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From: Kenny J.
Date: July 15, 2001
It's like everything else in our lives. No one can actually crawl inside our heads and understand what motivates us. I like sticks instead of automatics. I know most of the reasons why I do. Most of the guys with Exner Mopars are "Button Pushers." More power to them. And they have the power, too. "cuz there aren't too many V-8/stick '57-'59 Plymouths out there. So I drive with a Flathead 6 and use a bit more planning ahead in this aggressive Las Vegas traffic. I have most of what I need to convert to a 318, but this isn't as easy a swap as it is with post-'62 Mopars or post '55 Chevys. Frankly, after evaluating the work involved in cutting off the six cylinder mounts, welding in the V-8 pieces, finding the wide ratio 3-speed needed for a 318, installing 3:55 or 3:54 gears so the new engine doesn't scream at 60 mph, I discovered installing a Chevy small block and a Saginaw/Borg-Warner overdrive, while retaining the current 3:73 gears would be a heck of a lot easier. There are universal mounts for installing a Chevy small block into anything. A cut down Camaro cross member would work with the GM 3 speed and the column shift rods would line up...........and the Mopar's New Process shift arms fit the Saginaw! No worrying about crank bolt patterns, transmission-bellhousing conflicts, etc. Really. If I pulled this off, the guys would give me Hell! :-) But I intend to keep the car all-Chrysler. But believe me, I can understand why people do what isn't normally acceptable. But if I chose to install a GM drive train or even my '69 440, '68 A-833 four speed and my '68 Dana 60 (along with disk brakes and my '59 big block torsion bars), some people would complain about me wasting good B body material in an Exner wagon. Too bad! They ain't paying my bills. So there. I am not part of the "clique" by any stretch of the imagination. Some of my posts generate responses, others don't. Sometimes people respond privately with advice or comments. I believe most of us scan the board for what we find interesting or for our favorite "commentators." If we recognize a situation we can help with, we respond. One of the readers of this list who seldom posts has e-mailed me to notify me of a posting he believed I could help with. Others have written to me and vice versa. I believe most "Exner Mopar" guys are down to earth. If you want to meet some real snobs, try the Chevy club I belong to. You have some big slobs who always wanted a Corvette or a '69 Camaro. Now that they can afford one, they're too obese to squeeze inside. So they buy clean original 283-Powerglide Impalas or nice six-stick Biscaynes, rip out the original drivetrain, restamp the numbers on a 409 out of a school bus or dump truck, stuff it in and claim they found a factory big block car. Yeah, they can replicate a "Beach Boys Special" (and they ALWAYS paint them red, black or white), but then they lie and brag it's a factory original 40,000 mile example. Most hardcore Mopar guys I know let you know from the get go that they rebuilt theirs as they would have like to ordered it new. In other words, they may replace the 383 with a 440 or add power steering, but they don't lie about the car leaving the plant that way. I remember one issue of the Plymouth Bulletin where some people were complaining about how radical tires, gas shocks, adding overdrive and disk brakes took away from the "old car experience." "It alters history", they moaned. Yet no one seemed to mind another member destroying FOUR '58 four door sedans to patch together a rusted out convertible he found. Taste is subjective. We need to try to help one another as much as possible.