Polar Opposites Attract: Dan Frazzini’s 1968 Charger & 1970 ‘Cuda


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Dan Frazzini is like many Mopar owners; sometimes, one Mopar just isn’t enough. Dan is proud to own not only a ’70 Barracuda but a ’68 Charger. Both cars are built a little differently; where the ‘Cuda has more of a pro-touring type feel to it, his Charger just screams old school street brute.

Dan’s ‘Cuda has an interesting background: the previous owner bought it from a couple in California before taking it back to Florida to restore it over the course of 2012. Two months after the car was finished, he sadly passed away. Back in October 2014, his wife, having no use for the ‘Cuda, decided to trade it in for a brand new Ford Edge at a Ford dealership near their second home in Maine. The sales manager in Maine knew Dan was looking for a ’70 ‘Cuda so a deal was made and Dan traded in his ’71 Challenger on the car.

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Originally a run-of-the-mill 318 car, the previous owner had painted it B5 Blue during the restoration and turned it into an AAR replica with the stripes, hood and spoilers along with a set of 15-inch Rallye wheels. The 340 sitting between the fenders is a 1969 block featuring “O” heads with 2.02″/1.60″ valves, stock crank and a warmed-over cam. The previous owner added an Edelbrock six-barrel manifold with three Holley carbs to go with the AAR theme. Once Dan got the ‘Cuda home, he decided to make some changes to it.

He says while the body, paint and interior were perfect, the performance aspect of the car just wasn’t up to his standards so he went to work. To gain a little performance and improve the sound, Dan changed the plain dual exhaust and AAR mufflers to a 2½-inch custom X-pipe with Magnaflow 4-inch straight mufflers that go into the AAR side-exit exhaust and AAR tips. Besides having to adjust the carbs for the higher altitude in Denver, the engine is exactly as the previous owner built it. Backing the 340 is a console-shift 727 automatic that has been fitted with a shift kit and an 8¾ rearend featuring 3.55 gears.

 

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The car came from the factory equipped with power front disc brakes so Dan left those alone but replaced the 11-inch rotors with brand new pieces. Dan had a more aggressive pro-touring look in mind for the ‘Cuda, so off came the Rallye wheels and on went a set of US Mag wheels, 18×8 and 18×9.5 front and back respectively, wrapped in 245/45/18 and 275/40/18 Hankook Ventus V12 tires. With the pro-touring theme, next was to improve the handling, so he upgraded everything to Hotchkis suspension components with 1.10-inch torsion bars, added a rear sway bar, and installed Fox shocks with adjustable fronts. The interior was fully restored by the previous owner as well, using Legendary products with the only changes being a Tuff wheel that Dan added.

Dan’s 1968 Charger is a whole different beast. With its aggressive stance, it radiates attitude and intimidates everything around it on the street. One day in March 2015, Dan heard word of a ’68 Charger for sale in Colorado Springs that sounded too good to be true. Having recently restored his old ’71 Challenger not too long before, he was not really in a place for another full restoration but his curiosity got the best of him and he decided to take a look anyways.

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With the help from a friend, he took a trailer and some cash to the address given and there sat a beautiful Charger in the driveway. The owner had the Charger for 12 years, restored it, and had a lot of fun with the car. He explained he was retiring and wanted to sell it so he could go buy a camper that he and his wife could travel around in. Dan was more than happy to help take the Charger off his hands so he could go enjoy his retirement.

Originally painted in Light Green Metallic with white interior and a green vinyl top, and powered by 318 2 barrel with A/C, the previous owner of the Charger restored it in 2008 and repainted it GG1 Racing Green. He installed brand new white interior and changed the green vinyl top to black. Dan added R/T badges and a white bumblebee stripe to add to the tough look. The 318 was pulled out and replaced with a 1967 440 block. While it still has iron heads and a stock crank, the 440 was upgraded with a Mopar “purple cam” during the refresh.

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After Dan purchased the Charger, he installed an Edelbrock CH4B intake, 750cfm Proform carb with a Cool Carb spacer and a Firecore RTR distributor, coil, and wires to wake up the engine. He also added a high volume mechanical fuel pump with a 3/8-inch main fuel line and converted the 5/16-inch line that was there in to a return line. Since he was having some fuel evaporation issues, Dan routed the fuel line with the filter on the inner fender and used DEI insulation to get it away from the block. The big block breathes through a pair of Hooker headers that go into a 2½-inch H-pipe and stock mufflers topped off with a pair of stock ’68 dual tips. He says while the 440 is plenty powerful, he has plans to build a 512cui stroker to shut down all the new Mustangs and Camaros.

Originally a column shift 727 automatic, Dan converted the Charger to an 18-spline Hemi A833 4-speed that he says is an absolute blast to drive with the 1970 pistol grip shifter! “It’s hard to beat a B-body with pistol grip shifter,” shares Dan. The 4-speed is backed with an 8¾ rear end loaded with 3.23 gears.

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When Dan purchased the Charger, stopping that big B-body was done by a power drum setup on all four corners. Dan says, “If you’re gonna go, you need to woe,” so he upgraded the Charger to power 11.75-inch drilled and slotted front disc brakes. He wanted some bigger meats, so he installed Weld Prostar wheels (15×7 and 15×10) with M/T Sportsman SR 28×10 and 30×12 tires.

The original leaf springs were old and saggy so they were swapped out for new Hemi/440 springs with 1-inch overstock from ESPO Springs ‘N Things to fit those 30×12″ tires. For better handling and suspension, he upgraded to a Steer & Gear extra firm steering box, Bilstein front shocks with Sensatrac rear shocks, 1 3/8″ front sway bar, 1.03″ torsion bars, and sub-frame connectors to make the Charger more solid. With a pair of very impressive yet uniquely different Mopars beneath one roof, Dan’s house features one cool garage.

Additional images provided by Kustom Car Photography, were original undoctored versions can be purchased HERE.

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Cody Cole

Associate Editor – cody.cole@shawgroupmedia.com
Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody’s parents gave him a rusty ’69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody’s garage still features that ’69 Charger as well as the additions of a ’70 Coronet, ’71 Charger R/T, ’71 Road Runner, ’04 SRT-4, ’06 Grand Cherokee SRT8, ’08 Challenger SRT8, ’16 Wrangler Unlimited Back Country and a ’17 Ram 1500 Rebel. Cody can truly and proudly say him and his wife are true Mopar nuts in love with all types of Mopars!

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