SM: Cale, please, go ahead and introduce yourself.
SM: How long did the build take, and what shape was the car in when you got it?
SM: Let’s talk more about that interior and the floor pan you had to replace.
SM: We love the no-frills approach you took. Tell us more about some of the accessories like the griptape floor, welded cup holders, and fire extinguisher.
SM: Hey, what are these earmuffs for?
SM: Yeah, tell us more about that drivetrain.
SM: So have you had this thing on the dyno yet?
CM: No, but I have a buddy who built a similar setup, and he made 450hp on the engine dyno at the crank. I’m hoping for about 300hp to the tire.
SM: Okay, Let’s talk about the swap and everything you had to do to get it in the car.
One thing Cale had to do to make the manifolds work was shaved down the head of a couple of bolts on the car’s manual steering box. Another thing was to cut and box the Duster’s K-member because of the way the car’s factory rear-steer system works. He mentioned a desire for a rack and pinion steering in the future, but for now, he got around it by using a front-sump oil pan from an ’06 Pontiac GTO. Luckily, he didn’t have to massage the shock towers or anything, so it’s all original sheet metal under the hood.
CM: Originally, the car was a 225 cubic-inch slant-six. So a couple of years ago, I hand-painted the displacement on the hood. Now that it’s a 5.3, I changed the number 2 to a 3, so it says 325 with the LS. I also have a bunch of period-correct ’70s NASCAR decals on the fenders. The turn signal markers are also deleted with metal plates for “aero.” I think it looks pretty cool. We’ve also got a set of Bassett wheels on it that are pretty basic, but I went ahead and painted the lug nuts yellow and added the rifle/sniper stripe on there as well.
SM: So, what are you running for brakes on this thing?
CM: In the front, I went with a disc kit from Pirate Jack Brakes. It actually uses an E-body spindle and E-body brake kit that adapts. Those are connected to QA1 upper arms and adjustable strut rods. So, this thing handles pretty much mint. As far as steering goes, I’ve got a quick-ratio 14:1 steering box, but it’s still manual steering. It’s got a pretty low center of gravity, and it doesn’t weigh much, so it’s pretty fun to swing it around corners and dump the clutch.
SM: Ok, so what’s the deal with number 11?
CM: Well, I’m named after Cale Yarborough, a NASCAR driver from the ’70s and ’80s, and his number was 11. I also happen to be born on the eleventh, so that’s why we put the 11 on. Just under there, you can see the legit boom tubes. I just have manifolds on the engine for fitment purposes, and I built my own 2.5-inch stainless x-pipe that shoots right out to these boom tubes on the side.
SM: So, we see CAM Racing all over the car. What’s going on with that?
CM: When I was in 7th grade, I used the old AMC logo and turned it around, and made it into CAM Racing. Those are my initials, and there’s an old picture of me sitting on one of my dad’s old dirt track cars, and he painted it on the fender, so I always liked it. Hopefully, I’ll name my shop that someday.