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Chrysler Kit Car

What a crazy concept. Make a circle track stock car kit that anyone can put together. The ultimate erector set. Here are some pictures of models that were offered, and below is the real deal. What anyone could have purchased in the middle 70's. Some good pictures below text. Check them out..

This is one that we currently own.    Email me with new info and I will post it.

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Chrysler Kit Car

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Dodge Dart Sport "Kit Car" Racing Package

DETROIT -- Components for a race car that can be assembled do-it-yourself fashion for low-dollar independent round track enthusiasts is now available from Chrysler Corporation.

The "kit car" is a performance-engineered version of compact Dodge Dart Sport 340 or Plymouth Duster two-door models on a 108-inch wheelbase.

"It's called a 'kit car' because anyone can purchase the packaged components and assemble them, just as youngsters put together scale models from a hobby shop kit," said Larry Rathgeb, manager - stock car programs for Chrysler.

"All the right parts are in the kit, and directions are explained very simply in black and white," said Rathgeb. "The buyer will be responsible for welding the parts and most will assemble their own engines. But, the beauty of the program is that we have taken the mystery out of building a stock car."

The kit car components, depending on a buyer's preference, can be adapted to a choice of short track racing forms -- either late model sportsman, or late model modified cars. Or the components can be incorporated into a body an owner may already have.

Rathgeb said deliveries in response to early orders began in March and that the initial build program through 1974 calls for 60 units.

"But the potential is much greater," he said. "The kit car program is ideally suited to the needs of thousands of owners two race weekly on nearly 2,000 tracks in the U.S."

The parts are presently being merchandised through Petty Engineering in Randleman, N.C., and later by Performance Parts warehouse in Detroit.

Already tagged "The Saturday Night Special," the kit car enables almost anybody to be competitive in a much shorter span of time than in the days when a racer might spend weeks or months trying to locate, install and experiment to get the right pieces. But the nickname is a misnomer in that the kit car embodies engineering experience that comes from years of involvement in stock car racing by Chrysler.

"We know which parts can withstand the punishment and which ones can't," says Rathgeb. "And we put all the right parts in the kit to make a straightforward car that most people can understand, many can put together, and lots of people can win races with."

Grand National champion Pete Hamilton worked as a test driver as Chrysler engineers refined the kit car design in a pre-prototype, and the car broke the track record at Carraway Speedway, N.C., last July.

Though Hamilton's car is a Dodge Challenger and the actual kit cars will be Sports or Dusters, Rathgeb said the prototype Challenger was built to represent the average performance levels of the kit car.

And in a stock Sport or Duster, the front frame rails are too close together, so the Challenger front frame section is used, which is as nearly stock as possible. For kit car purposes, tying the front and rear suspension and the basic X-frame together is one of the most important design areas.

To achieve better suspension geometry, upper control arm pick-up points were altered from stock and rear spring mounting points were also changed. But all the dimensions are indicated in print for the independent builder when he begins putting the pieces together from the boxes in which they're shipped.

The components come in five major groupings: the frame, the front and rear suspension systems, roll structure, body panels, and the drive line.

The kit includes everything except tires and fuel. All special fluids for critical areas will be included.

To ensure standardization, the frames are built with Detroit-designed assembly fixturing.

In putting the components together, the front and rear suspension structures simply are bolted onto the X-frame.<

The front suspension includes basically stock, independent, lateral, non-parallel upper and lower control arms, torsion bars, fully adjustable front sway bar and single Monroe Blow-off type shock absorbers.

Grand National-type parallel, longitudinal leaf springs are used in the rear suspension along with single shocks, and lowering blocks to make the car hug the ground.

The driver's seat is nested in a central roll cage which includes tubing that ties into the front frame rails for added driver safety and chassis strength.

Putting the body panels together is much like assembling a jig-saw puzzle, one piece positioned by another, said Rathgeb. Panels include front fenders, hood, roof, quarter-panels, rear deck and doors. Once the A-pillar is in place, that sets the edges of the windshield opening, which subsequently locates the edges of the cowl and the upper edges of the roof, and so on. This positioning is also done for the lower panels off the sill, which is part of the frame.

All front end sheet metal is held together by four quick-release pins, which permit easy access. Front sheet metal is heavily supported with roll-bar tubing that also ties into the frame.

The location of body foundation to frame has been altered for optimum car lowering. Chopping, channeling and other operations are done. All the customer needs to do is weld it together.

The only other major step is installing the drive line which includes the 340 CID four-barrel engine, standard three-speed floor-mounted transmission, the straight tubular drive shaft and the Quick Change rear axle.

Disc brakes have been adapted to the quick change Franklin rear so that there are discs at all four wheels, and they're controlled by an adjustable proportioning valve.

Some of the under-the-hood features include a single Holley, four-barrel carburetor, Edelbrock manifold, and Hooker tuned headers and Chrysler electronic ignition.

Below is a article from Stock Car Magazine 1973.  Pete Hamilton and Dale Earnhardt test drove the car for Chrysler Corp.

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Notice the round headrest below. This car was built in 1972 by Petty's crew.

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The article below came out in stock car magazine 1975. It was full of kit car stories.

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k & k Kit car Harry Hyde Chrysler kit car

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Notice the picture on the left it has rounded tubing construction. This was an early car. The later ones would have the straight cut pieces with no bends in them.

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The cars and description below were sold on ebay 7-07 I never owned these cars.

Up for auction is two 1970's Chrysler Kit Cars. The blue car, is a complete running road racecar (possible Trans Am car). All this car needs to be driven is the steering column put in and the clutch pedal assembly installed. Both of these do come with this car. This car is equipped with a super strong 1970 full race 360 engine and also an A-body 4 speed converted to a 3 speed transmission.This car also has:Venolia Pistons, Early W-2 Heads, Franklin Quick Change Rear End, Dry Sump System Wilwood Brakes, Aluminum Intake Strip Dominator, Double Pump Holley The orange car is now a dirt track car but has spent most of its life as an asphalt race car. This car has NO motor and transmission but has a 9 inch Ford rear end. Also, with these two cars is the only Jig known to exist from the Richard Petty Corporation from the 1970's. In the 70's, Richard Petty built two of these jigs and one he modified several times and then eventually disposed of it and sold the only other one and this is it. There is an abundance of parts and the original blue prints that go with these two cars. Such as: Two NOS quarter panels, Two NOS door skins, One NOS fender, Two trunk lids, Two more extra door skins All of this information came from the person I bought the cars from a couple of years ago. The orange car was supposed to have been built by the Petty Corporation for one of their crew members. The blue car was raced up until a few years ago. I am sure there is a lot of information that I don't know about these cars but you can read more about them www.mopardealer.com http://www.race-cardrivers.com

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The elusive holy grail of Kit cars the full scale blue prints and frame jig.

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The catalogs below are what you would have received from chrysler to order the parts and cars from the one on the left is from 1975 the white one is from 76 the 77 model is black and looks the same as the white one.

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Home Last updated November 25, 2009  

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