Bob was born an Army brat in Fort Belvior, Virginia and his family was stationed in Germany soon after. When he and his family returned from Germany, he grew up in Tampa, Florida.
Bob got bit by the car bug when working on his first car, a 1958 Chevy Belair. Not a great performer, but it was the first. He was introduced to Chrysler in 1972 when he purchased the neighbor's Chrysler 300. This was a great car and a great performer.
In the 1970s, Bob worked on a Model T kit with a 440 six-pack, 4 speed and 4:10 gear. When his brother’s '70 Cuda (340, auto, 3:55) was beat by a roll-cage, racing slicks, fiberglass-front Camaro, they swapped the 340 out and put the 440 in the Cuda. Wow, what a ride. The Cuda was never beaten again.
In 1985, Bob purchased his '86 Daytona, not a turbo but still a rush. He said, “This car is really cool.” His goal was to keep it going as long as possible and one day to totally restore it to showroom condition, other than a few performance and economy enhancements. It's a standard plain Daytona... until it launches. Not like the Turbo III, but it'll turn some heads even more than it does now.
In 2006, Bob found his ’86 Turbo Z. This was the car that he wanted when he bought the original Daytona. He was not permitted to easily test drive one because the dealers at the time were having so many of the Turbo Z’s wrecked. This was because of the power for such a light car, test drivers couldn’t keep them on the road. Or at least, that was their story at the time. In any case he decided to get the standard model but ever since longed for the Turbo Z with T-tops.
His new Turbo Z is one of the rare ones. It’s black and gold, has T-tops and the C/S package. It also has leather seats with the power enthusiast driver’s seat; the car was found with the help of friends on the Daytona forum. It was in rough shape but nothing that couldn’t be restored. It needed an engine rebuild which was documented with articles here on Allpar. Its bodywork restoration and painting was done largely by Bob himself, and is also documented at allpar.
Bob completed the body work and paint as well as the interior restoration. The Turbo Z made its national car show debut at the All Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle 2010, displayed in the invitational building T. (The picture below is of both of Bob’s Daytonas displayed at a local cruise in event in Tallahassee.)
Currently, Bob lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife Theresa and two daughters. He makes a living as a network consultant and trainer. One of his daughters is a registered nurse at the local emergency room, and the other has an elementary music education degree and teaches locally in Tallahassee. Bob and Theresa have one grandson and another grandchild on the way in November 2010.
Bob O’Neill is a driving force behind the Carlisle meets and has contributed to numerous articles within Allpar. He was responsible for these complete pages or sections:
Other Allpar contributors
Aero-tuning the Dodge NASCAR trucks
The Carter BB Carburetor
All Mopar Car and Truck News
Chrysler 300 Letter Cars
The Engine Cleanup Committee