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THE PROOF IS IN THE PACKAGE
1968 SUPER STOCK PACKAGE CARS
In the 1960’s, the American automotive world witnessed an arms race in horsepower and performance throughout the marketplace. For Mopar®, the venerable HEMI® engine was often the horsepower behind many of the famous Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth brand vehicles that came off the line during the era. In 1968, at the height of this race, Dodge and Plymouth introduced their own new “weapons” to the drag racing world. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock “Package Cars”.
The Dodge and Plymouth brands saw an opportunity in the NHRA Super Stock class to introduce a new lightweight, high-horsepower entrant in this hotly contested American O.E.- based class of drag racing. Both the Dart and Barracuda donor cars were taken from the assembly line to Hurst Performance in Madison Heights, Michigan. There were under 100 of each of the Super Stock variants ever built (around 80 of each). Once at Hurst, anything that was not needed on these cars to assist in performance was removed. Items removed included heaters, arm rests, radios, sound deadening materials, etc. Also, many of the body panels that were sheet metal, like the hood and trunk, were replaced with fiberglass.
In addition to the above noted updates to these cars, the addition of the 426 HEMI engine to both the Dart and Barracuda was its own engineering feat. The sheer size of the 426 was not the original intent for the engine bays of either car. Therefore, the engineers for Dodge and Plymouth, along with the team at Hurst, were forced to relocate the batteries to the rear of the car, alter the engine bays themselves and install new high-performance cooling systems. The result in both cases were cars that dominated the Super Stock class for many years following its launch in 1968.
2018 NHRA U.S. NATIONALS
· Annual HEMI (Engine) Challenge Event
· 27 Classic Mopar Super Stock Dart and ‘Cuda vehicles
· $15,000 Winner’s Purse
· 42.6-lb. trophy