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Cale's Killer NASCAR-Inspired Plymouth Duster Is Hiding Something – TURNology

by Nov 2, 2022Blog0 comments

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With tons of attitude, plenty of patina, NASCAR style, and an LS under the hood, Cale’s Plymouth Duster sure breaks a lot of necks and even more hearts.

SM: Cale, please, go ahead and introduce yourself.
You talkin’ to me? Yeah, Cale. Tell us more about that killer car!
SM: How long did the build take, and what shape was the car in when you got it?
He may be named after Cale Yarborough, but his favorite is Dale Jr. Dig that front license plate.
SM: Let’s talk more about that interior and the floor pan you had to replace.
Cale hand-painted the 225ci callout for the slant-six the Duster once had. Then he painted over the two with a three to denote the mighty 325ci LS it now has.
SM: We love the no-frills approach you took. Tell us more about some of the accessories like the griptape floor, welded cup holders, and fire extinguisher.
Some might call this interior “Spartan.”
SM: Hey, what are these earmuffs for?
SM: Yeah, tell us more about that drivetrain.
Uh-oh. This will be sure to ruffle a few feathers.
SM: So have you had this thing on the dyno yet?
The word “shoehorned” comes to mind.
CM: No, but I have a buddy who built a similar setup, and he made 450hp on the engine dyno at the crank. I’m hoping for about 300hp to the tire.
SM: Okay, Let’s talk about the swap and everything you had to do to get it in the car.
“This unit runs on freedom, bald eagle piss, and Motley Crue.”
One thing Cale had to do to make the manifolds work was shaved down the head of a couple of bolts on the car’s manual steering box. Another thing was to cut and box the Duster’s K-member because of the way the car’s factory rear-steer system works. He mentioned a desire for a rack and pinion steering in the future, but for now, he got around it by using a front-sump oil pan from an ’06 Pontiac GTO. Luckily, he didn’t have to massage the shock towers or anything, so it’s all original sheet metal under the hood.

CM: Originally, the car was a 225 cubic-inch slant-six. So a couple of years ago, I hand-painted the displacement on the hood. Now that it’s a 5.3, I changed the number 2 to a 3, so it says 325 with the LS. I also have a bunch of period-correct ’70s NASCAR decals on the fenders. The turn signal markers are also deleted with metal plates for “aero.” I think it looks pretty cool. We’ve also got a set of Bassett wheels on it that are pretty basic, but I went ahead and painted the lug nuts yellow and added the rifle/sniper stripe on there as well.
SM: So, what are you running for brakes on this thing?
CM: In the front, I went with a disc kit from Pirate Jack Brakes. It actually uses an E-body spindle and E-body brake kit that adapts. Those are connected to QA1 upper arms and adjustable strut rods. So, this thing handles pretty much mint. As far as steering goes, I’ve got a quick-ratio 14:1 steering box, but it’s still manual steering. It’s got a pretty low center of gravity, and it doesn’t weigh much, so it’s pretty fun to swing it around corners and dump the clutch.
SM: Ok, so what’s the deal with number 11?
CM: Well, I’m named after Cale Yarborough, a NASCAR driver from the ’70s and ’80s, and his number was 11. I also happen to be born on the eleventh, so that’s why we put the 11 on. Just under there, you can see the legit boom tubes. I just have manifolds on the engine for fitment purposes, and I built my own 2.5-inch stainless x-pipe that shoots right out to these boom tubes on the side.
SM: So, we see CAM Racing all over the car. What’s going on with that?
CM: When I was in 7th grade, I used the old AMC logo and turned it around, and made it into CAM Racing. Those are my initials, and there’s an old picture of me sitting on one of my dad’s old dirt track cars, and he painted it on the fender, so I always liked it. Hopefully, I’ll name my shop that someday.

“Not Built For Your Approval.” “Dan Gurney For President.” “Disco sucks. Long Live rock.”
About the author
Vinny Costa
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