Remembering back a few decades, the street scene was filled with big engined muscle cars that spent hours cruising the streets, back and forth, and leaving their mark on any fresh piece of pavement they could find.
There were even some guys who boasted about how they got a fix-it ticket because the local authority felt that the driver’s vision was obstructed by a pair of velocity-stack air cleaners that shot skyward atop a tunnel ram or blower.
Those were the days, and they left a lasting impression of what a cruise night was really all about. But when the 1980′s rolled around and imports started filling the cruise spots, it just wasn’t the same anymore.
These days, old muscle cars are getting modern power plants, and low profile intercooled blowers are being neatly concealed beneath an unaltered factory hood. These old-meets-new cars are awesome in their own right, but nothing matches the sound of a roots-style blower and it’s cog-pulley meshing with a Gilmer-style belt to create the music we love to hear.
So when we came across this 1970 440 Duster on YouTube, we couldn’t resist the ride-along that gave us a driver’s view of what it’s like to sit behind a 6-71 being fed by dual 750 cfm Edelbrock carbs. Preston Herrick is the owner of this former slant-6 grocery getter, and the blower is his “Phase 2″ part of this build.
Snagging a ’68 440 and 727 TF from a Satellite, “Phase 1” saw some significant changes for his street car, which he says will “likely never see track time”. Soliciting the help of his son, Austin, work began on tearing the car down and making it better. Austin was only six years old in the photos above, taken in 2003.
It went through massive changes, with entire body panels being cut out to make room for replacement sheet metal. A custom dash went in to make room for the Auto Meter Sport Comp II gauges that were required to keep track of vitals.
The final assembly of the car was enough to make anyone proud, and Austin got to watch the progress of the car and participate as he grew. The paint was applied and the car was at a stage where many people would say is “done”. But Preston’s a car guy, and we all know that even when a car is completed it’s never really “done”.
Now at the point where Austin is about ready for his driver’s license, Preston has decided to install the 6-71 blower that Austin gets to see fire up for the first time. As Preston takes us out for a cruise in the video above, think back to a time when you got to watch – and help – your dad build a hot rod or muscle car.
Will Preston hand the keys over to Austin when he gets a little driving experience under his belt? If we find a new video with dad sporting some fresh, gray hairs then we’ll know that Austin has been given the keys. He sure looks like a natural behind the wheel during the first start up video below.
Watch out dad, you brought him up well and he’s already following in your footsteps.