'58 Dodge | Challenger | Sketchpad | BMW StreetCarver
Kelly was obsessed with making the Coronet look as stock as possible, despite all the modifications he did to the car. One of the things he did was take a late seventies big-block Mopar and replicate a D500 361.
Kelly happened to see a beautiful 1958 Coronet D500 at the 2004 Spring Fling. He used one photo as a reference for what he wanted the Dodge's 440 to look like:
He was really looking for a 383, but a 440 that came out of a '76 New Yorker fit the bill. The motor sounded great, so Kelly left the bottom end alone. The top end, however got the lion's share of attention.
The 452 casting heads got the top corners ground off on the bench grinder to fit 361 four bolt valve covers. The smogger exhaust manifolds were dropped in favor of 361 units (Kelly was still going to run the original generator!). A CH4B Edelbrock intake was found on Ebay. The neat thing about those intakes is that even though they are aftermarket units, they carry Chrysler part numbers! The Thermoquad was junked in favor of a Carter 650. Kelly really wanted a smaller carb, but this one works fine. A dual-point distributor couldn't be sourced, so a Mopar Performance electronic ignition was used. Kelly even routed the ignition hotbox out of sight, under the battery tray. An aluminum water-pump and housing also made the cut, not only becuase it was lightwieght, but it exited on the driver's side, and the 440's original water pump housing didn't.
A high-velocity oil pump came in handy, even though the big motor had one replaced recently, it wasn't good enough.
The last thing is the camshaft. A Mopar Performance Purple Cam made the cut, with an even 280 duration, and 425 lift. Torque, not raw horsepower was going to get that be-finned land yacht moving.