Introducing Project Yankee: The American Kyusha
Goodbye Toyota, Hello Mopar

For the last few years I’ve had an idea brewing in my head. An idea for a project car built partly on nostalgia and partly by the desire to try something a little different. Well, a couple weeks ago I acquired that project car, and I’m extremely excited to tell you all about it.

But first, there’s another vehicle I need to address.


That would be my 1969 Toyota Crown station wagon, which I bought nearly three years ago with hopes I could give the rare Japanese classic another chance at life. When I picked up the wagon I knew it was going to need a lot of work, and that nothing would come easy. But after watching the Crown sit for so long while I tried to figure out how I could see the project through with my relatively limited budget and mechanical abilities, I began to realize I may have gotten in over my head.


As much as I loved the Crown for its uniqueness, that same obscurity made for a pretty impractical project car. First off, there’s parts availability, which is zero. Going to a swap meet or junkyard to find something you need? Not going to happen. Maybe those are just excuses, after all, anything is possible if you want it badly enough. With the right fabrication skills or engineering mind the Crown could be made into something amazing, but I’m afraid I’m lacking in both of those areas. The other option was, of course, to pay someone to do it, and if I had the money I would have loved to do that. But at this point in my life it’s just not feasible to commission a full-on build of this magnitude.


So a few weeks ago I made a tough choice and put the feelers out to see if anyone would be interested in buying my Crown. Despite its rarity, the car is worth very little in the monetary sense and I wondered who else would want it. But to my pleasure, I was quickly contacted by an acquaintance who was interested in taking on the project. A deal was made and soon I was watching the old Toyota being loaded up on a trailer and driven away to its new home in Southern California. I was disappointed and maybe even a little embarassed, but I know the wagon is in the best hands it could be in. In fact, you’ve seen the work of the new owner here on Speedhunters before, and based on what he’s told me it’s going to be incredible when he’s done. I’m not sure if he wants his plans out of the bag, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.


Being the crazed individual I am, before the Crown was even gone I was hunting around for an ideal project to take its place. As much as I enjoy having Project EcoBoost as a daily driver, I love old cars. I knew I wanted something that was cheap, but wouldn’t need to be totally rebuilt from the ground up. The car would also need to be from 1975 or earlier so it would be exempt from California’s smog laws. I also wanted a car that you can actually find parts for, be them new or used, stock or aftermarket.

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There were a few different cars I considered. Air-cooled Volkswagens and a number of Japanese machines from the early ’70s crossed my mind, but there was one car in particular I kept coming back to. The Chrysler A-Body platform – more specifically the Plymouth Duster and its Dodge counterparts, the Demon and Dart Sport.

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The second car I ever owned was a 1973 Duster with a 318ci V8 that I bought for $600, repaired with the help of my dad and drove to high school. I’ve always gone through cars way too fast to really get attached to one, but I’ve always told myself I’d get another A-Body some time. My old Duster wasn’t fast and it wasn’t that nice, but I had a ton of fun with that car.

duster02 copy

As with any old car, the values of decent A-Body Mopars have steadily been going up, and today the same money that would have gotten you a nice daily driver 15 years ago might now only get you a car that’s been rotting in a field for a while. During my initial searches, I began to wonder if I could even find anything that was roadworthy (or near to it), but also affordable.

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With the Crown out of the way I ramped up my internet searches, and one night a few weeks ago I came across a car which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. It was a 1975 Dodge Dart Sport, it looked decent in the photos and the price was right. Best of all, it was located only 20 minutes away from my house.

The Perfect Project
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I showed up at the owner’s house early the next morning, not really sure what to expect. We all know sellers have a tendency to make their cars seem far better than they actually are, but I arrived and found a car that was almost exactly as I hoped. The guy had owned the Dodge for about 15 years and had slowly fixed it up before parking it in his garage around five years ago.

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Needing to make space, he pulled the car out, cleaned it up, put in a new battery and got it running again. Then he put it up for sale, hoping to pass it on to someone who’d give the Dodge the love it deserved rather than flipping it for a quick buck.

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It wasn’t a show car by any means, but there was virtually no rust and no signs of crappy bodywork. Cosmetically, it was very solid.

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It was obvious the car needed some work, but from the moment I hopped in and fired it up, it just felt right. All the memories of being 17 and cruising around with my buddies came rushing back to me.

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More important was the fact that it seemed well-suited for a project car. It was nice enough to not need total restoration, but not too nice as to worry about playing around with it.

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The interior was far from great, but at least it wasn’t full of dirt and spiderwebs. Check out the sweet green bucket seats which long ago replaced the factory bench.

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Like many Dodge Darts sold in the ’70s, this one was originally powered by a slant six engine, but that motor is long gone. In its place sits a 340ci small block V8 pulled out of a ’71 Challenger. There are a few aftermarket additions, including an aluminum intake, Edelbrock carb and a set of old crusty headers.

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Along with the V8 swap, the drivetrain had also been beefed up with a 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a heavy duty 8.75-inch rear end, although highway gears and an open diff mean it’s not quite ready for the race track just yet.

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While the 340 under the hood seemed like a big plus, there were still issues that would need addressing. Namely, a very loud exhaust leak coming from the right side of the engine, a rotting exhaust system that should be replaced sooner rather than later, and a transmission that didn’t deliver especially crisp shifts.

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Even so, I was looking at a running, driving, pre-smog, A-Body that was in very solid shape. The owner’s phone was ringing off the hook with other people wanting to come check it out, so I decided to go for it.

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$3,000 later I was driving my 40-year-old Dodge home, my mind racing with all the possibilities this car offered. Riding down the road with the windows down and Skynyrd on the radio, it felt damn good.

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Now that I’ve got it home it’s time to figure out exactly what the hell I’m going to do with this thing. But regardless of the long-term plan, the first order of business is going to be fixing that exhaust leak, fitting a decent exhaust system on it and hopefully finding out more about the health of the motor.

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In terms of the engine, I know I want to stick with a Mopar V8, but whether I stay with a carbureted small block or get adventurous and attempt a Gen III HEMI swap is yet to be decided. And while the car currently has an automatic trans, converting to a manual gearbox is something I’d very much like to do. Addressing things like the floaty suspension and antiquated four-wheel drum brakes are also high on the to-do list.

Global Inspiration
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On the broader side of things, I’m hoping to do something with this car that will bring a few of my favorite automotive genres together; specifically old muscle cars, vintage race cars and modified Japanese kyusha.


I’ve always liked the look of stock cars from the ’60s and ’70s, and having a bit of old school NASCAR influence might be a cool thing. What do you think?


In fact, during the 1970s, Chrysler offered ready-to-run stock car packages with bodywork based on the Dart Sport. Obviously this is a full-on race car, but there’s still plenty to draw inspiration from.


Then, of course, there’s late-’60s and early-’70s Trans-Am racers, some of the greatest American racing cars ever to take to the track. It’s not only the style of these cars that’s great, but their simplicity and especially those high-winding small block power plants.


While the E-Body (Challenger and ‘Cuda) was the chosen platform for Chrysler’s factory efforts in the Trans-Am series, the smaller, lighter A-Body could borrow heavily from these machines in terms of overall vibe. Or if you want to step back in time a little further, a recently-featured ’66 Barracuda road racer is another car to lift from.


Interestingly, one of my biggest inspirations to pick up an old American car came from an experience in Japan. I’m talking about the spectacle of the Stock Car Club of All Japan race series.


There’s just something fantastic about the way these American car enthusiasts go about their hobby, hitting the track together and generally having a blast. They also prove you don’t need massive modifications to have fun in an old muscle car on a track with corners. What’s not to like about a bit of body roll and some oversteer?


That’s far from the only Japanese influence that will be part of this project. In fact, one of the things I’m most excited about is bringing some old school Japanese street racer style to this American-made machine.


One of the things that first started attracting me to 1970s Japanese machines like the Nissan Laurel, Nissan Skyline and Toyota Celica LB, was the way they looked like scaled-down versions of American muscle cars.


Then you have all the incredibly cool and unique modifications that are made to these cars – the wide wheels and stretched tires, the low ride heights, and the race car inspired bodywork.


Whether the goal is full-on Kaido Racer or modest street machine, what’s to stop someone from applying these same touches to an American machine from the ’70s? I’m going to try and find out…


Sure, a Kenmeri Skyline or Butaketsu Laurel might be more compact than my Dart, but there’s a lot of similarities when it comes to the shape. And the A-Body is still one of the smaller and lighter ‘muscle cars’ you’ll find.

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While my Dodge remains an open book as far as what exactly will be done to it, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’d realistically like it to be.

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I’m not looking for a drag car and I’m not looking to build a pro-touring monster that can outrun a new Porsche at the track.

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Instead, I want something that’s well-rounded, performs nicely for what it is, can be used with ease on the street and has plenty of old school charm. Throw in some styling and influences that might be a little unconventional and I think we’ve got the recipe for a fun project.


My friend Yuki Sakamoto’s Ford Falcon race car is a build that I absolutely love, and one that manages to blend style and function in a very exciting way. His Falcon is geared a bit more to the race side then I’m thinking, but it’s certainly a car that will influence my Dodge project.

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I guess all that’s needed right now is a name, and I’ve already come up with one I like: Project Yankee. You’ve got the all-American meaning of the word obviously, and then there’s the Japanese term yankii, a well known subculture with a fondness for modified vehicles – especially the vintage machines that will inspire this one. Pretty fitting, right?

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Anyway, that pretty much sums it up. The possibilities feel endless with this car, and I can’t wait to get the project off the ground. I’ve already started gathering a few parts and have been in touch with some of my aftermarket contacts about some potential upgrades. So let’s have some fun and maybe raise a few eyebrows in the process!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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Yay mopar Small block


external oil cooler bro you know you want to...


Dude, fender mirrors on that!


I am super excited to see where this build goes. I love old A-body Dodges (Darts were one of my favorites growing up since my uncle used to own a ton of them), I was at the Rolex Historics this year and pointed out to anyone I could corner that the green Challenger was by far the most interesting looking of the big bore runners, I shuttled the pics of that Falcon to most of my car buddies with little notes of "what if" and "that's just about the coolest thing I've seen". 

Eagerly awaiting the next installment....


Schwaglet Yeah, but those exposed lines always look so vulnerable.


Oh man,  just leave the wheels and body alone,  just sort the handling... it will be nice to drive


RS watanabes, flares, oil cooler, lowered, 6 speed with nice carbd motor or old school injector stacks and suspension update and bam! Leave it baby blue with some white period graphics!


Needs rms coilvers, ditch the k member/torsion bar/pitman arm steering. Also I wonder if a front end swap from an earlier 70's a body would fit? They look better imo....also a drop in a Hellcat swap and a viper 6 speed while you're at it wouldya.'s only a few 10s of thousands of dollars.


So you sold it to someone who has been featured on SH? Has the capabilities to "get er done", and is someone who lives in socal. I don't think that it's a coincidence, that just recently another speed hunter just sold their car. Didn't Keith, just sell the 86? I'm not pointing any fingers, but I'm guessing he has the crown now.


you know, I had this idea for my own 73 duster. Like, this exact same idea. Which I stole from you guys. So now I guess you're stealing it back?


Wherever the build takes you; keep the slot mags!


Keith did just pick up a Cosworth STI to replace his FRS, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have done both.


Cool project!! Just a quick FYI...Before chasing the exhaust leak. Make sure to check that the spark plugs are tight. If one or several are loose, sounds just like an exhaust leak!! Have fun and  I'm looking forward to your progress!!


Oh baby, oh baby.
Teased with images of this on instagram, but the whole story went from mild excitement to anticipating chills. As you were beginning to explain your intentions as far as influence, in the back of my mind I was hoping for either a NASCAR/trans am direction or along the lines of Sakamoto's Falcon, which might be one of my favorite muscle car looks as of late. Lo and behold, the pleasant surprise to find both!
Glad to see the Crown go to someone who you've seen their work and believe they can really do something with it, and this fell into your lap in such a great condition to start your project. Can't wait to see more updates!


Great project. Nice machine to start with too! Assume though, you know it is already a kyusha ('old car'). Making it look Japanese, or not, isn't going to change that... Look forward to the next bits!

Brayden Pimlott

cool looking car sad to see the wagon gone but this thing will look pretty cool when done.

Viper V10 swap maybe


Keith lives in az not socal


Oh jeez oh man! This has been an idea rattling around in my head for quite some time; A classic American muscle car with Japanese Shakotan inspired styling! If you built this car with kyuusha influences, I think it would be the most unique thing on the road, and I would be super elated to see something like that exists!

I think you should keep the carb'd V8 honestly; if it hasn't imploded you shouldn't need to swap it. Like you said, you're far from being mechanically inclined. Unless you're willing to learn, willing to pay a shop $$$$ or have a buddy with a shop who can help you out, it'll become a headache that could discourage you to the point of selling the thing. 

And please, for the love of the automotive gods, stick with this project! 
Well, at least until you finish it!

Twiggy Sinclair

Dill Pickle Yes, I applaud this wise sir and second his idea.


Dill Pickle Jellybean mags are a perfect fit for so many muscle cars - second only to the Cragar SS, really.


Brayden Pimlott Really? A Viper V10 swap? I'm sorry but I find that utterly ludicrous. Not only is Mike mechanically UNinclined, but that engine would be 4x the cost of the car at the very least, and that's before even attempting to bolt it to the aging chassis. Remember, he sold his Crown because he wasn't skilled enough to independently perform an engine swap, and not loaded enough to pay someone else to do it for him.

If you're going to pitch random engine swap options, try to keep it within the area of being moderately feasible; think Mighty Car Mods budget. 

A modern Hemi V8 would be the easiest and most obvious answer, next to maybe a Mopar V6 or even a Jeep Inline 6. If you wanted slightly bonkers, I'd say a 1JZ/2JZ is within relative feasibility; even a slightly older 'Yota 8M I6 could fit the bill. But all of this is probably more than Mike could handle.


Fender mirrors on everything!


Need to lose the bulky usdm bumpers, and swap in a manual trans. I would suggest a viper srt10 swap but idk if that would be in your budget


Nice pick up, but please see this one through Mr, Garrett! I had high hopes for the wagon.

I like the color. Some thoughts: 

The bumpers are pretty awful. maybe a shave and tuck or fiberglass tucked ones? I think you can go bumperless in the rear but the front would be awkward without it. 

A square tire set up would be more suitably and would give a much more masculine & aggressive stance if lowered appropriately as well. I think dark panasports would work but low offset hayashi streets on a fairly big sidewall would be tits. 

Tranny choice is gonna be tough, because you might hop on that slippery slop of converting to manual, then realizing the motor isn't up to snuff. I'd love to see a hemi and TR6060 or something like that in there, but maybe a more modern 4 speed is the way to go.

Rally lights above the bumper would also be rad.

Please provide updates and please don't muck this up. 

The internet


te37v with mad deep dish


AndrewCinch Brayden Pimlott just an idea mate i am aware of his skills but even some of your suggestions would stretch the abilities of Mike somewhat the best advice i could give Mike is to work with and improve the v8 architecture that is already in the vehicle


you need to check out the protouring scene, and check out hotchkis latest project for inspiration: 1976 dodge dart!!!

as for widebody darts, read this great history into the past when you could personally build a widebody dodge dart kit car!

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

100% use Sakamoto's Falcon as all the inspiration you need, thinking of it now makes me smile :)


After reviewing the first photo, I have discovered your exhaust leak. You have no muffler. Haha


Honestly, you did well changing the Toyota, this one has much more potential and looks in pretty good shape, just don't mix styles too much, japanese and american may sound cool, but with a limit.


Looks good, reminds me of those 70's cop movies!


Live this! Funny that this came up now, I'm actually just about to do something very similar with a mk3 ford Capri injection as my first car, a euro Kyusha daily that I can have some fun in. Looking forward to seeing your progress with project Yankee!


This is sick. I love the idea of NASCAR or Trans-Am influences, but personally think getting too Kaido Racer or Boso for lack of a better term would be a bad choice. 
I think it definitely needs a huge chin spoiler and minilites or RS watanabes.


I think you've officially owned more cars than I've had underpants. Nice.


Nice Mike.
Funny this article came up while I was toying with the idea of a project car for my father and myself.
You may have swayed me haha.


Brayden Pimlott AndrewCinch Yeah that's what I had in mind. Sorry, I got a little rant-y the minute I saw Viper V10.


Haha, glad I could help!


I have indeed owned way too many


Yeah the key is gonna be finding a balance of the different styles without going overboard.


Thanks! Keep us updated on your project. Sounds really cool!


Powerslides and body roll baby!


All about balance!


Yeah the exhaust system is pretty torn up. It had side pipes on both sides but looks like one of them was removed a while ago.


Hopefully it will someday be as cool as his car!


I like that idea, though as far as I know 15" TE37V only come in four lug. Whatever happens, I'd really like to stay with smaller diameter wheels.


I'm right on board with you. The bumpers are indeed pretty large. I don't completely hate them, but there are ways to work around them. I'm first going to try removing the shock absorber mounts and tucking them in closer to the body and see how that looks.


Yeah we'll have to see what kind of shape the 340 is in. Got not probs sticking with the 340 or maybe even going with a 360 crate motor at some point. I do want a 4 speed or 5 speed very badly though.


These are all valid points. The good thing about this car is there are pretty much endless possibilities depending on how far you want to go. It could be anything from reusing all of the stuff that's on it already to totally rebuilding it from the ground up.


Thanks! Yeah know it translates to "old car", but I think most people will get the idea haha.


Thanks a lot. Glad you are into it. Will try not to dissapoint!


Yeah I'll take a look for sure, but either way I think something needs to be done about the headers that are on it now. They are flat spotted quite badly from hitting the ground.


I do have some other plans for wheels, but don't worry I'll keep the slots around for when they fit my mood :)


Haha, perhaps? Any photos of the Duster?


Not Keith, but good guess!


The previous owner actually gave me '72 hood, grille and bumper so I could swap to a Demon front end pretty easily. Would still need to get front fenders and the valance panel, although none of that stuff is terribly hard to find.


Love it!


Yeah whatever happens to suspension and brakes needs to be some of the first things upgraded. Don't need supercar performance, just something better than what's under there now.


Your mindset and mine seem very similar! Thanks for the kind words!


It's def something I'm looking into!


That's certainly something I'm looking to add.


If you do the NASCAR themed thing do not do the fender flares.  They are hideous.  I had a '71 Dodge Dart Swinger.  It had a 340 also and was super fast.  It sat low, thanks to cranked down torrsion bars and some nice steel wheels out back.  It was stupid fun.  I'm glad to see you new project.  It's a very nice looking car and the price was smart on.  Can't wait to see more of it.


After last month's Crown wagon you could only ever have had the 2nd best in the world anyway!!
Good luck with the new project!


Or even a nice '70s to '80s street car  build style would be nice.  Some Craggier SS's, white wall tires, a nice rake and a clean stock looking interior as well.  Under the hood could be anything really.  Modern engine would be nice.


Awesome! I have a gc8 impreza which somehow can be compared to your mustang, its turbo and somewhat modern. A week ago i just bought a carburated volvo 244. Modern turbocharged fast car + carburatted classic = Awesome! :)


I'm sure rays might want to help you out and drill a extra hole. The potential American market can be huge. Get Keith on it and have it done by Sema next year. U0001f61c


It is a great balance indeed. Now the only thing I need is a cheap track toy to finish off the trio! Maybe someday...


Haha that's a good point. Don't think I'd be able to top Mizuno-san's build.


Thanks a lot! I'm actually pretty torn on the idea of over fenders. On one hand they'd be great for that Japanese touch, on the other hand it'd have to be pulled off perfectly to not look cheap or out of place.


I ruined it.


If you need a wider set of slotted mags for the rears let me know. I have a set of 11s sitting in the backyard for some reason haha.


I like the direction you're headed in though!


Slappy_Pistons Just color code the arches, I think it'll look better!


Mike Garrett But of course


Mike Garrett Obviously it hasn't gotten there yet. These pictures are from about 2 years ago, it's been off the road since. At the time of the pictures it's had a rear end swap and disc brakes all around, front factory type and rears from a conversion kit meant for a Jeep, Hijacker shocks in the back (on the right of the rear bumper in the last picture is the valve stem for adjusting air pressure) and line locks on the front brakes. It's sitting apart in my driveway, interior pulled, waiting for floors. I've got a freshly rebuilt 4 speed and shifter in the garage waiting to go in, and the slant six is going to get a triple Weber setup. Once that's all in it's just a Hotchkis TVS and some fender flares and fiberglass panels away from being done!


Also thanks! Got all sorts of ideas rattling around my brain, just gotta try and see how many of them I can actually put into action! Ahahahah


Mike Garrett What about something like that?


Very nice!


Absolutely. I dig the ideas. If your going to do the fender flares at least do us a favor and mold them in. Or it will look like bushwaker fender flares was put on it. Or better yet lift it put some mud tires on it and go pre running. That'd be bad ass.


You straight-up stole that car for $3k! Congrats! 
If the intention is to drive and enjoy it, one thing I strongly suggest when building a musclecar (if budget allows) is installing an overdrive transmission. 
When building my '71 Trans-Am, I swapped out the M22 for a TKO600. With the 3.73 rear gears first gear with the TKO600 is the equivalent of a 4.87 gear with the M22 but with the ability to cruise on the highway at 80mph.


Here are a few ideas for cosmetics you could try (if you want):

- Get side-view mirrors like the early Hakosuka and Kenmeri Skylines; the ones where they are located far up front above the wheels, as opposed to on the doors, for that classic japanese touch.
- Maybe a set of rally-style fog lights on the front grille wouldn't hurt, or maybe a General Lee like bullbar up front.
- Try to go for small diameter steel wheels, and big wide tires (if they fit, of course), kind of like the pictures of the early vintage NASCAR racers you showed in the article, with white/yellow lettering on the side, of course.
- If possible, keep the original headlights, but you could put electrical tape across the headlights, making an 'X' shape, across the lights, like they have on those old rally cars.
- For paint, the current baby-blue like colour reminds me of Richard Petty's old stock cars, so painting a big 43 on the side would be kinda cool, in my opinion. But this idea can be controversial, so it's up to you.
- For an extra Japanese touch, I don't think the rocket-bunny style wheel arches would work on the car, but as an alternative, you could roll up the wheel arches, either with a special tool, or with a baseball bat, Mighty Car Mods style!
- Maybe a small front lip, like the one on the green challenger trans am car that you showed in the article.
- If it's possible, you could shave off as much chrome as possible, such as the bumpers or the door handles and other trim. 
- I would remove the rear spoiler, and put in a small lip spoiler on the trunk, if you can get one.
- For the interior, you could try a pistol-grip shifter for your future manual transmission, like they have on the B-body chargers, or a hurst short shift kit.
- For seats, you could pick up some vintage-like bucket seats from an old classic car at a junkyard, or you can buy them online.
- You could get a vintage 3-spoke steering wheel, with the wood and aluminum combo, if you know what I'm talking about.

Good luck with the build!


Slim chance of that, nor is it truly relevant. Have fun with the machine and work on your vision and it'll continue to be a piece of admiration.


The only thing this car needs is a bigger and more complex exhaust, a Dart R/T 4 speed manual, source out an 80's stock car wheel set with wider tyres, maybe a front lip and a subtle rear spoiler. Other than that, a roll cage nicely fitted almost spotless and a deep dish steering wheel.

Of course you're going to wanted ventilated discs and strong calipers for them on all four wheels. The next step would just be to maintain the beast. Please also maintain the original colour and just polish it ever so nice.


Mike, check out some Brazilian Darts for inspirations on what to do with the front bumper.

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

No matter how you do it, it'll be cool. The Duster is the forgotten car that in my own opinion should be on the same level as the Mustang or Camaro.


Dollar Stone Look this: '74 Brazilian Dart with '71 Brazilian Charger front.


Mike Garrett Larry or Antonio I'm guessing...


AndrewCinch Slappy_Pistons @Jagdroach Mike Garrett


D1RGE EXE Mike Garrett Antonio is a solid guess actually. 
Shall I just call you Mr. Holmes?


LeonardoGaedke Dollar Stone Like that quite a bit. Might be a little hard to find those parts here in the states though!


Dollar Stone All of that sounds good. And yes the four-wheel drums on it right now aren't going to cut it for long,


JesvinJoy Thanks a lot for the input. I've considered just about all of those things, and you cant count on seeing quite a bit of those ideas executed at some point!


@Isaac C Yeah I'm actually looking into transmissions right now. Gotta see what's available in terms of five and six speed boxes that will work with a small block without too much hassle.


@Isaac C Yeah I'm actually looking into transmissions right now. Gotta see what's available in terms of five and six speed boxes that will work with a small block without too much hassle.


Slappy_Pistons AndrewCinch Mike Garrett I love this. I'm thinking maybe big wide steels though? At least until I source some properly badass multi-piece wheels.


D1RGE EXE Mike Garrett Nope. Also good guesses though!


Slappy_Pistons You are amaze-balls!

Mike Garrett Diamond racing steelies! the best option for cheap wideness!


Love the article Mike! Looking forward to the updates. I love the Trans Am racer style and I think that would mix very nicely with the Kaido Racer style. Some color matched wide steelies with slightly stretched tires with white lettering, lowered until it's tucking tire, a duck bill front lip and an external oil cooler. Maybe even some subtle race livery like a door number and a handful of "sponsor" decals. Just my two cents and I'm sure whatever you decide will be excellent.


abezzegh87 you mean a full resto, eh?


Totally boss! Looking forward to seeing the progress on this.


Mike Garrett You can never have too many. Remember, the formula for the correct amount of cars to own is x+1. Where x = the amount of cars you currently own.


REKT_Disco Thanks a lot!


BrandonPetersen All of that sounds very close to what I'm picturing!


This is cool..Dusters are ugly when stock but can look right when modded. Gotta bust out the Al Bundy paint scheme, vinyl top and all.


So long as you build it the way you want that's all that matters. But if you're taking opinions, a blend of Trans-Am and Sakamoto-san's bad ass Falcon gets my approval.


Slappy_Pistons the "Pee Hunters" alone is a win. Car looks sick with a great choice of wheels!


Mike Garrett Slappy_Pistons AndrewCinch Excellent I'm very glad you like it :D  Big steels would look very at home on this - and a lot easier to come by and fit I guess :)


turboboxer6spd Slappy_Pistons :) thanks


3nigm4 Agreed!


I've wanted to do this for several years now, a late 60s early 70s muscle car styled like the love child of a dirt track racer and kyusha. Just can't have play toys on a college student budget


I love the idea of the clash of cultures. I feel the trans am and old works style Japanese cars already have a lot in common with the chin spoilers and also running mini lite wheels. I'd considered a similar idea with a ford maverick to run a 2.3 turbo Instead of a v8 then go with a trans am style exterior.
On a side note to whomever bought the crown there is a guy here on the east coast in NC that runs a business Toyz unlimited. Probably one of the best toyota resources on this side of the country. He has a few hundred Toyota parts cars including some crowns. He can find just about anything that would be needed. Even though its a good distance there's always shipping.


A quick ideia. From front to back, spliter, oil intercoller in the licence plate place, bumper shortened and made closer to the body. Small block with the upgrades You can manage, but kepping the spirit of the trans am race cars. Car dropped on the same whells combo of that beautiful ford Falcon, with the wide fenders from the red dart on this article.on the back, Duck spoiler, get rid of the bumper, central double exhaust with mild Kyusha style. Interior wise, something functional and with some Japanese addictions.


Go with a set of light heads, do a cam, new exhaust, 4/5 speed swap, LSD or posi rear, lower, side exit exhaust tips (t/a style), gutted, fat sticky tires on wide 15's. Mmmm


Your first Duster looks like one from RoadKill




Here's my buddy's car, 73 dart, I think it's along the lines of what you want to build


Drechsla Way cool!  I think Mike is going for smaller wider wheels, but I really like the exterior work.  Looks like a Kenmeri Skyline almost!


lemme start by saying that I've been a mechanic electrician and fabricator for twenty years. I've never seen a properly built "kyusha" "bippu" "shakotan" or "bosozoku" car in japan or especially stateside. amateurs do their very best to ruin perfectly good j-tin and american iron in the name of impressing amateurs and making the "scene" at a meet with a destroyed cressida or shitbox silvia wannabe. your project choice isn't a bad one. your choice of styles isn't a bad direction. the collection of turds in the flared widened slammed sharknosed busted smoked motored fried transed cars at every meet i've been to on several continents tells me two things.1: build it right, not fast. and B: just cause you can, don't mean you should. you're on the right track, just don't expect me to comb up my pompadour, put on my leathers and be-bop dance in the park with my gang around your car unless it's awesome.
ps: do not put a hako front end on a sunny ute, cause we'll just laugh at you and your car.


the car was very good 
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the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time