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Cars > Rocketdog’s Garage


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Rocketdog is Rebuilding air conditioning on his '83 Shelby Charger. 'Any suggestions or tips? — updated 5 years ago


About Rocketdog’s Garage


About me and my passion for cars

I've been a machinery nut since growing up in the country and being around tractors and other farm equipment. My father, being a good mechanic taught me a lot and my brother and I took it from there. British sports cars, American cars, Japanese cars, sedans, 2-seaters, whatever. We've done some amateur road racing, autocross racing, and a little drag racing. A former member of SCCA but that's become too expensive. We became enthusiasts of Carroll Shelby many years ago and when the Shelby Dodge cars came out I bought and still own and drive one of the earliest examples. It might not be as fast as those later turbo cars, but I don't have to lift for the turns. No "sissy-car",I've raced it and road-tripped it to 150,000 miles. I maintain it regularly and it wins awards at many shows. The car and I've survived hauling lumber, raising the kids, two marriages and two bachelorhoods. Still, I can't get enough of anything with wheels. 'Founded the Midwest Shelby Dodge Club in the mid-eighties and though we're reduced in size, we're still alive and kicking.

Few months ago I dumped that uninspiring Camry daily driver and hunted down an '03 PT Cruiser GT. SRT4 intercooled turbocharged engine. 2.4 liters, 5-speed manual, ABS, traction control, all accessories, 4-wheel disc brakes, 17" chrome spoke alloys, stiffened suspension, sunroof. Electric Blue, black leathe int. White shift knob like the old days. It's a real modern factory street rod. Driving to work is fun again.

My first car

My first car was a 1953 Studebaker sedan and I still love those old cars. My brother's two first cars were Studebaker Hawks and we street raced those a lot far out in the country before increased traffic made that impractical.

Car I wish I still had

I've owned several interesting cars over the years and many are worth far more today than when I disposed of them.
Here are a few I wish I still owned.

The 2-door lighweight 55 Ford V-8. White with a 3-speed stick, nosed and decked, no padding, carpets, insulation or radio. The car often ran 120 mph on the way from home to college. During that time perids my brother and I became interested in setting street machines up for all-around performance. We
added dual exhausts, asstd. performance items, stiffer springs, overload shocks, tracthion bars, etc. The car beat up on 55-56 V-8 Chevys and none could match it on a crooked road.

The candy-apple red '59 MGA roadster with wire wheels. I only owned this car a couple years in college but during that time I had more dates and fun than I've had with anything since (with exception of my Shelby Dodge Charger).

The Triumph Spitfire roadster. Owned it for ten years and it needed engine work and body repair (rust) when I finaly sold it. A fund little economical car that was easy to work on. Unfortunately, like most old British cars it needed work often.

My '87 Daytona Shelby-Z. Guys in my club helped me build a new engine. Turbo charged, intercooled, roller-rocker cam, mandrel bent exhaust with free-flow cat and muffler, K & N filter, synthetic oil, fat tires Shelby suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes. This car was good for 150 mph with ease and often whipped up on V-8 Camaros. T-Tops, white with tan leather interior, full guages, 5-speed, and fully adjustable heated driver's seat. The tops leaked in heavy storms but the car was a blast to drive down crooked coountry lanes with tops off in the sun.

Car clubs I’m in

Midwest Shelby Dodge Club, Inc.

National Shelby Dodge Car Club

High Performance Automobile Club (HPAC-Mopars)

Associated Car Clubs of Kansas City
Representing some 60 different enthusiast clubs


  • Type of racing: Road racing, drag racing, NASCAR, autocross, rallye
  • Driving song: "I Can't Drive 55" by Thorogood
  • Car movie: Grand Prix, Le Mans, Bullit
  • Car book: All of them
  • Car magazine: Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Auto Week, Road & Track
  • Car game: If it can't move I don't care.

— Profile last updated: Jul 14, 2009

Date Joined Dec 30, 2006
Trophies Trophies: 0
Garage Views: 985
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Original Owners Group Enthusiast   Expand

Logo for Original Owners Group

This group is for anyone who has bought a new car and still owns it. Also included are family vehicles passed down or inherited as long as the original buyer was family. If you had bought a new vehicle and somehow lost it, but then got it back we want to hear your story! The older the better,...

Oregon, United States


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Club Groups

Logo for Midwest Shelby Dodge Automobile Club, Inc.

Founded more than 22 years ago by Les Chubick with friends, this club is dedicated to the preservatin and enjoyment of Carroll Shelby built, modified, or "inspired" vehicles. You don't have to own a Shelby Dodge but enthusiasm is preferred. Dues are just $15.00 per year and 4-6 newsletters are...

Kansas, United States


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Rocketdog’s Profile Photo
Sep 9, 2010 at 9:51 am
My garage currently has my '83 1/2 Dodge SHELBY Charger (orig. owner). And my daily driver, '03 Cruiser GT (intercooled turbo 5-speed). The SHELBYCharger has a roller rocker head, 9.9 to 1 compression, K & N, Free flow exhaust from the header back. The GT Cruiser sports the SRT4 tirbo motor, 5-speed, K & N intake, cat-back free flow exhaust (Heartthrob), leather, ABS, traction control, 17" , etc.

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