BIG-D                              UNMOPAR   STUFF
I am often acused of being pro Mopar. It is true, I resemble that remark. I have however been involved in a number of other projects over the years and here I will highlight a few.

D & C Performance.
This car was a 67 Rambler American. It was one of the factory cars that had been entered in the famous Shell 4000 Rally that year. It was equipped with a 290 cu inch, four barrel, AMC V8 and a four speed trans. Vern Christy, who can be seen driving it, actually owned the car as he had bought it through a deal with the factory service rep after the Shell 4000 Rally.Vern and I were both working at an American Motors/BMC/Jaguar dealership in Belleville Ontario. We were apprentice mechanics at the time and barely made a decent living. We both wanted to race real bad so Vern bought the car and I bought the gears, slicks, headers and other trick stuff. The engine had already been blueprinted or so we were told and the car had just over 4000 miles on it so it was a good place to start. We removed the rally equipment which was mostly skid pans and shields and made it over into a legal K/S race car. One neat thing was it had a real 3 point roll bar which we left in because it was so cool. It was a good experience for both of us. We could often get our gas paid by various businesses like our boss or the local dragstrip (Quinte Dragway) and would flat tow to London Ontario or Cayuga to race. If we broke something we had an arrangement with the factory service rep to procure new parts. For our part we just had to tell him, the paper work was his business. The car ran well although we didn't scare anybody. Vern eventually went on to become the manager of Shannonville Dragway. Last time I saw this car was about 1978. Where it is now I do not know. Now I know AMC is considered a Mopar now but it sure wasn't back then, pal!


This is my friend Bob Gauley's T-bucket. Bob is our local Mac Tools dealer. He bought the car quite reasonable and it was already set up for a Ford. He asked me for a cheap solution. I suggested a 300 cube 6cyl since my former boss had run one years ago and I was fairly familiar with the set-up. I put this engine together for him several years ago and it has run fine. Bob runs this car very successfully and has won the Shannonville Nostalgia Race twice. He actually placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the three classes (Hot Rod, Pro and Sportsman)both years it was run. He is in the money on a regular basis at Shannonville Dragway and was asked to represent Cayuga's Dragway Park at the North East Division Bracket Race last year. The biggest problem at first was that it would eat the centres out of flexplates. He can now get over a season out of them which is just fine with him. The biggest single improvement ever made in this car was when he got Frank Lupo to do his converter. The gain? Over 7 tenths of a second. Now you know why we love Dynamic Converters.
                                                   PAUL RUTTAN"S RAIL

Paul Ruttan bought this dragster from down east. It came with a 454 that was a little tired. He hired me to do him a completely new set-up. We built this as a low (almost zero) maintainance engine as Paul is a good driver but has no interest in working on his piece. This required an engine that would turn 7000 rpm but no more and still make sufficient power to be competitive.We juggled parts and talked to cam companies till I was satisfied we had the right combo. A new set of cast iron square port GM Performance castings were purchased. A bit of flogging and a three angle valve job were about all they needed to do the job and the whole engine was buttoned up and installed. With-in a very short time Paul and Vern Christy (see Rambler above) had it running some very good times. After one particularily successful weekend I found this picture and note below in my door.

I have watched Paul blow the doors off some very high dollar cars on occasion. This is a flat tappet engine driving a Powerglide to an open differential from a 57 Olds. (no spool, one wheel peel). This car is still running with the same "stove" some 8 years after I built the engine.
It was Paul Ruttan (above) and Huck Flindall from the Belleville Road Angels Car Club who started calling me "Big-d" way back in the sixties and for a few years that is what everyone called me. Eventually people stopped but both Paul and Huck still call me "Big-d". I really wonder if they really know my name. Anyway that is where the "big-d" E-mail and page address comes from.

This year I had the privilage of working with the Mckeown Brothers, Dave and Jeff on a vintage (4CT) 35 Chev sedan stock car engine. Dave is one of the mechanics I respect the most as he is very sharp and learns at the speed of light. When he came to me and asked about a plan I didn't hesitate. The engine was a 250 Chev 6 and we designed combo based on the available info Dave had. Since they were using the car to build awareness and raise money for Camp Trillium which is a camp for children with Cancer here in Prince Edward County I decided to donate what machining I could provide as well. Dave assembled the motor and made anything I asked for as he is quite a craftsman. The car is absolutely beautiful and despite the fact that this is the first serious racing venture for both of them within a couple of weeks they had it sorted out and were "competitive" to say the least. Now I hear there are people suggesting that the engine is a Cheater. I am very disappointed to hear this as it is actually the prototype or test piece to see if we were on the ball park and was built from used factory parts with virtually no great expense. I believe Dave and Jeff have actually less than $500 Canadian in it. To those who would suggest such a thing as Dave and Jeff cheating I would say "Shame on you!" You obviously don't know these boys very well or you would slap yourself in the face. The possibility is non-existant. I don't think you yet appreciate the mechanical ability Dave has. (Actually I don't think he realizes it either.) Why instead, don't you ask Dave to help you with yours. He is a genuine nice guy and would be unable to resist a direct request. While your at it throw a few bucks in for the Camp as well. The Kids there need it.
I will post a picture as soon as I get one.