Revealing Project Yankee: The Otaku Muscle Car

Well folks, as I write this Project Yankee is parked up in the Las Vegas Convention Center awaiting the start of the 2016 SEMA Show.

Just watching the Dart being loaded up into a big rig transporter over the weekend was a pretty special moment for me – this is the car that’s pretty much taken over my entire life during the last half year or so, consuming vast amounts of my time and my money with it.


Of course, while everyone attending SEMA this week will be able to check out my Dodge in person, it’s only right that I do the official reveal right here on Speedhunters.


For those who have been following along with my build updates, there are probably aren’t going to be too many surprises. But here she is.


Is Project Yankee a stunning show car or over-the-top race machine like so many SEMA builds are? Absolutely not. Nor is it one those pro touring cars that’s so clean you could eat off it.


It’s still very much a 1975 Dodge Dart Sport, one that just happens to have some cool equipment in it and an overall theme that takes inspiration from some of my favorite automotive genres.


While it has the vibe of a rowdy race machine, the brand new 5.7-liter HEMI V8 installed with a full Mopar Performance plug-and-play ECU and harness kit allows me to drive it on the street just as you would any other car. Even during my quick shakedown runs around the neighborhood it’s been ridiculously fun.


Once the SEMA madness is wrapped up I’ll have plenty more Project Yankee content – including lots of video – but for now I’ll just stick with a few of the photos that I snapped as soon as it was ‘finished’, and quickly fill you in on the finishing touches.


Once the wrap was complete, with the help of some friends I came up with a basic livery that pays tribute to my favorite racing cars of the ’70s, including those from Japan. So many people have helped out big-time finishing up the car over the last few days, including my mom who busted out her cleaning expertise.


With the livery done, the final part we installed were a set of Takata Racing harnesses that arrived just in time – a very necessary addition the cockpit. As soon as the belts were in, it was time to send her off.


I’m really interested to see how people react to this car at SEMA given its somewhat unusual character. Whatever the case, it’s going to be a lot of fun, and a completely new way for me to experience the event.


Before I go, I need to extend huge thanks to all of the partners on the build for helping make Project Yankee a reality. Just as importantly, I need to thank my friends and family who have helped me out so much and tolerated a whole lot of craziness over the last several weeks.

If you happen to be at SEMA this week you’ll be able see the car at the Mopar/FCA booth inside the lower level of the South Hall. And if you see me hanging about, be sure to ask for some stickers.

See you guys there!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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Slide show does not work


Looks very cool, understated and subtle. Wish I was at SEMA this year to see in person. Kudos.


I for one think that your build is probably going to be one of the coolest at SEMA. While the crazy show cars, extreme racers, and immaculate builds are cool it's the cars with style and soul that stand out. You really have accomplished a masterpiece.


Trans-Am style blended with Japanese Kyusha touches, Utsukushii!!!

Ah, yes, no over-fender flares, VERY GOOD! THUMBS UP!




I thought it was gonna be...
...more. More everyting.


I love it!  Its a real world budget build too.  Can't wait to see some video and see it rip around a track or mountain road or both!  Matt Farah needs to drive this thing and do a mountain run in it with you!


Those Japanese reg plates... did you import it from Japan? That's a very nice touch. The rear kinda reminds me of a KPGC10 Sykline GT-R.


This is so fucking perfect. In every way. The concept, the execution, the grin factor. I've been following this build the whole what through, congrats on the build Mike and thanks for sharing it with us, enjoy!


Do you ever just look at a car, and without being able to point out specific details just know that as a whole you really like it? This is one of those cars.


Great job Mike. Yes, there will be a ton of over-the-top, showroom-clean cars at SEMA, but yours will be one that's destined to be driven. Not only that, they built showoff cars. You built YOUR car. The restraint in the execution is palpable. Awesome.


It looks good (I'm heavily JDM biased though) , and I like the fact you stay "purist" with the engine swap (still Mopar) ... this is awesome , as awesome as Project Underdog to me !


Car looks great Mike! I know it's not technically finished but, it looks about 90-95% right now. Functionally it's complete unless you need more power. Stance is perfect, and you cannot go wrong with R888s! I think shaving the bumpers to get rid of the holes would be a nice subtle touch. To be honest though, not a fan of the Japanese decals, I'd prefer keeping it 100% but, it's not a deal breaker LOL. Loving the purple color and contrast of the TE37s. On the 5.7 though, does Chrysler warranty the engine as a crate motor? I know they have issues with the timing chains breaking and there was a recall on the cars with those engines.



perfect car, with a great touch of originallity ! Hope it'll do well at sema


Top 5 build of 2016


The end result is way more subtle than I thought it would be, which is more an observation than a criticism.
Can't wait to see some video of it.


Always something negative to point out lol. Great build, cool because it's a car for him, so happy he went the way HE wanted to and not the way he thought anyone else would have wanted


What seats are those? Looking for s similar style to put in my bmw 2002


Great car.. What happened to the grille?


My only gripe which I've had for a while, is why did you not polish that front bumper? The rear one's been polished up. Maybe it's just the pictures.

Otherwise this car is sick, and I'm impressed at how quickly it came together. Can't wait to see pics of it on the showfloor.


OMG. This has been one of my favorite project cars here on speedhunters. I've followed #projectyankee from the beginning and I must say it came out better than expected. Oh and the last photo is my new wallpaper now, so thanks for thank and keep up the good work ;)


Therealstig You may find this surprising but, I am allowed voice my critiques. I'm not obligated to ever like 100% of any car that anyone builds or otherwise.


I imagine Matt farrah has already contacted you for a one take.

gorgeous car perfect in every way. I think when time comes to take off the wrap and paint you should definitely do the same paint scheme, suits the car very very well.


While you could have dropped it on bags, added 3" of wheel width, and mated up two turbos I think this is much, much more realistic as a drivable car.  Looks great man.


Green Takata harnesses add at least 200hp. Same goes for TE37's. I'm in love with the overall execution of this build. Especially the fact that it's still essentially a modified '75 Dart as opposed to a ground-up pro-touring build or anything like that. I'm super jealous, honestly.


Difflocked_Mees Agreed, definitely need to see Matt Farah take this for a ride in the Touge, err Mountain Road!


ctdriver86 cobra classics, or something similar


I'm not feeling the stickers. The rest is tasty indeed!


I probably can't feel them because I'm the otherside of the world, you know what I mean though.


Awesome. I especially like the fog/rally lights. Gives it a tough utilitarian look.


SO close to perfect! I made a couple color mods to the front... hope you don't mind!

Tell me what y'all think!


Just curious, how did you end up in the Mopar booth? Where they aware of your build and extended an invite? Just wondering how cars end up where they do at SEMA.


Not often you see a car a feel an overwhelming urge to drive it!  It turned out so good Mike, grats.


It looks great. Fantastic job, love the originality and personality. I wasn't sold on some of the things when in progress, but as a total I really dig it. 

I love the Japanese influence, the Trans-Am feel, and the exhaust reminds me of one of my favorite "driver's car" Mopars - the 1970 Challenger T/A.


Every so often you something that is a bunch of familiar elements, but done in such a way that it comes out wholly original. I will walk by early '70s Detroit most of the time, because it is usually all roughly the same, seen it before. I wasn't sure it was going to work out, watching the build progress, but this one stops me in my tracks. Nice, too, that it is done with a real world budget, more or less. Bestest with the leastest..take a bow.


I liked the idea of the build at the beginning. Now, I love it. But honestly, I really hope the planned wrap will be well.. wrapped on the car. I do like the actual but for some reason I just feel like something's missing... Anyway Hats off to you and everyone that helped !
(btw, how much horsepower ?)


Congrats on finishing this project! The car looks awesome and I can't wait to see video. The purple wrap really compliments the build. Well done on keeping the vision of this build true to your original drawing. That's harder than it looks. :)


Great job Mike, it looks brilliant. Now get it on the road and drive it!


Outstanding! But like typical "project cars", I'm pretty sure this will be a long-term non-stop work...


I just got a real cool Volvo C30 

from only workin parttime on a computer..................


As someone who has never been into American cars at all, I've followed this build from the start and loved every minute of seeing it all come together. Thank you for introducing me to something new, and doing something different with it. The car looks great, the JDM touches work really well. You should be proud of what you've achieved. Enjoy!


I love the looks of almost every project car here on Speedhunters. But this one, I have incredible urge to DRIVE IT. Seriously, if someone asked me if I wanted to drive some old ferrari or this, I would pick this. Awesome work Mike. It's a shame it's impossible to build something like this here in Europe on reasonable budget.


its missing some patina then it would look even better, but its a wrap,


like Irene answered I'm in shock that a mom can make $5437 in a few weeks on the internet . you could try this out DO >>>>>>>


MATrouble add some patina


So much love for this car.  I love the mix of styles.  It's enough of different styles without taking it overboard in any direction.  Such a good mix.
I can't wait to see some vid on it with the car running.


So glad to see the finished product, Mike! She looks great!


I can't get over how good this car looks, my favorite project car on the site


my mother Harper  vrecently    got an   almost    new    blue    Kia    Sedona    Minivan by    working     part time   off   of.   read more ..............>>>>>>>


Very cool build, been watching its development for a while now and I like where it ended up.


I'm gonna steal the metal spoiler front bumper thing idea for my Ranchero!


MATrouble WAAAY better like that! The devil is in the details...

The chrome stands out and now it's all tied together.  Good eye!


I'm surprised that anyone can make $9248 

in four weeks on the computer .

you could try here


I love the result. Except the stickers. To me, It seems like you placed a few stickers randomly, just to have something on it, even though they are related to the car. Feels like a random tattoo of teenage girl. Didn't convince me.
But still I love it and great choice of paintjob. And the performance side of the car could work very well on the road, especially with the tires. What's the curb weight? At least approximate.


my sister recently purchased Infiniti FX SUV just by part time work from a laptop


However you could keep your disrespectful mouth shut and move on when you don't like something. Honestly you seem like some 16yo kid that doesn't understand most people have to work really hard for all this. Besides, your critiques are unneeded, unheard, and not founded on any knowledge or taste. Find another site to troll and hate on peoples shit elsewhere, preferably in the real world where you can't just act like a punk


Therealstig If you find my posting here offensive, then I suggest you get over it, or find a coping mechanism to deal with your inherent frustration. Good day.


Just letting you know how many of us think when we see an asshole like yourself post the drivel you do.


I think we'd all be happy if you just stopped posting your negative comments on every story or article most of us read regularly. Maybe spend more time working on whatever vehicle you have and try to come up with something half as good as the Dart instead of saying negative shit and whatever your pansy ass would have done differently.


Therealstig How much longer is your emotionally-charged tirade going to continue?


Myles Weaver Curb weight should be somewhere right around 3,000 lbs. I'll have to take it to the scale soon and find out exactly.


AlanJahns Go for it! Should look rad.


Rotormotor Thanks for following along!


kmcollins_jr Thanks much. Means a lot!


IRONWOLF RD Thanks man, a big milestone for me.


Leppah Glad you understand what I'm trying to do. Plenty of video on the way as soon as the car gets back from Vegas.


JakubVenhuda Wow thanks a lot. I'll do my best to convey the driving experience when I shoot some video.


olismorris I'm very proud. Thanks a lot for your kind words!


jay8393 You are correct indeed. I've already got a list of things I want to further improve and fine tune.


3nigm4 You can bet on it!


Esawo Should be just under 400hp. I'll have more on that when in a later post where I describe the engine package in better detail.


Dutch 1960 Thanks Dutch. It's nothing groundbreaking really, just a mix of the stuff I like and a car I plan to keep for a long time.


theAngryMarmot Thanks a lot! I love the side exit exhaust on ALL the Trans Am cars from the early '70s.


bluestreaksti Thanks a lot!


Jagdroach Mopar was looking for a variety of platforms to demonstrate their new crate engine packages at SEMA, so that's basically how it came to be. I'll have more on that in my next post actually.


JakWhite Easy enough to remove, but I like them for now. Thanks!


JackScharr Thanks Jack. In terms of overall budget it was probably one of the least expensive builds at SEMA, but I'm really happy with how it came out.


zapsnyder Thanks much. That stuff could have been cool if I had unlimited budget or was looking to build a show car, but I like the simple approach.


Difflocked_Mees That would be awesome. Have a few small things to do before it'd be ready for that, but I'm open to it for sure.


JPRedhead Thanks a lot for the kind words, and thanks for following along with the project. Lots more to come.


johnbezt Probably just the pictures? Both front and rear have been cleaned up as well as possible, but neither has been completely redone. At least not yet.


abezzegh87 Weight savings!


ctdriver86 Cobra Classic RSRs with a few custom bits. They'd look rad in a 2002.


DaveT Thanks Dave. Video will be coming soon!


JohnTruitt Thanks!


Urraco25 Thanks a lot. I certainly wouldn't call it perfect, but given the time and budget involved I'm very happy with it.


370 Hemi Thanks a lot! I'll have more on the crate package in my next post.


RDS Thanks lot. Had a chance to check out Sung's Maverick at SEMA, it's sweet.


D1RGE EXE Thanks a lot! Now to drive the hell out of it!


PolyMEDrummer Thanks a lot. That's cool to hear, especially knowing all those little details came from somewhere.


TheLazyViking Thanks much. Lots more to come!


DoriDoritos Wanted to cover up my stock plate and had a couple Japanese plates in my office so I threw one on. Seemed to be a big hit and also confuse plenty of people haha.


hechtspeed Thanks much! Even without any assistance from sponsors etc. I think something like this could be built for about the same price as a new Mustang GT or equivalent car.


Anthony959rs Thanks a lot!


Spencer Patton Thanks Spencer. There are some radical cars at SEMA, and this one is quite basic compared to those but I'm glad it's had an impact.


RandyGHone Thanks Randy. I'll try to get it out as much possible once SEMA is done.


Larry Chen Remind me to write you that "first comment" check I promised.


Mike Garrett 
Hope to see a full details coverage of Project Underdog soon . :)

I just know Tony Angelo have rather similar project , "Project FishtailCuda" .


Just got home from work down here in NZ, went straight on to Speedhunters as you do and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw just how well the Dart has turned out!  A proper working class hero of a build if I ever saw one.  Congratulations Mike, you must be totally stoked with how it's turned out.


I am surprised that anybody can profit $5308 

in a few weeks on the .....................

more details   


I'm taken by surprise that some one can earn $8126 

in 4 weeks on the ....................

go right here>>>>>>>>>>>


I think this car is amazing! I have been hoping to see everything go off without a hitch for you and looking forward to seeing the finished project for some time now. I'm sure you ran into issues and whatnot, but great job! Looking forward to more updates :)


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Other then Trying to understand the pandem sticker - she's sexy! (maybe i missed the 6666 Customs part that constitutes the pandem sticker :)


Skylizzle Not a Pandem Sticker - it's an Okamoto Rubber sticker :)


ProjYankeeFan Thanks a lot!


RobIsKoolas Thanks much, there's a lot more yet to come with this one :)


my father  recently got a stunning green Ford Focus ST 

just by some part-time working online with a laptop..................

more details  


where was this shipped from to vegas? that transport truck looks damn familiar to one I drove by on the freeway in slc Utah last week lol


Car looks awesome Mike!! I really can't wait to see what you do with it from here! My only question is with the harnesses. Are you able to run them on the streets because of the cars age? or do you have more oem belts installed as well?


Awesome car Mike! You nailed the combination of American muscle and Japanese style. It's sad that it's display on the other side of the Atlantic for me, but damn, I wish I would've been there on SEMA to see it.


huxikogij Mike Garrett Can all of these spam accounts be banned? They appear to be the same ones, every time. They're just ruining the comment section.


Mike Garrett Spencer Patton Sorry for the lateness of this response, I only just now saw yours. I think that while there are lots of radical builds at SEMA, you've shown that you can have a well done build without a stupid amount of money going into the build makes it stand out more to me than the crazy sh*t. It adds a level of sophisticated simplicity that shows who you are as a car enthusiast (which is what it's all about). By the way, I think its awesome that you and the other guys at SpeedHunters take the time to read through the responses to your posts and respond to us. One of the many reasons I love the site you guys have created. Many thanks to you guys' dedication.


It turned out great, Mike! I was not sure  how it looked without grill  when you showed it during the project. but now its nailed. I suppose metal behind the grill is painted in the black. I was really cheering for overfenders,but it turned out very nice like this,and it really looks like real Kyusha.


as Jeff said I'm surprised that anyone
can make $9248 in four weeks on the computer . you
try here>>> >