In the cutthroat world of no-prep racing, and especially in the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings (No Pep Kings) series, getting a win doesn’t happen at the stripe – it happens way back at the beginning of the build, in the chassis shop on the fabrication table. So, when Randy Williams realized where his operation was lacking, he took action, assembling a new, purpose-built 1979 Dodge Challenger R/T.
Williams is no stranger to the NPK world, having raced his “Purple Rain” 1968 Plymouth Valiant as well as his 1968 Dodge Dart and his 2015 Dodge Challenger in previous seasons. “The Challenger just couldn’t handle the torque that the twin-turbo 528 cubic inch Brad Anderson engine was making,” said the Kansas native who tried to do everything he could to get the car to cooperate. “And my old Dodge was just too heavy and not designed for no-prep.”
Rather than waste time and money trying to force a square peg into a round hole, Williams decided to start from scratch. The lifelong Mopar man knew he’d be going with a Dodge, but debated which specific model it should be. “I remembered back in my high school years there was a B5 blue ’70 Dodge Challenger that I just never could beat,” reminisced the 68-year-old racer who kept finding photos of the infamous machine as he perused his nostalgic photo albums. “So, I figured I’d build the car I never could beat and maybe I would have the same luck!”
Williams purchased a rusted-out 1970 Dodge Challenger which he found rotting in a field in Nebraska and hauled the carcass to Jason Wood at Wizard Race Cars. After cutting it up, though, the men realized the car’s steel roof and quarters were too far gone … although the VIN plate and other odds and ends were still intact. Fortunately, some factory steel replacement panels and other fiberglass replacement parts from Glasstek breathed new life into the old car.
Right from the first piece of tubing that Wood bent, no-prep and No Prep Kings was the focus – and the goal. The build took about 14 months from start to finish, and Williams missed out on Season 5 of the show’s filming while his project was in progress, but the wait was well worth it.
Much care was taken to maintain the integrity of the Mopar’s stock wheelbase and original body lines, although the hood’s height was massaged slightly to accommodate the massive intake manifold. “We had to play with the front end to get my fuel cell to fit, so we ended up cutting it into two…