PCH, Detroit Wagon Edition: '57 Ford or '65 Dodge?S

Due to technical difficulties last Friday, we had to postpone our all-wagon PCH; since it seems that the liberal application of ball-peen hammer to the Gawker servers has finally fixed the problem (for now), we're ready to jump back into Hell! As we all know, the acronym-iffic JDM RHD WRX did a big turbocharged burnout right in the grillle of the SE-R Sentra in last week's Choose Your Eternity poll. Today we're going with the voice of the Jalopnik readers for our cars. Actually, the voice of a single Jalopnik reader, Will, who dug up a couple of identically-priced Detroit wagons from deep behind the Orange Curtain. Thanks, Will! Keep those tips a-coming, folks, because I'm getting geared up to start sending out some sort of prize to the best PCH tipsters. For now, let's look at cars!


Old station wagons with great big engines just seem so right, of course, especially when you see one dishing out a 12-second run down at the dragstrip. And what could be more right than a '57 Ford Ranch Wagon? Why, this '57 Ford Ranch Wagon, which comes complete with a 498-cube stroker 460 and some nice engine goodies? The nice thing about this project is that you really wouldn't have to change the exterior if you didn't feel like it, since it already looks good and mean... and you wouldn't have time nor money to fix up the body, anyway, because you'd be so busy (and broke) trying to beef up the drivetrain, suspension, and brakes enough to handle all the torque of that monster hunk of blue-painted iron you'd be dropping in. But don't look at the process, look at the goal- that's what keeps you toiling in Project Car Hell!

That Ford looks sweet, all right, but it's just too damn heavy! If you want to reach the goal of a 12-second station wagon without breaking your heart and bank, you might be better off getting something with just as much character, but 1,000 fewer pound. Say, this 1965 Dodge Dart wagon, for example. It comes with a Slant Six, which starts all kinds of mental gears turning; imagine bolting a big ol' turbocharger and some Megasquirtage on that Leaning Tower of Power! Then there's always the tried-and-true route of grabbing a 360 and building it up using tried-and-true off-the-shelf power upgrades. Don't be scared off by what's certain to be a completely screwed electrical system and who knows what else; those things are to be expected when a Mopar sits for ten years and shouldn't deter you from your quest for Wagon Glory. The choice is yours, and the Dart is the same price as the Ford: $2500!

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