by Gene Yetter
A fine Slant 6-powered 1976 Plymouth Feather Duster owned by Mike Wintgens of
Roseville, Ohio, took
second place in the Plymouth A Body, 1973 and Up class at the 2008
All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA, July 11-13. Although the vast
number of Mopar vehicles registering at the annual Nationals event are V8s,
the show attracted numerous Slant 6 cars as it always does.
Beginning with Mike Wintgens' Duster, the following are a few Slant 6
vehicles shown at the 2008 Nationals.
Mike has owned his car for 5 years, just recently finishing the rebuild and
restoration at a cost of about $15,000. The 6-cylinder Dusters were famous
for fuel economy and Mike reports that, with his
vehicle's 4-speed transmission ("4 on the floor"), his car typically gets 29
This 1979 Volaré Duster survivor was on sale in the Nationals car corral and
was purchased by Gary Garren of Spartenburg, South Carolina. Gary moved it to the
corral pavilion to be displayed for resale. It did not resell, however, and
Gary trucked it home. The car is now posted on his Web site. The story of this immaculate Super Six-powered car
is sumarized on the windshield: one owner, never restored, 5,300 miles on the
speedometer. Initial offering price: $14,500. In the opinion of one 1977
Volaré Super Six owner, the engine compartment of this Duster is as original
as possible, a virtual museum piece.
A pair of deep-breathing Slant 6 Dart Swingers shared space among A Body
1973 owned by Brian and Melissa Droschak of West Miffin, PA, the other, a 1969
owned by Greg Ondayko of Irwin, PA. The engine in the Droschak's car
turbocharger adapted by the owner.
Intake on the Ondayko vehicle is assisted by a Dutra after-market hyperpack
manifold with 4-bbl carburetor and dual exhausts. Greg reports top speed in
the quarter mile at 93.95 mph, ET, 14.7243 seconds with that setup. He also explains, "It's really tough to drag race a hyperpack without the
carb heat. And it's also hard to race a stick for the same reason."
The sound produced by this car as it rolled through the Fairgrounds was
a real head turner, being higher pitched than the rumble of the typical
Mopar V8. But it's an intense sound advertising the vehicle as a potent
The car's third owner, Greg has had it for about 9 years. His father, a car
dealer, acquired the car from a salvage yard. Greg said he took it over
after it sat on the backlot of the dealership for more than a year. Prior
owner was a student at University of Pittsburg who used it as a daily
driver. It needed a new floor pan and other work on the interior. Greg
prepared the car for paint himself although painting was done at a body
To date, the car has had two engine and two bellhousing replacements and
unknown clutch replacements. Greg does all his own mechanical work. He
installed the hyperpack and headers. He figures he has about $4000 is
invested in engine mods, but he's not bothering to calculate other expenses!
Greg races the car now and then, he says, "mostly at the test 'n' tunes."
He can brag of 3 second-place finishes in Slant 6 circuit races in the past
Tim and Diane Cardwell of Leesburg, VA, have owned this Rally Red (R5) 1976
Feather Duster since 1991. It was repainted in 2001. The Cardwells run a
floral business with their main delivery vehicle being a Chrysler van. They
also own a '74 Duster and a '76 Dart, both Slant 6-powered. So the
Cardwells are a happy Slant 6 family!
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