The Saga of Purple Haze

Members Restorations

  1. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    The year was 1988, I was nearing the end of my tour of duty in Honolulu HI. I had been stationed there nearly 2 yrs, and had previously purchased a 74 318 auto Challenger from one of the local dealers (Pic's to follow) when I was first stationed there. I had done a lot of work to her, I first found a 69 340 long block in one of the local junk yards which I rebuilt and did some mod's to. I first installed it with a TCI street fighter 727 trans and converter, and then later converted it to 4spd with pistol grip. Put a 3.55 sure grip 8 3/4 rear end and some gauges tires and some other things. A lot of this was done with the help of a couple guy's I meet there, who hooked me up with all the stuff needed to convert to the 4 spd. The car was pretty nice, but it was a bit heavy I thought for the 340. It was also starting to show signs of blistering filler, and I latter found where they had repaired rust improperly in a bunch of places. I though to my self, what I would like to find is a Duster or Demon. I had mentioned this to one of the guy's I knew and he said he had a Demon. We took a ride to go look at it but it was in ruff shape. He had asked me what I was going to do with Challenger, and I said sell it as a roller. He then told me he also knew where he could get a 70 Duster in pretty good shape, and would I be interested in a deal (swap). I told him it depended on how the Duster was and that I would not trade the Engine with the car. He said we could swap motors as the Duster was a 340 car. I said it sounds good when can I look at the Duster, He said he would let me know. A couple of days later he came to the base and told me where I could go to see the Duster and I got his number so I could let him Know. Went that day after work to check it out, the car was just what I was looking for except it was an auto. I gave him a call and told him the car was good but I needed it to be for a stick. He told me no problem he would throw in the stuff needed to convert it. With this I said its a deal. He then said who was going to do the engine removal, since I was in charged of the Motor Pool I said no problem that I would pull both engines and swap them out. So that is how I came to get the Duster now know as Purple Haze. Here are some pic's of the Challenger and the 340, in the next volume you will get to see the Duster as it is getting ready to go have the back half done.
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    STAY TUNED FOR Volume 2
     
  2. 65dartcharger

    65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Nice Challenger! Looks good in that colour too.
     
  3. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Well after the swap of the Challenger I had just about 2 weeks left to go in HI before being transferred to my new duty station in Channel Island Ca. My new Duster was shipped from HI to CA courtesy of uncle Sam. After about 6 months I decided I wanted to Pro Street the Duster, I was going to run the 340 with tunnel ram and some more mods to it. I decided to start stripping the interior and getting it ready to go to the Chassis shop. Unfortunately I never took any pic's of the car till after I started stripping it but you can see from the ones I have here it was pretty nice. All the interior was saved and used latter in a 73 Duster I had purchased much latter including the 340 4 spd.

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    And finally off to the chassis shop
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    Stay tuned for Volume 3
     
  4. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    It was about 2 weeks later when I finally got to go to the chassis shop and check out the progress on the Duster. As stated earlier I was stationed at Channel Is. Ca. and the shop was in LA. I was the engineering P.O. on an 82' patrol boat in one of the busiest areas in southern CA, and didn't get a hole lot of time off. Any way here are the only pic's I took of it in the shop. The reason for this was it later turned out to be some what of a fiasco. It turned out that the guy who owned the place had not payed his rent for a while and the owner put a lien on the shop and everything in it. I was lucky to get my car back. He later payed the rent and then I had to get him to get it to where I could finish it myself as I did not want it there any more. So here they are.


    And the Saga will continue with Volume 4 so stay tuned.
     

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  5. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    So after several months of sitting in the chassis shop I finally got her back. While the car was still in the shop I decided that I wanted to go with a big block so I picked up a 70 440 from a local junk yard for $350. I then found out about Pro Parts and headed down to see about purchasing one of their kits. I went down and talked to one of the folks who worked their and told him what I was doing, and he said I should come back next week when Bill as in Bagshaw would be there to help me out. So next week I came back and meet and talked with Bill who set me up with a new kit he was working on, a DC K-member, and a set of his fender well headers. I had to come back again to pick up some other parts that he did not have in stock at the time. When I went back I ask him if he knew a good place to take my 440 to have the machine work done, he told me to bring the block, crank, and rods in and he would set me up. Well he set me up with Bob Lambeck of Bob Lambeck Enterprises who commenced to do all the machine work while I began work on the Duster. Bill also set me up with a set of P&P big valve 906 heads. This is the motor in the car now. So here are some more pic's of the work done while a waiting the 440.

    Stay tuned there's more to come.
     

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  6. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    One more pic of her when she got home.
     

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  7. Dartnut

    Dartnut I'm H.R. Shovin'stuff

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    Cool story.
     
  8. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Well it's now spring 1990 and once again I am going to another duty station this time back to the east coast Baltimore Maryland. When I got to Maryland there was no place for me to keep the Duster, so it went into storage at my parents home in N.Y., for the next 4 yrs till I retired. After about a year there I found a nice 73 225 Duster for $600, so I figured I had all the stuff from the 70 I would put in the 73 and have a nice little 340 car again. So I purchased the car and used it for a year as a D.D. I located an 8 3/4 rear after searching for several months with 3.91 gears and a sure grip that would bolt right in. The next month I spent rebuilding it getting it ready to go. It was now May and warming up nicely so I took 2 weeks leave and went home to N.Y. to do all the work. Everything went together nice and when it was finished I took it to my sister's house in Patchogue for it's maiden voyage. The motor ran great, even better than when it was in the 70. The 3.91's gave the 73 some new found grunt that the 3.23 in the 70 did not provide. After about a year as my D.D. I put a six pack on it and used it till I retired in 94 and returned to N.Y. I'm real sorry I never took any pic's of that car before I sold it to a child hood friend back in N.Y. He had it repainted and it was absolutely gorgeous. Well it was now 97 and with the money from the sale of the 73 it was time to get back to work on the 70. I purchased the rest of the parts needed to assemble the engine and bought a full race 727 and tree master converter from ATI. As I gathered up the rest of the parts the hole family was moving to AZ. So we decided to join them. We put the house up for sale and I went to work getting the 70 together. It turned out I had just enough time to get it finished so we could move to AZ. So in July we loaded up the Rider put the 70 on a trailer and off to AZ we went. After finding a new home I needed a new vehicle that's when I purchased a brand new 98 Dakota R/T. I had an 86 Chrysler Le Baron turbo that I sold and an old 74 Ford F250 4x4 which I decided I would fix up and use as my hunting and D.D. Between the Dakota and fixing up the Ford I was pretty low on funds and put the 70 on the back burner again. I finished the Ford in the summer of 99 and used it for 3 yrs before selling it to my nephew. By this time the gas prices were starting to rise and I wanted to get a small 4x4. I found an 86 Toyota P/U which was pretty beat up in the interior and needed an engine but the body was in great shape. Even the paint later buffed out nicely. So I picked it up put a rebuilt engine in it and started building it. Which latter became a full blown rock crawler project. Needless to say the Duster sat idle. Just a couple of pic's of the Dakota and the Toy before and after.
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    More to follow.
     
  9. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    Great story!

    That Challenger was nice!
     
  10. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    While I sharpened my welding skills on the Toy first converting it to a straight front axle with lift and then to a full blown R.C. with a more modern Tacoma engine swap, the Duster waited in the wings. This whole project took several yrs to complete, and in the Winter of 09 it was time to pick up on the Duster where we left off.
    We started to do some small thing that needed to be done while doing this I decided the frankenstein rear end that the chassis guy put together just wasn't going to cut it and that I needed a new Diff. I had a parts truck that I used when I was fixing up the F250 that I had saved the rear end from it was a 9". So I gathered it up and purchased a jig from Chassis Works and got to narrowing it. I put a back brace and new four link and coil over mounts on it. Then I picked up a Moser Nodular case for big brg. a 35 spline spool and new set of their 35 spline axles. that completed the axle assembly. I also went with the Wilwood front disc kit, and a new set of QA1 coil overs for the rear (to be installed) and a nice new Aluminum driveshaft with 1350 U-joints.
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    Getting closer but not there yet.
     
  11. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Now it was on to the interior, got some new carpet, seats, finished up the dash gauges, and re-padded the dash. Got some roll and tuck and did the door panels, installed a tuff wheel, padded the cage and got some new harnesses.
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    And the adventure continues.
     
  12. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Did some mods to the cooling system, Aluminum radiator, electric W.P and fan. Got a bigger 1 1/8" bore master cylinder, installed some line locks, three step and soft touch rev control. Added forward struts to make a full 12 point cage. I also decided to run a six pack with Demon carbs converted to run E 85, kits are from Rob Mix, and had a full port job done to the intake by Hughes engine.
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    and where still going.
     
  13. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    In the passed month I have been working on the body got it all done and primed and ready for paint. Some pic's of the polyester primer, first and second round 2k.

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    It should be off for paint tomorrow, or sometime this week.
     
  14. dusted72

    dusted72 Thanks Hemiroid!!!!

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    If that car could talk the stories it would have. It's part of the family now. Gonna be nice to finally get to drive it after all these years.
     
  15. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, it's definitely part of me now.
     
  16. squeek360

    squeek360 Well-Known Member

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    awesome build.... luv the challenger aspect of the story as I can definitely relate to it :glasses7:

    keeping an eye on this one, cheers, James. :coffee2:
     
  17. DFX 340 Duster

    DFX 340 Duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    We're you stationed at Pt. Mugu?
     
  18. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, yeah the Challenger would have been nice Just would have had to be redone, body needed lot's of work.
     
  19. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Close, at the CG station.
     
  20. DFX 340 Duster

    DFX 340 Duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I bought a green1969 Dodge Polara 500 convertible that was used as a kind of squadron car at Pt. Mugu. They called it The Green Dragon. It has a picture of Granpa Pettibone painted on the passenger door. Just wondered if you knew of the car. It's in rough shape but it runs great.
     
  21. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Nope, can't say I ever saw it.
     
  22. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Yipee, Finally off to the painter.

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  23. oldkimmer

    oldkimmer FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    .............Thats an awesome build...............congrats..................kim............
     
  24. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kim, it's been a long time coming.
     
  25. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc No Car Like A MoPar!

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    Awesome story! Subscribed.

    Sorry if I missed this/if already mentioned, "Did you get it running/get to drive around the block at least before sending off to paint? Look forward to next update . . . . Is it back from paint yet-LOL. Happy Thanksgiving to you and family.
     
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