It was 2016 and Speedhunters in California was building one radical 1975 Dodge Dart Sport they affectionately named “Project Yankee.” Blending both Japanese styling together with American Muscle, Project Yankee was a perfect mixture of both automotive cultures.
“When I saw Project Yankee being built by Mike Garrett at Speedhunters, I honestly thought it was one of the coolest pro-touring builds of its time,” says David Brennan of New York. He continues to say, “I myself have always had a soft spot for a well-built Japanese car like a Nissan Skyline, 240SX or a Datsun. Back before getting into Mopars, I owned several of them throughout the years and really enjoyed them.”
Needless to say, when David first discovered Project Yankee, he fell in love as it was right up his alley and combined two of his loves. Over the course of the build, David watched closely as Speedhunters built the car and transformed the somewhat homely Powder Blue Dart Sport into the Hemi powered monster it is today. Eventually, the car was debuted at the Bangshift booth at SEMA 2016 in Las Vegas.
He tells Mopar Connection Magazine, “I wanted the car ever since the moment I first saw it being built. It was just so cool to me.” After its debut at SEMA in 2016, David lost track of the car. Fast forwarding to early May of this year, Mike decided to put the car up for sale to focus on some other projects and a couple of months later, his father Joel ended up listing it on eBay. David just so happened to be surfing eBay looking for a new toy to purchase when he came across the listing for the car.
“I couldn’t believe it. I wanted it for a number of years, lost track of it and there it was up for sale. It didn’t sell at its reserve price so I got in contact with Joel off of eBay to see if we could strike a deal on the car. After about a week of negotiating, we made a deal and Project Yankee was heading to me in New York. I was beyond excited. Since getting it home, I’ve been driving it and absolutely loving it,” David says.
Under the hood is a modern fuel-injected Gen III 5.7L Hemi crate engine producing 383-horsepower and 425 ft.-lbs of torque and is controlled by Mopar’s fantastic Plug-N-Play ECU and harness kit. Oiling is done with a CSF external oil cooler and a Milodon oil pan and cooling is provided by a CSF aluminum radiator and a large electric cooling fan. TTI was sourced for long tube headers and engine mounts. A custom Magnaflow exhaust system with Challenger T/A style dual side dumps lets the Hemi sing loudly. Fuel is supplied to the Hemi by a Tanks Inc. fuel tank with an in-tank electric fuel pump.
Behind the Hemi is an A-833 4-Speed overdrive transmission fitted with a QuickTime bellhousing. McLeod Racing provided a flywheel and clutch kit with a conversion to a hydraulic clutch and shifting is done with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter. The power is planted to the ground with an 8 ¾ rear end upgraded with Yukon axles and a Yukon Gear 3:73 geared Sure Grip unit.
Underneath, Project Yankee has been upgraded from front to back with Hotchkis’ full TVS suspension kit with tubular control arms, geometry corrected leaf springs, adjustable strut rods, adjustable steering rods and tubular sway bars. It also features Fox Performance shocks, subframe connectors and a new close ratio manual steering box. Braking is done by Baer T4S drilled four-piston disc brakes on all four corners along with a Wilwood master cylinder.
On the exterior, the car features mildly widened front fenders, a vintage Direct Connection rear spoiler, Japanese styled racing mirrors mounted on the front fenders and a custom made front chin spoiler by Caliber Customs. Lighting comes from Dapper Lighting HID projector headlights along with SEV Marchal driving lights. The entire car was wrapped in a matte metallic Plum Crazy Purple with black accents and custom decals. Project Yankee rides on Rays Volk Racing TE37V Forged wheels (17×9” front and 17×10” rear) wrapped in Toyo R888 tires (255/40/17 front and 275/40/17 rear).
The interior is home to a custom roll bar, back seat delete and aluminum door panels by Caliber Customs. Cobra Classic RSR bucket seats and genuine Takata racing harnesses keep you in place firmly. The dash features a Racepak IQ3S digital instrument cluster with a GPS speedometer and a Joe’s Racing ignition switch panel. Steering is done with a Momo Prototipo steering wheel with a Momo quick release center hub. A Wink panel rear view mirror finishes everything up.