Rad Rides Build A Sleeper

Of all the cars I came across at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week, this is one of my favorites. It’s a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere from famed pro touring builder Rad Rides by Troy, which was being shown in the Turbonetics booth.

Rather than having the stunning looks that most Rad Rides cars possess, this Plymouth actually looks quite normal at first glance.


It is, after all, a car that came equipped from the factory with a 426 Hemi, and Hemi cars are usually kept as original as possible to protect their value. But as you get closer to the Plymouth, you begin to see that it’s far from a typical restoration.


Yes, the Belvedere still wears steelies with dog-dish hubcaps, but trained eyes will notice the wheels and tires are much larger than what the car came equipped with back in ’66.


In typical Rad Rides fashion, the attention to detail is second to none. The cockpit of the old Mopar has also been refreshed with a decidedly vintage theme, but with many modern conveniences hidden beneath. Rather than an old school TorqueFlite transmission, that shifter is mated to a GM 4L80E from Bowler Performance.


When you peek under the hood you’ll still find a Hemi, and initially it all looks pretty vintage. That’s not a carbureted 426 cubic inch V8 though – it’s a 526ci Keith Black-built monster with a dry sump system and a custom tuned-port fuel injection setup hidden beneath the air cleaner. Not seen is the BigStuff3 engine management system complete with traction control.


Do you feel like there’s something missing though? Given that the Plymouth was in the Turbonetics booth you’d expect a forced induction setup, and it’s there, albeit in the back. Sitting near the Dana 60 differential are a pair of Turbonetics TNX-45s, which together with the hardcore Hemi equips this Belvedere with 8-second quarter mile performance.


The chassis has also been freshened up with a set of Wilwood disc brakes and suspension components from the folks at Hotchkis.


I guess all that explains why there’s a parachute mounted on the back of what is otherwise a very mild looking Plymouth.


With all of the overtly modern pro touring builds on display at SEMA this year, it was nice to see Rad Rides go in a different, more understated direction with this incredible project. Call it a true sleeper for the ages.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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I'm quite digging this.


These always catch my eye thanks to the funky c pillar. Truly beautiful beast from a simpler time.


I'm really kicking myself for missing this! I always love a Rad Rides build, nice find Mike!


Sweet 526! Now that's a build!


I walked up to the car and was confused when i saw the aircleaner too. One of my favs at the expo.


That is a really awesome car


Muscle car.. calls it a sleeper.. .... Not really a thing mate.


with this long tubing for the turbo there would be lot of lag ?
Nice and clean car though !


that's one heck of a drag build :)


VivienMercier Does not matter much when you are drag racing.


No lag after 3000 rpm.


Another amazing build by Rad Rides by Troy.


VivienMercier I would suspect 8.6 liter V8 feeds the turbo well enough.


¿No power estimates?


archivinhos twin turbos on a monster 526 big block making 8 second passes? 4 digits, easy.


So glad it doesn't have a rocket bunny kit lol


What an awesome car. That air cleaner cover is brilliant.
I think I understand what you meant but with smaller rear rims with slicks, a roll cage, window nets and a parachute, sleeper would not be in my top 100 adjectives to describe that car.


Not to be a prick but I heard those wheels are actually billet.


Wheres the pipework from the turbos to the inlet mani?


A sleeper? Nope. Even an untrained eye can spot a parachute and bright yellow writing on the wheels. Change those things and yeah it's a sleeper.


JakWhite HAHAHAHA! No shit!


That's not a parachute - it's just where I attach my grocery bags.


hypodermic I didn't see it either until I saw the turbos and scrolled back up, you can just barely see a charge pipe going into the back of the air cleaner


The inlet pipe work goes up into the trunk where there is an air box with filters.


There is, but with the 526 put out 700 hp on its own it doesn't really care


now what in a world makes it a sleeper?


Just read an article " with about 1 lbs of boost it makes about 750hp" lol. I could imagine what it'll do under full boost




Pro touring and a parachute? So this is a drag build? #sorryimnoob


JakWhite shots fired


Love this care but nothing with a parachute and slicks can be confused for a "sleeper".


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