Altered Wheelbase How-To
We’ve got funny car fever. Nope, we’re not talkin’ ‘bout John Force’s 8000 horsepower flip-top, we’re talkin’ ‘bout real funny cars. The originals with opening doors, steel shells and altered wheelbases. And while most Mopar fanatics assume the fleet of factory altered 1965 Coronet and Belvedere B-Bodies were the start of it all, it’s a fact that several altered wheelbase A-Body funny cars were assembled and run by independent racers (read: non-factory assisted) as early as September of 1964.
Numerous vintage magazine articles exist that depict funnied 1964 Dodge Darts like Jack Sharkey’s Chicago-based Esserman Dodge “Rampage”, Billy Jacobs’ “Kid Goat” and the
If you’ve always wanted your own altered wheelbase Mopar but were afraid it’s too challenging, relax. We moved the rear suspension one-foot forward on this 1963 Dart in a mere three days. True, the process requires some basic welding skills and equipment, but it isn’t rocket science. Follow along and see for yourself. And remember, while the subject vehicle is a Mopar A-Body, the same principles and techniques apply to larger Mopar B-Bodies, or just about any unit-construction car, regardless of make.
Here’s the before shot. In L.A. you can still score rust-free cars like this 1963 Dart 270 Sedan for under a grand. Always start with the cleanest car you can as rusty cars drastically complicate the process and add a ton of work. The Dart’s Slant Six – 904 – 7-1/4 driveline will give way to a Max Wedge and pushbutton Torqueflite for this street and strip capable mauler.