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Bicycle Champion Peter Sagan Builds the 1970 Dodge Charger of His Dreams – Motor Trend

American culture is broad and far-reaching, touching lives across the globe. Growing up in Slovakia, Peter Sagan’s early encounter with America’s car culture was the T.V. show “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Imagine seeing the General Lee on television, a larger-than-life anachronism compared to the hatchbacks and compact cars typically found on the streets of Europe. The menacing Charger with its bellowing V8, power slides, and aerial acrobatics left an indelible impression.

Now an up-and-coming star in the top rungs of competitive cycling, Peter Sagan finally had the means to build the Charger that captivated him as a kid. He commissioned Scott Tedro and Ken Maisano, co-owner’s of MASCAR Modern & Classic Autobody & Paint Repair in Costa Mesa, Calif., to build him a Charger. Not long after his initial contact with Scott and Ken, Peter saw “The Fast and The Furious”, a visual extravaganza that also starred a Dodge Charger. Smitten with the blower, hood scoop, and big, fat rear tires, Peter wanted one just like it. Scott and Ken commissioned famed artist Steve Stanford to create a rendering that incorporated the elements Peter had to have, as well as some other touches that showed the metal working skills of Ken’s team at MASCAR, led by head fabricator Adam Stankus. The result is the car you see here. It represents more than two years of work and thousands of man-hours.

1970 dodge charger rear view side

1970 dodge charger rear view side

1970 dodge charger engine view 2

1970 dodge charger engine view 2

They began with a locally sourced and reasonably clean-looking 1970 Charger. Media blasting uncovered some hidden rust and rot. The car was completely disassembled and treated to a rotisserie restoration. Though restoration is not quite an accurate description of the job, because it doesn’t come close to communicating the amount of custom work that went into this build. Every panel on the car has some fab work, and all the body modifications are all done in steel.

The interior was treated to the same amount of customization as the exterior. From the Procar bucket seats, hand-built console, and modified dashboard, nothing was left stock. Everything is wrapped in premium leather or swathed in high quality cloth or carpet.

1970 dodge charger steering wheel

1970 dodge charger steering wheel

The car delivers on it’s promising looks with a blown 572 wedge engine that delivers power and devastating looks like a punch to the gut. Airbag suspension allows a show-low ride height, but easily raises itself to clear steep driveways or speed bumps. The massive rolling stock gives Peter the steamroller wheels wrapped in modern, low profile Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

Peter took delivery of the car late last year and was giddy with excitement. That’s high praise for a guy who’s accomplished so much in the cycling world at such a young age. It’s yet more proof of what we hear time and again from car owners: we form an almost unshakable bond to the cars of our youth.

Tech Notes

Who: Peter Sagan

What: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T

Where: Zilina, Slovakia and riding a bicycle across the globe

Engine: The engine had to have lusty visual appeal as well as brutal performance. Engine builder Kenny Maisano started with a Mopar Performance RB engine block, and built a wicked stroker with a billet crank and rods, forged 8.0:1 pistons, a Cam Motion billet hydraulic roller cam, Edelbrock Victor cylinder heads, T&D shaft-mount rocker arms, an Indy intake, and topped that sucker with a BDS 8-71 supercharger. Holley’s HP EFI system controls the Force Fuel Injection components, and the combination makes a legit 1,000 hp and 1,200 lb-ft of torque on the engine dyno at a very conservative 9 psi of boost.

1970 dodge charger engine view

1970 dodge charger engine view

Transmission/Rearend: To handle that torque, Westminster Performance built a bulletproof 727 transmission with a 300M alloy input shaft, four- and six-pinion planetary gear sets, and billet hubs and servos. Peter rows the gears with a B&M Stealth Pro Ratchet shifter, and a custom Drivelines, Inc. three-inch driveshaft sends power to the fabricated 9-inch axle with 3.00:1 gears on a Detroit TruTrac differential.

Exhaust: MASCAR began with a pair of ceramic-coated Doug’s Headers and installed a set of QTP electric exhaust cutouts just past the collectors. They bent a custom, 3-inch dual exhaust system with Magnaflow bullet mufflers. The whole system is ceramic-coated to match the headers.

Suspension: The stock K-member was scrapped, and the MASCAR guys installed the stronger, lighter Control Freak front end in its place. They upgraded to a rack and pinion steering system at the same time. The rear suspension is also from Control Freak, and RideTech air springs and shocks replace the stock torsion bars and leaf springs. Their RidePRO Digital control unit offers control of the suspension settings through an electronic control panel or via a phone app.

1970 dodge charger suspension

1970 dodge charger suspension

Brakes: Too much power calls for big brakes, and Wilwood answered the call with a quartet of 13-inch rotors, clamped by six- and four-piston calipers, front and rear. ABS Power Brakes provided the electronic power brake assist.

Fuel: An engine capable of ingesting as much air as this one is demands a stout fuel system. MASCAR installed a custom-built aluminum fuel cell in the trunk. Two Walbro pumps are mounted in the cell. The engine normally runs on one pump, the second pump is activated when boost to provide sufficient fuel for the increased airflow. Russell -8 hose was used on the feed side, with a -6 return line.

1970 dodge charger gas cap

1970 dodge charger gas cap

Interior: Prior to assembly, MASCAR installed Hushmat sound and heat insulating panels from the firewall to the trunk. The carpet is Mercedes Benz fabric, and Porsche materials were used to make the headliner. Roberto’s Auto Trim in Costa Mesa wrapped the Procar seats, custom console, steering wheel, and door panels in black leather. Dakota Digital VHX gauges are installed in a custom, aluminum bezel, which was hydrodipped in a carbon fiber pattern. Vintage Air provided the compact, under-dash HVAC unit, and Nu-Relics power windows, A1 Electric power door locks, and a Digital Guard Dawg keyless entry and push-button start add a thoroughly modern touch to this classic vehicle.

1970 dodge charger interior dash

1970 dodge charger interior dash1970 dodge charger monogrammed seats1970 dodge charger monogrammed seats

Bodywork and paint: It would be far easier to list the body panels that weren’t modified in some way than to list all the custom metal work MASCAR performed on this car. Any questionable metal from the original car was cut out and replaced with top-quality reproduction panels. A 1969 front grille and valance replaced the 1970 version. The front and rear bumpers were reshaped to fit the narrow, wide European license plates. The taillight panel and rear valance are custom-made and incorporate 1963 Impala taillight lenses. Per European regulations, amber lenses were installed for the turn signals. The quarter panels were widened and mini tubs were installed to accommodate the massive rear tires. After dozens of hours of primer and block sanding, Ken painted the car with four coats of a custom-mixed titanium basecoat and four coats of clear. The black graphics on the sides of the car were painted on then re-cleared and are set off by a contrasting red pinstripe. There’s an estimated 900 hours in just bodywork and paint alone.

1970 dodge charger paint

1970 dodge charger paint

1970 dodge charger taillights1970 dodge charger taillights
1970 dodge charger rt emblem1970 dodge charger rt emblem

Those are Foose Coronet wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 245/45-18 and 315/35-20 front and rear.

This story originally appeared on Car Craft.

1970 dodge charger front wheels

1970 dodge charger front wheels1970 dodge charger wheel1970 dodge charger wheel1970 dodge charger tires1970 dodge charger tires

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Bicycle Champion Peter Sagan Builds the 1970 Dodge Charger of His Dreams



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