1972 Dodge Charger
1969 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate
“The Dragon Wagon”
Head to Head
This car lives up to it's name: She looks tame on the outside, but when I put my foot in the worked Mopar small block, she just hunkers down and takes off! The engine was left appearing completely stock (until you take off the air cleaner housing with it's K&N low restriction drop-in replacement filter and see the Holley 750cfm 4-barrel, that is!). If you look closely, you'll see the headers that dump into a 3" true dual exhaust system with Dynomax mufflers for a mellow yet purposeful sound.
About “The Dragon Wagon”
(This was actually my folks family car when I was growing up. The picture above and the ones in it's album are of cars I found online that are very similar to the actual car. My dad traded it in on a new, downsized Impala wagon with the 9C1 Police package drivetrain and suspension in 1977. The car DID NOT have the custom wheels as seen in the picture. It rolled on the factory steelies with the factory wheel covers and whitewall tires.)
Ah, memories. Memories of riding backwards, looking at the world going by in the wrong direction in this car's rearward-facing 3rd seat. Memories of idiots driving behind us at night with their high beams on. memories of getting violently car sick back there on long trips... On the other hand, there were some GREAT memories to go along with those, thanks to my dad being a closet hot rodder and the fact that this car came equipped with a 4-barrel 427 big block with dual exhausts. To this day my dad can't back down from an honest stoplight drag if he feels like 1) the other guy needs to be put in his place and, 2) if he feels he can take him. I don't remember him ever backing down from a showdown with this big ol' grocery getter!
I have so many fond memories of that car. It was that car which really told me that my dad was a hot rodder at heart. He was an accountant who went to work every day in a suit and tie with a starched white shirt and the requisite black-framed glasses and a pocket protector. (Today, he's retired and has lost the suit - except for church on Sunday - but he still has the glasses and pocket protector!) He traded a maroon 327/Powerglide '66 Bel Air wagon on the Kingswood Estate in about August of '69, and the two cars were like night and day. I remember one time on a straight stretch of 2-lane back road, we were driving along at about 10 over the speed limit, just the two of us, when a guy in a jacked-up green El Camino with mag wheels, side pipes and an L-88 scoop decides he wants to pass. Well, that wasn't a good idea as far as my dad was concerned! He put his right foot down to the mat and that wagon JUMPED! 50 up to 100 in less time than it takes to read about it! The Elky never did get past us. Imagine how embarassed Joe Hot Rod in the El Camino must have been to get dusted by an accountant in a wood-sided wagon with whitewalls and standard wheel covers!
The car got it's name from my parent's habit of naming their cars in alphabetical order. First, there was "Archie", a 1960 Corvair 500 coupe, which was followed by "Boris", a black '62 Biscayne 2-door sedan. Then came "Caspar", a burgundy '66 Bel Air 3-seat wagon. The "Dragon Wagon" got it's name not from it's performance but rather it's dark green paint. Later on, in 1977, the car was replaced by a new Police-Spec Impala wagon painted Firethorn Red. Naturally, that car became "Eric the Red"!
Specs for “Sleeper”
The engine started out as a mild-mannered 318, but it's been worked within an inch of it's life. Bored out .060 over, stroked 3/4", and the compression bumped up to 10.75:1, and featuring a mid-race cam. The heads have been completely gone through as well, being extrude honed and port-matched, with a three angle valve job. She has a 727 Torqueflite automatic with a shift kit and a 2,000 stall converter, all built to handle the power. It's all backed up by a Posi rear, of course.
Best times to date -
0-60: 4.8 seconds
Specs for “The Dragon Wagon”
Physical Size: Bloody HUGE!
Engine Size: 427 c.i.d.
Horsepower: Plenty for even a car this big!
0-60: 5+ seconds, but under 6 (I timed it a couple of times on my wristwatch when my dad was really getting after it... )
1/4 Mile: Damn quick for a big @&& wagon!
Factory Options for “Sleeper”
Automatic Transmission, AM/FM Stereo, Air Conditioning
Factory Options for “The Dragon Wagon”
427 c.i.d. Engine
Turbo Hydramatic 400 Automatic Transmission
Rearward-Facing Third Seat
Mods for “Sleeper”
The engine and transmission have been gone through top to bottom, with a full dual exhaust system. Other than that, the factory stereo's been changed out for an AM/FM/Multi-Disc CD player.
Mods for “The Dragon Wagon”
None that I'm aware of. The actual car DID NOT have the custom wheels the car in the pictures has.
Photo Albums 1 – 1 of 1
Photo Albums 1 – 1 of 1
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