By Jen Dunnaway (Hotrod.com, Oct. 31, 2012).
Former Sprint Cup Championship crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham had dreamed of building a classic stock car on a 21st-century NASCAR chassis, and he knew the ’64 Plymouth Belvedere was the perfect candidate. Richard Petty won the 1964 Daytona 500 in one of these during a spectacular 1-2-3 finish for Plymouth, and looking back through old racing photos, Evernham felt that these big Mopars were the meanest-looking rides on the track.
Fittingly, the “ForPly” Belvedere is built on a superspeedway COT chassis that has actually run at Daytona. It’s got the standard Dodge Racing R5-P7 358 cubic-inch V8 with the new NASCAR EFI, this one from the No. 9 car raced by Kasey Kahne. It’s de-tuned to about 750 HP at the flywheel so that the car is both streetable and race-ready. Everything else underneath is pure NASCAR, from the fully-adjustable suspension with unequal-length lower control arms and a Panhard rod out back, to the 18-gal fuel cell salvaged from the Daytona 500 donor car. Chief builder Dan Baker said that a few mods were necessary to make the car compatible with the civilian world, like a revised filler neck designed to work with modern gas pumps (yep, it runs on pump gas) and 18-inch NASCAR-style steelies in place of the race car’s 15′s to give it more of an aggressive street look with lower-profile tires. The paint is a Sherwin-Williams satin called Radiant Red, with Graphite accents. I was really glad to see in person how beautifully the concept came out: the pre-SEMA teaser press release had some Hot Rod staff thinking it might even be a truck, which wouldn’t have been nearly as cool as the period-perfect but brilliantly modernized Belvedere.
Still, the best thing about ForPly is that it’s not designed to be just a parade queen. The aero pieces are all functional, and Evernham said the car is “fully capable of 200 mph.” Maybe it’ll get a chance to run at Daytona one last time before it goes across the block at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale next year!
Story at hotrod.com
Watch video of ForPly at YouTube.com