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Potent 1972 Challenger Is Both Show And Go With Stroked LA360

To say that Adam Miles has a musclecar is like saying Power Automedia has a website. We have several websites for the automotive enthusiast, and Adam Miles is an automotive enthusiast who has several musclecars.

One of those cars is the 1972 B5 Blue Dodge Challenger that we had the pleasure of seeing up close and personal. His love for fast cars, however, was long before this Challenger came into his possession. Of course, the buck doesn’t stop here with this awesome Dodge, as he’s already talking about what musclecar he plans to add to his stable next.

When he was just 14 years old, Miles got the musclecar bug after he brought home his very first car: a 1972 GMC Sprint that he still has in his possession. The Sprint has seen some weathering over the years and it’s in dire need of some attention, but he plans to bring it back to life in the manner that all of his other musclecars have seen. The Sprint, however, will be getting the Pro-Touring treatment. As nearly all of his musclecars have undergone their own unique build, the Challenger was no exception.

Adam Miles is no stranger to musclecars, his collection includes some favorites, some popular, and some unique classics from all three US manufacturers.

The Cook’s Challenger

The Challenger came to Miles in an interesting way: his wife, Irene, saw it for sale down the street a few years back and she called him to tell him about it. He was out of town so he couldn’t rush home to see it, but he was definitely interested. He asked her what color it was and what they were asking for it, and wanted to know where she had seen it.

When she told him it was green with a vinyl top and told him where it was parked, he knew exactly whose car it was and told her, “go ahead and buy it, it’s worth it.” She bought it that day and it was added to his current stable, which included a nice collection of classics: a ’67 Corvette convertible (his favorite), a ’68 Satellite convertible, ’65 Mustang, ’73 Firebird, ’70 Camaro and a ’63 Chevy II Wagon that his son, Josh, is currently putting some miles on.

It may look like it’s a show car, but it doesn’t take much to get Adam or Curt to show what this beauty is capable of doing.

The one thing about this collection of cars that we like to hear is that they get driven. Several of his cars made it to the Temecula Rod Run this March, and Miles rounded up as many family members and friends as he could to bring the cars to Old Town Temecula. The musclecars, as well as the other vehicles in Miles’ fleet, get taken care of by Miles Preservation’s Fleet Manager, Curt Anderson. He oversees the custom builds, as well as performing regular maintenance for all of the vehicles that Miles owns.

When Miles first heard about the ’72 Challenger, he was familiar with the car because when he was in elementary school it belonged to one of the cooks, who had bought it new. At the time it had come up for sale, the car had about 64,000 miles, no rust, and was powered by a 318 with a TF727 automatic. Although it was in fairly decent shape, it was going to undergo a restomod and get some upgrades to the drivetrain and brakes. Miles wanted it to handle and drive as well as the Z06 that they also have.

The first time we saw the old Dodge was at Back’s Automotive in San Jacinto, California, when Todd Back was performing the restomod to the E-body. The original vinyl top was removed, and the entire body was painted in B5 Blue with protective undercoating to keep the elements from damaging the underside of the floor pan. The car had just been painted when we arrived at the shop that day, and it was partially put back together, with the interior and electrical work still being planned out.

A stroked 360 brings the cubes up to 408 with over 400 horsepower on tap. To make the car a worthy daily driver, the Wilwood brakes and Hellwig swaybars keep the car where it needs to be.

The 318 had been replaced by a stroked 360, and the fresh 408 was dropped into place with the rebuilt TorqueFlite 727 behind it. Miles knew that he wanted a little more power than the 318 could deliver, and was aiming closer to musclecar status with over 450 horsepower. An Edelbrock intake, Demon carburetor and Mopar Performance valve covers topped off the 408, and stainless steel braiding was added to the hoses to keep the look clean and bright. TTI headers help the stroked mill breathe a little better, and an entire Flowmaster header-back exhaust system with Super 44s complete the musclecar package.

The 20-inch SRT wheels stand out, but the old-meets-the-new theme works well here.

But the car also had to be driveable, so a few creature comforts were part of this build, including the four-wheel disc brakes all around and air conditioning to keep the black interior cooler during the summer cruises. In order to get the four-piston Wilwood calipers and brake rotors behind the wheels, a modern set of Mopar wheels found their way onto this build in the form of 20-inch SRT wheels from a modern Challenger, wrapped with Goodyear 245 45/ZR20 rubber.

The interior has been completely reupholstered, and a set of Auto Meter Phantom gauges to keep track of the vital statistics on the car. It’s hard to miss the 20-inch modern Mopar wheels and tires on the Dodge, and while they’re a bit larger than the original wheels and tires they complement the old Challenger quite well and look right at home. To help keep the tires planted during aggressive cornering, a set of Hellwig sway bars were also installed.

We've seen the Dodge in our own shop a couple of times for performance upgrades. So this car is no stranger to Power Automedia's garage, and always a welcome sight.

A Familiar Face In The Crowd

If the car looks a little familiar, you may have seen it here before, as it was used to test eight of Flowmaster’s popular mufflers. Flowmaster wanted a classic musclecar for the test, and one picture of the Challenger was all it took to get our test mule. It doesn’t take much to guess that the Super 44 appealed to Miles, which give the car that classic Flowmaster sound that signals to everyone that the Challenger is all business when the go stick is put to work.

Seeing the rear wheels spinning on our DynoJet Research in-ground dynamometer shows that this Challenger means business.

In an upcoming article, you’ll find that the Challenger was back in our shop again, this time adding some go-juice to the mill by way of a 125-shot NOS plate system. Miles, Anderson, and Josh were all on hand to check out the NOS install and to see the how the additional 85 RWHP made the Challenger sound, putting close to 400 RWHP to our DynoJet Research in-ground dynamometer.

If you’re in the Inland Empire area of Southern California, you might have even seen the car around town because, like we mentioned earlier, this car gets driven, as do his other cars. Most cars that we see looking this clean are driven carefully and only brought out to weekend shows, but as you can see from the picture above, this Challenger gets driven hard at times. It didn’t take much for Miles to approve a couple of burnouts for us when we shot the Flowmaster video, he almost seemed shocked that we had to ask.

The interior looks as good as the exterior, with a touch of performance enhancing the classic look.

With the diverse collection that he has, it’s easy to tell that Miles isn’t brand specific, with specimens from each of the big three. He’s a busy guy, running his own business, but always seems to make time for musclecars – whether it’s family cruises, car shows, or getting out on the road to have a little fun.

Musclecars that can’t do a burnout are like power tools at the store. They might look great, but you gotta be able to use them.

With his passion for musclecars, it’s no surprise that he’s passed that on to his son, Josh. Josh’s current driver is that ’63 Chevy II wagon, and it’s gotten the full treatment with a built inline-6, suspension package with coilover shocks, big brakes and twin Weber carburetors.

The wagon has been in the family since it was new, turning 50 this year. We’ll plan a future article on the Chevy II, it’s a unique driver that you don’t see everyday, and who can resist a custom-built wagon?

Be sure to check back and see more of this ’72 Challenger when we post the NOS plate system install. Adam Miles was a bit excited about the added power, and we’re not sure how often he plans to use this extra boost in ponies, but we won’t be surprised if we get a call soon asking us where to get the bottle filled.

We will bring you more of Miles’ collection in the future, that’s something you can count on!



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