel discs, and to make them even cooler, they engraved the MCR logo on the calipers. To show off these great brakes, Weld wheels provided a set of 5-spoke mags that really help send this car into the new millennium.
MCR would like to thank all of the suppliers of this project for helping to bring this dream to reality. Check out the photos below for selected glimpses of the construction. For a full photographic journey, go to www.musclecarrestorations.com.
On the cover! Mopar Muscle Magazine - February 2007 Issue
From the article: "John Balow's shop, Muscle Car Restorations (MCR) in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was responsible for turning Editor Bolig's drab army-green Valiant into the arrow-straight, eye-blindingly white A-Body it is today. They also have had many of their clients' Mopars featured in our pages, including a pair of Super Stock A-Body clones, outstanding street cruisers, and some of the most perfect concourse-grade restorations we've ever seen. So when John came up to us at the SEMA show in Las Vegas with this wild concept, he had our attention."
Look for the 5 page article Skuza's Cruza in the March 2007 issue of Mopar Collectors Guide!
Featuring The 1970 Skuza T/A Challenger