October 15, 2016

Mariposa Car Show 2016

Once again it was time for my hometown car show. All makes are welcome and there were a lot of cars despite the threat of rain, which thankfully held off until later in the evening. (Thank you Lord!) I had a really good time talking to lots of other fine Mopar folks about their cars, and the many visitors who came to check out my Charger.
It was a fun show!

Here are a few photos of my charger at the show.

People continue to enjoy the diorama I made to show major stages in my Charger's journey over the years.

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One of the things our Chamber of Commerce (who organizes the show) tries to do each year is to invite a celebrity of some renown in the automotive world. This year we had the chance to meet and talk to "Horny Mike" from the TV show "Counting Cars". He was a neat guy and really likes Mopars and seemed to enjoy my Charger and its back story.

Here is my wife, daughter, and myself with "Horny Mike"

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Getting close to time to head home.

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Nothing like the tail of a '70 Charger!

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October 07, 2016

Fresno Dodge / San Joaquin Valley Mopars cruise in 2016

One of the Mopar car shows we always try to go to is the San Joaquin Valley Mopars show in Madera, CA. The club also coordinates with Fresno Dodge to have a cruise in, show and BBQ at the dealership the Friday night before the show. This sounded like fun, and we had a good experience buying our new Dodge Caravan at Fresno Dodge in July so I planned to drive the Charger down and participate.

There were at least two dozen cool Mopars that showed up and some really cool folks to talk to.

Here are some pictures from the event, these were taken by me, with my phone, so they are not up to the usual high standards set by my wife with her Nikon.

My Charger and 69 Satellite Fresno 2016

My Charger Fresno 2016

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My Charger Fresno 2016 night

Click on any of the images to see a larger version

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September 07, 2016

Our other Mopars

I have owned many Mopars in the past, including a 1965 Polara 4dr with a 383, a 1966 Polara 4dr with a 383, a 1972 D100 2wd long-bed pickup with a 318, and a 1964 Plymouth Barracuda with a 273. My very first car was the '65 Polara mentioned above. I enjoyed that car and it was tough enough to survive my learning many of my first automotive maintenance lessons on it. Since then, I have preferred and promoted classic MoPars of every stripe everywhere I've gone.

With my first car and in the early days of my Charger, I held a fairly uniform appreciation of all American-made muscle-car era automobiles. I found that many of the GM and blue-oval devotees received my praise of their vehicles but had nothing but uninformed condemnation for my own cars. I found this to be true even when their cars could not beat mine in a race. Later on, I met other Mopar owners and found many of them had had the same experiences. It is with these people that I have enjoyed the camaraderie and pride of owning Mopar vehicles over the years.

This may be the only picture I still have of my first car. My trusty 1965 Dodge Polara police car. I was almost 16 in this picture. This is the car that started my love for all things Mopar!

1985 - T and 1965 Polara


On this page I will feature Mopars currently in our family's fleet.

This is my wife's 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger. It has a new 360 CID engine and it runs like a top. We love this car, my wife especially. We bought it in the summer of 2006 from its original owner, a sweet little lady (really) who had kept every scrap of paperwork pertaining to the car all the way back to her original dealership purchase receipt, and who had taken the car in every six months for a checkup or whenever it needed it, whichever was oftener. Other than the new 360, a paint job and new vinyl top in 2004, this car is completely original, and it's virtually immaculate inside and out. The original 318 was great, but after 35 years of service it finally needed to be replaced or rebuilt. This car gets a great deal of well-deserved attention wherever we go in it.

2008-05-17--Dart

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In 2004, I started looking for an economical-to-drive cool-looking older Mopar for regular transportation. I am quite sure we scored a good deal on this 1969 Dodge Dart Western Special. The car is very solid, and needs only a few cosmetic finishing touches. Even in its current unrestored state, this clean, original car still gets us a lot of compliments. Powered by what I believe to be its original 225 CID slant-six, backed up by a 3-speed manual column-shifted transmission, it does very well on gas and doesn't embarrass me going up our local hills. When I restore this car for my daughter, I hope to redo the exterior of the car in its original Q5 Bright Turquoise Metallic paint, with a new vinyl top, and maybe a black tail stripe, and probably install a small block and auto transmission, or maybe I'll just leave it stock. It is still cool, and there aren't too many of these still sporting their original drive train these days.

69 Dart

The famous "leaning tower of power" The "Charger 225"

69 Dart Engine

The interior is in great shape and is original!

69 Dart rear interior


The story of my 1963 D100 probably warrants its own webpage. My buddy and I completely changed the nature and purpose of this vehicle. It started out as a D100 SWB 6-cyl 4spd with manual steering, 2wd, and manual drum brakes all the way around. Over the course of 18 months, we transformed it into what you see in these pictures: a 383 2bbl, 727 auto and an MP205 divorced transfer case Dana 44 front end and 8 3/4 rear from a '74 Power wagon with 3:55 gears were initially used. Since these pictures were taken I have updated both front and rear axles. I beefed up my truck with a Dana 44 front end from an '86 W350 with Warn manual hubs, a Dana 60 rear end (also from the '86 W350) with 4:10 gears all the way around. The steering column with the automatic shifter and floor pan are from a 1969 D200. The brake booster and master cylinder assembly are also from the'86 W350. The front and rear bumpers are custom-made by my friend and myself.

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Burt rear


The workhorse of the bunch is my '97 Dodge Ram 2500 with the awesome 5.9l Cummins. I REALLY love this truck!

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In 2003, I was able to acquire this complete, running, driving 1967 Plymouth Satellite 2dr HT. It has a 318 4bbl which runs quite well. The interior has bucket seats and an automatic console shift. My son (who was seven years old at the time) is the owner of this car. It had long been my plan when my Charger was done for the two of us to begin restoration of his Satellite together.


You can see some of the major restoration progress we made on my son's '67 Satellite before he headed off for college at his Satellite restoration page here Tolley's 1967 Satellite Restoration Blog


67 Satellite front

The paperwork that came with the car indicates that this 318 should be the original engine and was overhauled a number of years ago, which could explain why it runs so well. The engine has an after-market aluminum 4bbl intake and an Edelbrock (Carter AFB) carburetor. I have a 1971 440 4bbl engine that has been reserved for my son's future power needs. Unless he continues with his plan to put a HEMI in it one day!

67 Satllite 318

Here's a picture from 2007 with my son leaning against his Satellite, he is 6'4" tall now so he's changed even more than his car has!

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My son is a grown man now and sought out something cool, tough, and practical for his work and daily driver use. He scored with the 1993 Dodge W250 Cummins equipped Power Wagon. It came with a utlity bed which he sold and promptly replaced with a good long bed we had at home. It has a 4" lift and 285/75R16 tires on American Racing spoke wheels. The paint is military surplus desert sand. Everything works perfectly. This thing is an awesome beast!

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For nearly 20 years my barber and I had an arrangement. I worked on his '76 Power wagon whenever needed and he would cut my family's hair. Well a couple years ago he lost a battle with cancer. His widow insisted that the truck come to live with me. When my daughter wanted something cool to drive to school her first choice was the Barber's old '76 Power Wagon. We cleaned it up, did a tune up and a little maintenance together, (she got her own Craftsman tools for Christmas) and then I painted it like as my son's '93 Power Wagon using the same military surplus paint. I updated the wheels with some American Racing 16 x 6.5" units with 265/75R16's. Came out pretty cool looking and my daughter certainly loved driving the truck she calls "beast".

76 W100 1

76 W100 2

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October 24, 2015

Mariposa Car show 2015

Each year the all brands car show in my home town grows. Last year there were almost 200 cars, this year I think the number was well over that. I spoke to people who brought cars from Las Vegas, and all parts of California.

This year I again participated in the fun Friday night cruise. First we meet up at our O'Reilly Auto PArts store (used to be a NAPA store, but owned and operated by the same local folks.)

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Ready for cruise night rear


Here are a couple pictures from down town Mariposa. There were lots of folks waling around checking out the cars. Met some really nice folks. Especially some youngsters who were fascinated by classic muscle cars.

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Downtown side dark

Then Saturday was the show itself.

This is a publicity photo for the show organizers with their trophy presenter for 2015.

My Charger at show left ugh

This year I entered the Mopar category (instead of the general muscle car class like last year). I won 1st place in the Mopar class which was quite an honor. There were many very nice Mopars in attendance.

Getting trophy

Click on any of the images to see a larger version.

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July 15, 2015

Mopar Alley Mopar Rally 2015

One of the shows that has been an annual pre-Father's day trip for my family for many years is the Mopar Alley club's Mopar Rally. It used to be at Ohlone College near Fremont and we really liked that site. Now for the second year it is at DeAnza college in Cupertino which is OK, but we liked the old location better.

However, this year was the first time my Charger was finally ready for this large show.

I trailered my Charger to Morgan Hill where I met up with a buddy from the 70 Charger Registry, then we caravaned to the show in our Chargers.

Ready for the road.

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At the Show with my diorama depicting the history of my Charger since I've owned it.

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Click on any of the images to see a larger version.

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December 25, 2014

Merry Mopar Christmas 2014

New door, and new paint on the house and garage, but the tradition continues!

My son, now 18 and nearly 6'4" tall posing next to the wreath he constructed many years ago.

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Merry Christ-mas everyone!

Posted in Family Helpers | Miniatures | link to this page | | Comments (0)

October 18, 2014

Next Show - Mariposa

Today was a large (for our area) all brands car show. The show is put on by the Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce. It has been growing each year, and this year there were said to be over 250 cars in attendance.

First though yesterday night was a cruise through our town, with the parking downtown blocked off for us to park and show our cars.

The cruise started at our local NAPA store as they are a major sponsor of the show.

Here my Charger and my wife's '72 Dart Swinger are waiting at NAPA for time to cruise.

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Had a fun time with the cruise and park thing tonight. Talked to a lot of people. There was a nice lady who is a regular on Overhaulin' there greeting people and taking pictures with people and their cars. Her name is Cherielynn Westrich, she is it turns out, a lifelong Mopar gal apparently and was VERY excited to get her picture taken with my Charger. Evidently she has a '68 Dart of her own - very cool!

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My Charger downtown after the cruise.

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Then today it was time for the show - here is my Charger in position.


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There were tons of classes including a Mopar class which I knew was likely to have only a few cars (in truth there were six Mopars present including a truck out of over 250 cars!)

I chose to enter the Muscle Car class so as not to compete against my fellow Mopar owners. It worked out well as I managed to win third place in the class.

Third in Muscle Car


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October 11, 2014

Show time! - Madera

October 11th was time for the annual Fall Finale put on by the San Joaquin Valley Mopars Club in Madera, CA

We really like this show as it is usually great weather, and it is the closest all Mopar show to where I live.

There were not quite 90 Mopars there, which is seemed to be down from the previous few years.

I had the only '70 Charger at the show, there were 1 68, two '69's, and one '73 Chargers. We were all in a general "B-Body" class. There were numerous Road Runners, and a bunch more nice cars in my class.

I did not win anything, which is OK, although I was certainly ready to stride up to the award table if my name had been called.

Here is a picture of my Charger in position.


Edited Charger at show

I finally got to use my diorama for the purpose I made it for. Seemed like it was a hit with the crowd.

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A long time friend of ours does a lot of automotive photography and she and the owner of a really nice all numbers matching 1970 Plymouth Superbird were at the show as well, so we positioned our cars for some fun pictures together. Click here to see her photography page.

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A very nice day for my Charger's first car show!

Posted in 2004-present | Car Shows | Family Helpers | Miniatures | link to this page | | Comments (0)

September 20, 2014

"ON THE ROAD AGAIN!"

Cue the Willie Nelson... :)

Yep, My Charger is on the road again! Ten and a half years after I started the restoration process I am complete enough to warrant registration and insurance.

Remember, you can click on my photos if you want to see one in a larger size.

Here is the 2015 tag going on over the 1996 one. (I non-op'd my Charger in 1996 but did not start to restore it until 2004)

First day out!

Here my wife and I are getting ready to head out on the maiden voyage.

First day out!

This video (which I forgot we had taken on my wife's phone) is of the VERY first drive of my restored Charger on paved roads since 2004 right before I began to take my Charger apart.

After a quick trip to town, it was time for fuel and a front end alignment appointment... I was very nervous about putting fuel in, I really did not want to spill on the paint.

First day out!

First day out!

Here is a video of a quick burn-out in the parking lot of the building where our Church meets.

What a great day, long awaited and lots of fun, I hope to enter a couple of nearby car shows in October.

Stay tuned...

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September 14, 2014

Final details

Working through the final details. All four tires are on. Went with Master Craft Avenger G/T's because they were the least expensive tire I could find and they still seem to get great reviews. Bought them from Summit with no shipping, no oversize fees, no tax :) Saved about $300 over going with BFG's (which I hope to do down the road - but I could not swing it right now)

My wheels are Mopar 15 x 7.5" "cop" wheels that came on the Dodge Diplomats and Plymouth Grand Fury law enforcement cars in the 80's. The front tires are size P245/60R15 and the rears are P275/60R15's.

Got my stainless hubcaps polished and detailed with new red "circles" etc.

Some time ago I modified a jack to look original so my trunk would look right. Just to be clear, I will never use it, so safety is not a concern. In fact even if it was an actual factory jack, I would be crazy to risk the chrome on the bumpers, and the stability of the car. Those old jacks are pretty scary even when everything is right.

Here is the thread for that over at the '70 Charger Registry forum - Click Here

Well I finally got around to stripping it and painting it, then got it put in today.

A small step, but a fun one :)

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A close up

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Everything at home looking correct :)

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Very soon, I hope to be driving on the roads and attending car shows!

Posted in 2004-present | Reassembly | interior | suspension, brakes, tires, and wheels | link to this page | | Comments (0)

June 08, 2014

DRIVING my Charger out into the sun!

For the first time in more than 10 years I drove my Charger today. It still needs shocks, tires, insurance etc so I did not go far, but far enough to get my Charger out into the sun for a round of nice pictures. Thanks to my wife for taking the video and photos, and my son for spotting for me.

Into the sunshine!

Down the driveway

If you like, join me on a quick walk around my Charger.

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The to-do list is getting shorter and shorter, and my Charger is getting closer to being ready to take to it's first car show, probably in October.

Posted in 2004-present | Family Helpers | RESTORATION | Reassembly | body | engine | glass | suspension, brakes, tires, and wheels | link to this page | | Comments (0)

March 10, 2014

Radiator is in !

Yay! a big piece of the puzzle went into place today!

I got my radiator! It looks great, it fit perfectly, including the shroud. I ordered a U.S. Radiators brand 22" 4 core high efficiency copper / brass radiator with OEM style shroud. I bought it from Mopar Ed at themoparshop.com. It dropped right in the shroud fit perfectly and there was plenty of clearance between the fan & shroud, and the fan clutch and radiator face.

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With the shroud

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I had my son help me so that nothing went wrong.

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In place and topped off with a reproduction style 16lb radiator cap.

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Posted in 2004-present | Family Helpers | Reassembly | engine | link to this page | | Comments (0)

February 19, 2014

IT IS ALIVE!!!!

At long last my Charger has roared to life!

I do not yet have a radiator, and my exhaust is still just the manifolds, so I had to keep it short, but man was it nice!

Hurray!!!

Posted in 2004-present | Family Helpers | Reassembly | engine | link to this page | | Comments (0)

February 01, 2014

Finally some progress!

Been quite a while since I had any progress to report. I would not be surprised if some of you may have thought I sold my Charger or something!

I had to work out some issues with some items I bought back in December, and then once I did get all that ironed out, it has been hard finding time when I also had the energy to work on my Charger.

But seeing the progress a buddy over at the 1970 Charger Registry has been making on his Charger recently prompted me to get my self out into the garage.

This same buddy from the 1970 Charger Registry very graciously hooked my up with a fan clutch and I got my fan powder coated. I bought a kit from 440 Source to get all the front end engine stuff at once back in December. I have been slowly accumulating things like 11/32 vacuum / PVC line, positive battery cable, reproduction spark plug wires, power steering pressure and return lines and other stuff.

So today I put it all together. I put the power steering together with the cooler, all the lines etc. Put the alternator on and hooked up the wiring, mounted the pulleys, belts and fan. Ran the new plug wires and PVC/ booster lines.

This is where I am for now... (Waiting for a radiator to fall from the heavens!)

Further assembly 4

Further assembly 3

I might have time to poke around under the car tomorrow, Starter, drive line, pinion snubber, and rubber fuel line segments are ready to go in. We'll see....

Posted in 2004-present | Reassembly | engine | wiring | link to this page | | Comments (0)

December 07, 2013

Merry Mopar Christmas 2013 !

Yep, it is that time again! Christmas is on its way and so for the sixth year we display the Mopar "M" wreath my son made when he was 12. It was a suggestion in my January 2009 Mopar Collector's Guide magazine, and he took it upon himself to make one for the garage door. He is a little taller than last year (he's slowly gaining on 6' 4" tall).

2013-12-06--nslt and mopar wreath

This has been a good year for my family and my Charger. I am looking forward to finding out if 2014 will see the completion of my Charger's restoration. The Lord has blessed us richly in many ways, and it is especially nice to our family to take time to focus on His first coming in a special way each December.

A very Merry Christmas to each of you!

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