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Aaron Vasas' Mopar Racing

Aaron Vasas of Vasas Motorsports wrote:

I have raced a 1979 Chrysler Cordoba 300 for the past four years on dirt tracks in Canada and the northern US. My crew and I built the entire thing ourselves and have a blast racing the only Mopar dirt car around (everyone else runs Chevys). The car is Mopar from bumper to bumper. The rubber Mirada nose cone works perfect for pushing around those little bowties. We run a 360 2bbl Holley Torker 2 intake with a 904 tranny and a 8 3/4 diff. The car is real fast and handles very well.

We built the car after I wrecked my first race car (a 1978 Dodge Diplomat) after a long hard first season. One of my sponsors had the car in the wrecking yard(cars and parts auto salvage) and gave it to me. We stripped it to nothing, built a frame jig, built the frame, built our own cage, and did up a little 340 and went racing. Blew the 340 all to hell and went to a 360 and have run them ever since. The 360s work great and despite what people say they will do 6500 rpm all day on the track.

The building process of the car took about one year but it has worked perfect ever since. After 4 years of racing the frame heights and the scale weights are still the same. We use all stock front end but change the rear springs to dodge pick up springs and shackles. The car weighs 3,125 lbs - perfect for our weight rule. The tranny is all stock 904 which stays in first gear only during a race, and the 8 3/4 has 276s welded. The car runs in the DIRT street stock class 2 or 3 times a week and last year me and the racing doby earned the title of ALL CANADIAN CHAMPION after qualifing 1st and leading the whole race.

Our home tracks are Merrittville speedway in Thorold, Ontario (near Niagara Falls) on Saturday nights, and and Gassport Speedway in Port Colbourne, Ontario(near Lake Erie) on Sunday nights.

The car originally was a 1979 Cordoba 300 Edition, fully loaded, and I mean loaded. It was white with red interior and had the red white and blue stripes, with a 360 2bbl and automatic. The car was rotten underneath and a broken axle caused the right rear tire to push in the quarter panel and the owner got pissed and scrapped the thing. The car was not my first choice of car to build but the only full size two door in the scrap yard so we brought the thing home and carved it up to nothing. But now am I ever glad we did. My first car (Diplomat) had the j-style torsion bars and the doby has the straight bars which work awesome on the 3/8 mile banked dirt tracks. I still have the origional bars that were in the car and they work great. The j- bars dont work at all. There is not much left to the car, it is pretty much a doby chassis, with an awesome home built Vasas Motorsports full roll cage, and all the sheet metal is fully gutted and bolted to the car. A total of about 35 1/4 inch bolts hold the entire body on. (I can strip the whole body off in about 15 minutes by myself)

The mirada nose cone is perfect because it is very flexible so I can push the other cars around and not see splintered fiberglass all over the place. It is the only Mopar product in the dirt series (in any class) so that alone earns me a steady following of fan support (there are a lot of Mopar nuts around here). My only beef is that you would think having the only Mopar, and being as competitive as it is, I could get a Mopar or a local Mopar dealer to sponsor it! No way. I had Rose City Dodge last year (Welland, Ont) and all they did was give me their cost on parts. Oh well what can you do. This will be the fourth full season on this chassis and each year the car changes a bit.

Every year in the off season the car is put on blocks in my shop, torsion bars slacked off, and then completely dismantled. Any damaged or worn out stuff gets changed. All the welds are checked, along with all the stress points and frame. New shocks and body panels every year. And the frame and cage gets blasted and painted (easier to spot flexing on fresh paint). It all sounds so easy but takes a lot of time. Then we wait for my manager to tell us who sponsors what and what colour goes where. Paint it, decal it. Do the 2 engines and two trannys over and set the thing on the scales to adjust the chassis. Then we race it and ruin all the winter's hard work over and over again. And we love it every green flag lap of it.

We are currently first in points at Merrittville and are trying hard to get a 2002 Championship Cup to put in my shop next to the other trophies won by me my crew and our racing doby.


The engines are built by Luke Bailey(a big block mopar drag guy and a very good friend) - he does all the machine work as well at his work (Daves Service Centre in St Catherines, Ont) and either me or him put them togeather. The trannys are done by Mark Lawrence, owner of Gary's Transmissions in Wellandport and another big mopar drag guy. The lettering on the car is done by Kupper Signs in Port Robinson. Chassis and handling- Chris Crawford. Body repair and paint-Shawn Mcintyre. Crew chief- Lloyd Cichocki. All around repairs- Trev Mcintyre and Johnny Cichocki. Scaling and carburetors-Rob Leddingham. Tuning- Rob Leddingham, Luke Bailey.

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