by Scotty Gosson
(Excerpt from America's Coolest Station Wagons published in 2011)
Beware the mischievous grin. Mike’s fun meter may be pegged, but the wagon is as serious as a red light. (Photo Courtesy Al Gott)
Some guys seem to have all the fun, and Mike is most definitely a funster! Chrysler Corporation never built a production 1967 Hemi wagon, so Mike decided to do the right thing and supply the world with at least one. In the process, he created an unholy terror.
The Coronet has seen its share of stoplight altercations from Gratiot Avenue to Woodward Avenue, and is well known around the Detroit metro area. Its first (and last) run at the strip carded an early shut-off 11.30-second run without a roll bar or harness. Mike was promptly dismissed from the premises. That pass netted a 1.50-second, 60-foot time, indicating possible 10.80s for a full quarter-mile run. That was fine with Mike, as he already has a couple of dedicated race cars to play with on Sundays; they are a WO23 factory Hemi Super Stock Coronet and an Aspen Pro Stocker that was the last car out of Don Carlton’s shop.
Scott Brown at Competition Components picked a 528-inch Mopar aluminum Hemi block and heads (10.5:1) to work in conjunction with one of his own hydraulic flat-tappet cam grinds to make the power. There’s a 1,050-cfm Dominator on an Indy intake upstairs and a bomb shelter of a basement, with a Callies crank and Eagle rods doing the heavy lifting. A Cope Racing 727 trans sends the “oomph” through an aluminum driveshaft to a Moser Dana 60 with 4.10:1 gears. That combo makes about 700 hp on pump gas and oughta get Mike home before the ice cream melts. (Photo Courtesy Al Gott)
So the wagon stays on the streets it was built for. Well, it mostly stays on the street. The combination of a stock suspension supporting 4,200 pounds and a wagon load of torque (700 ft-lbs) left Mike muttering, “This thing is always hunting for the next ditch!” The torque and horsepower is credited to Scott Brown, who does Mike’s machine work at Competition Components. Scott screwed together a wicked Hemi/727/Dana 60 combo that transformed the laid-back Coronet into the scourge of Detroit’s infamous boulevards and avenues.
The body was a rust-free Arizona example, needing only minor cleanup. Same deal on the interior. This is a simple recipe for big fun in a big car, and Mike Ricketts is just the chef to serve up the chuckles with a smile and that twinkle in his eye.
Pedestrians and challengers beware!
A pair of 9-inch slicks on 7-inch Cragars are responsible for processing all of that power, and they get it done, somehow. Mopar S/S rear leaves help it go, while Wilwood discs up front help it whoa. Everything else is stock! (Photo Courtesy Mike Yoksich)