.............Gary's 440 Challenger..........

On May 13, 2004, Bloomfield Township Police Officer -GARY COOPER DAVIS- was killed in the line of duty while making a drunk driver arrest. This is Gary's webpage dedicated to his Dodge Challenger that he was so proud of. Do not remember Gary solely for his car. Remember Gary as the person. Gary was a dedicated and caring husband to his wife Nicole. He was a loving son and brother to his family. He was a honorable and dedicated Police Officer. And he was a positive influence for hundreds of students at Bloomfield Lasher schools. Gary touched many people's lives. He will be GREATLY missed by all.

Thanks for dropping by! The above photo is no hoax! I actually made the cover of the July '03 issue of Mopar Muscle! Also in that issue is a feature article on page #22. About 5 years ago I would have laughed if you told me that I would soon drop my Chevy ties and convert to Mopar. If you told me that my first Mopar project would end up on the cover of the finest Mopar enthusiasts magazine, I would have thought you needed phychiatric help! This car has been an absolute blast to own, build, drive and race. So, what if I told you this car was a 10 second car? Would you believe it's a pump gas car? So where is the nitrous? Blower or turbo? Stroker crank hiding in there maybe? No way! Follow along with me here. 440 cubic inches,unleaded pump premium gas, full exhaust, full interior, kickin' tunes, all accessories work, and never sees the north side of 190 degrees in cruise traffic. Most of this page is in chronological order and I try to update frequently. Under "Performance Calender" you will see that on 09-01-03, I finally made the 10 second pass that I've been chasing for a year, and on 11-08-03, I went deep into the 10's after DRIVING the car to the dragstrip!! In the meantime, enjoy the read.............

My 73 Challenger project started in September 1998 when I answered an ad in the paper. I bought the car from a guy in Berkley, Mi. for $4,200. The original 318 Ralley car was now housing a '70 440 steel crank motor, 727 trans. and 8 3/4 rear end. This seemed to be the perfect project and I couldn't fork over the cash fast enough! The whole idea was to keep the car on the road as much as possible while doing the project. Over the first winter the engine, trans. and rear end were gone through. Here's what my "initial" build consisted of: 440+.030, balanced with Ross flat top pistons. 906 heads with 2.14/1.81 valves, street ported. Hughes Engines HEV4550 solid cam. BG 825 RaceDemon carb. Mopar Performance M-1 intake. Crane 1.5 roller rockers. Hooker Headers to 3" Dynomax exhaust. Dynamic 9.5" converter. 4.10 Gears. This car runs on pump gas and is TOTALLY STREETABLE !!

Over the winter of 1999 I pulled the old ratty green interior and completely changed over to black. The idea was to keep it somewhat stock appearing, yet be totally functional and ofcourse safe. If you move down to the interior and rollbar section, you can check it out for yourself. This winter poses my biggest challenge (no pun intended),the paint job!! So what color should I paint it??? *** Update *** Well, I finally chose a color!! Have you seen the new copper/orange color on the new Plymouth Prowler? I'm going with that color and the original type black strobe stripes down the doors. I'll call it "come 'n get me copper"!!!

As of 3-3-02, the car is now sporting its new paint job!! Be sure to page down and check out the new "Paint and Body" section. Soon, I will be adding a "New Engine" section. I'm shooting for 580+ h.p. with the new bullet.

Finally the section many of you have waited for. Since I was painting the car this year and the drivetrain had to come out, I thought it would be a great time to freshen the engine up. Well, those of you that know me know that I never can leave well enough alone! The oem LY rods gave way to a new set H-beam rods, the oem "906" heads were sold for a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads that were quickly shuffled off to Impastato Racing Engines and the mild solid flat tappet cam gave way to a bigger Comp Cams 294XX solid flat tappet bumpstick. Aluminum heads generally require about a point more compression so this one falls in right at 10.7:1. Yep, it runs just fine on the 92 octane pump stuff! On Sept. 7th 2002 I had the car on the chassis dyno at Automotive Performance Engineering in Macomb Twp. The car made 418 rear wheel h.p. and 405 ft. lbs of torque on their Mustang Dyno. My earlier estimate of 580 at the motor is darn close considering the stingy nature of the Mustang dynos! Here are some photos.
The biggest bore in Muscle car V8 history!
Gotta love shiney roller rockers.
Just needs fuel lines and FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!
Russ and Jack always around to help out.
Every once in awhile Dad stops by to supervise.
Moparts member Steff plumbed this. Thanks Steve!

My loving wife for her endless patience with my expensive hobby!
Jack Irons for the roll-bar, frame ties and making his hoist available whenever I need it.
Russ Aderholdt for many hours of assistance.
Jack Irons Jr. for many hours of assistance and probably the most gifted 21 year old engine builder/head porter you'll ever meet.
Steve Rimay (Steff from moparts)for many hours of assistance and treating my project like it was his own.
Dwayne Porter (Fast68Plymouth from Moparts) for much technical assistance.
Bill Wilson and Josh Felberg. The two responsible for the beautiful job on the body and paint.
Good friend Frank Remlinger for his assistance with this webpage.
Todd Fischer and his engine stand!!Much thanks to you Todd!!
My engine on the stand photo #1
My engine on the stand photo #2
All the guys and gals at www.moparts.com for helping me pick the color, stripes, and keeping me motivated. This one is for you guys!!
When it comes to trusting someone with my engine work, I go to one person exclusively; Vince Impastato at IMPASTATO RACING ENGINES in Clinton Twp., Mi. I have known Vince for close to 20 years and I can tell you that the quality of his work is without compare. Not only has he built a multitude of NHRA and IHRA record setting engines, he personally owns and drives an NHRA SS/GT record holder himself. No matter what the make, Vince knows it, builds it and his customers win with it!! Check out the photos below and then call him at (586)749-0200 or contact by e-mail at Impastatoracingengines@home.com.

Now THIS is a shop!!
No extra charge for the sanitary working conditions!!
How 'bout a set of full boogie 906's??
Or maybe a complete INDY motor suits your needs.
Click here to visit Impastato Racing Engines.

Whatever you need, however fast you want to go, Vince can accomodate. Forget about the flashy magazine ads and broken promises of so many other shops. When you're ready to get serious, call I.R.E.

11-11-00: Car runs a traction limited 11.95 @ 114.5!!!! Finally in the 11's!

12-05-00: Replaced the RaceDemon 750 carburetor with a RaceDemon 825.

05-10-01: Replaced Weiand Xcelerater manifold with a Mopar M-1. This manifold and new larger carburetor cost me over 15 h.p. on the dyno. She needs more camshaft to better match the bigger intake and carburetor.

06-09-01: A little tuning on the RaceDemon 825 and the car went 11.81 @ 115.5mph. This was with a very hard 1.59 60ft. time.

07-28-01: Car runs a new best of 11.77 @ 115.5 mph. Poor track prep leads to high 1.6 60ft.'s or I may have been into the 60's. Will this mild combo see 11.50's on a cool fall day with good track prep?? Bet on it!!

09-15-01: Car runs an amazing 11.47 @ 116.5 mph through the mufflers at Norwalk Raceway Park!! Remember, this is a 9.83-1 440 with OEM iron heads and a 245 @.050 solid flat tappet cam.

10-10-01: At a Mopar day at Milan Dragway, the car runs a string of 11.50's despite poor track prep and slightly slower 60ft. times. I did however hit my best mph yet. 116.87mph!!

11-15-01: New EDELBROCK heads are in hand, as is a new Comp Cams solid flat tappet camshaft. The engine is all torn down and looks no worse for wear after 3 seasons. A quick hone, new bearings and rings, and I'm ready for some 10 second e.t.'s!!

07-20-02: Today was the first day to the track with the new engine combo and paint job. We went to Lapeer Dragway where I proceeded to break a rocker arm adjuster during a warm-up ride in the car. Fortunately Todd had a spare. I got the car running and now my charging system wasn't working!! Man, bad luck for the first day out. I managed to get it to the staging lanes twice this day, although without a charging system on either run. Despite the hot temperatures that day, I managed an 11.49 @120.99 mph!! Wow! Lapeer is always a few mph high so I didn't get too excited but thats some serious mph there! 60ft's were not the best and something is sounding odd under the car at launch..

08-03-02: A bunch of us went to the Chrysler Classic at Milan Dragway today. I solved my charging problem but still have a strange "banging" sound under the car at launch. Well, I found it! The shocks are topping out and unloading my suspension. Therefore 60ft. times are off a bit. Still, having a charging system this time and slightly better air put the car at 11.33 @119mph the first run off the trailer. In the heat of the day I threw bigger squirters at it. Well guess what? It blew the tires off at the starting line which hurt the e.t. but it picked up 1/2 mph on the big end. Guess what, she wants some fuel!! Can't wait till next time.

09-13-02: Well this was the weekend I was waiting for. The Chrysler Classic at Norwalk Raceway Park. Problem #1, the usual cool temperatures were not to be had. It was 80 degrees and muggy on Friday and Saturday we got rain. Problem #2, the car was not getting traction off the line. This really surprised me as Norwalk is the best prepped track in the country. Still I managed a new best of 11.25 @120.33. Improvement is good, but tire-spinning 1.65 60ft. times aren't going to get me into the 10's.

09-21-02: Because of the shortened Norwalk weekend and the so-so results, I wanted to make some changes to the car and hit the strip. A couple of us headed to Ubly Dragway and I played with front and rear shock settings. Tire spin was worse than before with new Mopar Performance rear shocks. My best pass of the day was a disappointing 11.30. I did however play with the timing a bit and found that this combo likes 39 degrees better than the usual 37 so the day wasn't a complete loss.

09-28-02: All week I was thinking that my rear springs were suspect. Since they were just stockers that were re-arched, I decided to pick up a new set of SS springs. However, Chuck Millen of Best Machine landed me a set of used Tri-City launchers for a price to good to pass up. On they went and off we went to Milan for the test and tune. Well, its not right yet, but its coming around and I'm headed in the right direction. 60ft. times are improved but the car is still spinning about 1/2 rotation on launch and it scrubs the tires about 15 feet out. I did set an all time low e.t. of 11.20 @121mph. The mph is there for the elusive 10 second blast but I need a good, solid 1.53 60ft. to make it happen. Stay tuned because we have several more trips to the 1320 planned and theres only so many more tweaks left in the suspension before I find the right set-up.

10-06-02: Well, I'm still fighting terrible traction problems. I ended up lowering the tire pressure to 9.5 lbs and it only succeeded in getting the car squirrely on the big end. So, I aired them up to 12 lbs and tried the other end of the spectrum for my last run of the day. Bingo!! Much improved 60 ft. of 1.60 but still spinning a fair amount. 1/8 mile time was 7.08 @97 mph but WHAT!! The darn clocks at Milan didn't print my 1/4 e.t.!! On the 1.57 factor which my car runs right on, that was an 11.11 pass!! I'll be back.

10-20-02: I went and purchased some good Rancho 9000 shocks for the track today. First pass out was promising. About a rotation and a half of the tire but no more 15 feet of scrubbing. The car got sideways on the 1-2 shift and out of the groove a bit, pointing me at the guardrail for a quick second. I was surprised to see the 11.18 @120.65 due to all the driving I had to do. I went back to the pits, added some ballast in the trunk and clicked the shocks to a softer setting due to the marginal track. Next pass it really hooked!! For about 5 feet and then BOOM!! Game over for this year. Ring and pinion gave up the ghost. Way to much abuse on the stock 8 3/4 with all the spin/hook it was doing all year. See ya next year with a Dana 60 and a 10 second time slip. Oh yeah, did I mention that I never got to tune on this thing!! To busy playing with traction. I'll find it.. Thanks for reading.. Check back in May.

03-30-03: Thanks for stopping in. Well, I've been busy over the winter accumulating new parts. The biggest one being the new Dana 60. Well, its in and it looks sweet! I ended up going to 4.30 gears and I plan to run a taller 29" slick at the track. I got the Dana 60 through Ray Barton Industrys who gets them from Strange. Its a beautiful piece and their price was the best. I also bought a new 6061 aluminum driveshaft instead of having my stock one shortened. Other updates this year include new 2" primary headers and an X-pipe exhaust system. Along with a set of South Side Machine bars for some traction help, hopefully this puts me over the edge and well into the 10's. Well see real soon!

05-18-03: Today was the first day out to the dragstrip this year. The car is now sporting 2" headers,an X-pipe 3" exhaust system, and the new Dana 60. The plan was to do some tuning and see if the 10 second goal can be met. On the first pass it was evident that the new 3.5" diameter driveshaft was hitting the driveshaft loop under acceleration so I had to abort the first pass. But what!! A 1.531 60ft. time!! Now were talking! To the pits I went and hacksawed the loop out. I didn't like making passes without one, but I couldn't let the day be a total waste. Traction was hit or miss in the following 5 runs but I did manage to run a new best of 11.10@120! Unfortunately the loop took an hour to cut off of the car so I didn't get any time to play with jetting. Next time out I will be armed with the Southside Machine Bars to assist the launch, and the jet kit. I can taste the 10 second time slip! Stay tuned.

09-01-03: Well, after a little playing around at the dragstrip, and being into the heat of the summer, the few trips to the dragstrip since 05-18-03 haven't given me my 10 second pass yet. I have discovered that an Edelbrock TM-7 intake manifold seems to be a much better choice than the M-1. Sometimes the old school stuff works better. So today I headed out to Lapeer Dragway in Lapeer, Mi. to run the car. It threatened rain much of the day, but on this date I would finally hit pay dirt. The car was running very low 11 second blasts all day long and I began some heavy tuning, getting into the carburetor once or twice and playing with the timing. Only one change at a time though as any good tuner will tell you. Running an 11.02 and 11.01, I dialed 10.99 for the bracket race. I won the first two rounds going 11.001 and 11.002 respectively. In the third round I was pitted against a late 80's Camaro dialed in at 11.03 so we basically left on the same light. The run felt so good that I had to stay in it. I easily could have lifted for the victory but on today's date, I was racing for a timeslip. BINGO! 10.98 at 122 mph! It never felt so good to go "too" fast! I'm not done yet! Theres always more to be found! Stay tuned for quicker timeslips from the pump gas 440. BTW, at 3625 lbs and a best ever mph of 123.36 that day, that translates to 577.6 h.p.! Not too shabby, eh? Whatever would it do with a 125 hp shot of nitrous? Nah, thats the easy way out.

11-08-03: Whoa, what a day for the pump gas warrior! Today I drove the car to the dragstrip. I usually dont like to do this just in case something ever breaks, but I have a trailer wheel that ate a bearing and haven't had the chance to fix it. We had excellent conditions, and the first pass netted a 10.94@122 mph. Problem was, I was smacking the 6800 rpm rev limiter chip just before the traps. Fortunately I had the rpm pills in my tool box back in the pits. Next pass the car left hard and really ran out the big end to a 10.79@124! I was absolutely thrilled with that pass and tried to squeeze some more out of it. I added a little fuel and it slowed down to a couple of 10.8X passes. So, I wrote the big "10.79" on the window, loaded up the tool box, and drove the 30 miles home. Thats gonna do it for this year, see you in the spring!

The task of handling the body and paint work was handled by Bill Wilson and Josh Fellberg. It all began the first week of January 2002. These guys are real professionals and know their stuff. I can't say enough good things about these guys and their work speaks for itself. I asked for "a nice paint job" and what I got was an arrow-straight body line and a paint job that is sure to turn some heads and maybe even gather a few plaques at the local cruises. All of the work was done in my garage on their spare time. The car was painted on 3-3-02 at Strip-It in Roseville, Mi.. The owner of Strip-It company is a guy named Stacey. One heck of a nice guy. The paint booth at Strip-it was very clean and reasonably priced.

Left side in progress.
Right side in progress.
First coat of primer.
Unreal photo still in the booth!!.
Left side.
Right side rear.
Engine compartment.
Josh and Bill have had enough for one day!!

Keeping a webpage up to date can be time consuming, but here is a few shots of the finished product. I'll add more soon. I hope you like them.
Photo #1
Photo #2

WHAT!!! Unreal. I decided to enter the show field this year at the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Oh. and proceeded to take 3rd place in E-body Dodge modified! I can't believe it. Also, I was approached by editors of two Mopar magazines, Mopar Muscle and Mopar Action. Both shot photos of my car so look for it in an upcoming issue! Also, pan down to the friends rides section and check out "Steff's" 'Berry' nice Challenger. He'll be in Mopar Muscle too!!!

Old photos of my Challenger along the way and at the strip

906's in progress at Impastato Racing Engines.
Assembling the engine.
This is theONLYway to paint an engine!!
Interior and ROLLBAR photos.
Lookin' MEAN
I think this says it all!!
Lined up against Lou Mancini.
The 11.47 @116.5 pass in September 2001!!
LOOK at ME! I'm in Popular Hot Rodding!!

Friends cars and other cool sites!!

Franks Dart..NICE engine compartment!!
Russ at Milan...11.71 @119 mph. Oh yeah..street car, pump gas,SMALL BLOCK!!Need I say more??
Steff's 'Berry' nice HEMI Challenger!!! How 'bout 11.37 @121.7mph!
Russ and Greg Aderholdt... No brotherly love here!!!
Greg's Dart. How 'bout 12.30's on radial tires!!
Eric's 'Cuda.. Mid 11's street car!!
Hey!! It's MoparTony
Oh Man!!! Check out Jackies wagon!!
Todd's Dart. Looks stock, smokes LS-1 Camaros!
Check out Brads "MO-PIG". He has achieved my goal!!!
Derrick's '65 Hemi Belvedere. You gotta see this one!!
Jim's low 10 second 470 Challenger. Check out the cowl hood!!
To The BEST Mopar Site Anywhere!!