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Finding beautiful and fast Mopar’s (hot street / racecars) can sometimes be difficult, so when I tripped over Paul Traina’s gorgeous 1971 Dodge Demon it was a “must-shoot for MoparMax.” I was lucky because even though it was late fall, the weather was still decent. Once he agreed to do it the next question was; where could I take photos of this devilish red Demon? Of course a cemetery was the only choice. The fact that the leaves were falling, the sky was overcast and a little ominous just made it that much better.
Paul Traina is Service Manager at a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram dealership in Danbury, CT. He has always worked at Mopar dealerships and his choice for his own toys is also Mopar. In the Muscle Car world of Chrysler brands from the 1960’s and 70’s Paul is known as an outstanding tuner of Big Block as well as Small Block Mopar’s, especially when they are Carter or Holley equipped. He’s from Mahopac, NY, up the Hudson River 55 miles from NYC. When he started looking for a Chrysler A-Body to drag race he went to Craig’s List, e-Bay and other sites. He finally found his car just around the corner from his Dad’s house.
Paul’s car started out as a 225 six cylinder A-body that he actually bought from a little old lady. It was an automatic car with a small differential; they could take the torque from the 225 six cylinder, but even an early small block would have turned both into dust. It was not a high value car to restore so he felt no pain converting it to a restomod Demon for street and drag racing. The first thing was to remove the engine, transmission and differential from the unibody and get rid of them. Next was the task of cleaning the underbody, painting it with Por-15 and finishing it with roll-on bed liner to protect the underside of the car with products featuring a nuclear half-life of just about 2000 years, I think.