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Home/News and Feature Articles/Car History - Car Stories/ Plymouth Stories/

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Ray Evernham's stunning 1964 Plymouth "ModStock" is a 1964 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop body mated to a race-documented NASCAR COT Sprint cup Chassis.

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Ray Evernham and his ForPly

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Ray Evernham's stunning 1964 Plymouth "ForPly" Exposed
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

In the last Evernham build article, we compared Ray's "ForPly" to Tom Hoover Jr's 1964 Plymouth pure stock 426 Max Wedge. In this issue we have decided to go a bit more deep into the ForPly's build. Please follow along . . .

With his debut as a custom vehicle designer, legendary NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham has created a new beast in the restomod zoo by combining a 1964 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop body with a race-documented NASCAR Sprint Cup chassis. Consider it the first-ever "ModStock," if you like, because "ForPly" marries the nostalgic appeal of a modified American musclecar with the brutal prowess of a stock car.

Evernham, who is one of the few car enthusiasts in a position to make such a fantasy happen, spent several years brainstorming the idea. In March 2011, the project was nothing but a '64 Plymouth shell from eBay and a concept drawing when Dan Baker started working for Ray Evernham Enterprises in Mooresville, N.C., as a fabricator. He was assigned the job of ForPly's team build leader.

"We turned two cars into one to make ForPly," Baker said. "We had the Plymouth  which Ray chose specifically because he wanted something that did well as a NASCAR competitor in the '60s and we had one of his Car of Tomorrow (COT) Dodge Racing chassis that ran the Daytona 500 a few years ago."

Ray Evernham has a car collection that is heavy on musclecars from Plymouth and its sister division, Dodge because of his enduring connection to Mopar products. Evernham was just an impressionable child in 1964 when Chrysler Corp. threw experimental HEMI V-8 engines and the company's best engineers into its NASCAR campaign, which resulted in Plymouths finishing the Daytona 500 in first, second and third places. From then on the love affair began. In 1999, Dodge tapped Evernham to shepherd its return to NASCAR's top series after a 23-year absence.

ForPly symbolically brings together those two aspects of Evernham's automotive life - the car-crazy kid at the dawn of the musclecar era and the seasoned veteran. That's why he decided to make it happen again.

Thus, just about everything from the modern Dodge is hidden beneath the vintage Plymouth body, starting with the NASCAR V-8. It is a Dodge Racing R5-P7 fuel-injected engine that displaces 358 cubic inches and produces more than 750 horsepower and has been tuned to run on unleaded premium pump gas. A stock car air box butts up to the Plymouth windshield cowl for fresh air. Cooling is provided by a heavy-duty NASCAR radiator, and everything under the hood has been meticulously dressed in custom inner fender panels.

The exhaust system is a pair of stainless steel headers that flow into dual side exhausts straight from the NASCAR parts shelf, but there is a twist: inside the four-inch tubing are mufflers so the car can be driven somewhere other than a race track.

The transmission is a NASCAR-spec four-speed manual, and the rear axle has a 9-inch differential with 3.60:1 gears. Connecting the two is a driveshaft a few inches longer than NASCAR regulations require because the Plymouth wheelbase is six inches longer than the Dodge's 110-inch wheelbase.

Evernham was adamant ForPly's suspension retain the adjustability that allows stock cars to generate incredible g-forces for hundreds of laps, which is why it has the Dodge's NASCAR Sprint Cup shock absorbers and front unequal-length upper and lower control arms with coil springs and a front anti-roll bar. In the rear is a NASCAR trail arm with a Panhard rod and anti-roll bar.

Brakes are ventilated and grooved rotors all around -13 inches in front and 11 inches in the rear - with four-piston calipers. There is a five-lug NASCAR hub at each corner, and the wheels are NASCAR centers mounted on 18-inch rims instead of the stock 15-inch units. The taller wheels hold lower-profile 285/40ZR18 tires for a modern street rod appearance.

Although it looks stock at first glance, the Plymouth body received a few mild changes during restoration that mix street rod and race car esthetics. Door handles were shaved off. Stainless trim was polished to a mirror shine. Front wheel wells were raised 1.5 inches so the body could sit that much lower over the tires. A body line on the hood disappeared. A carbon fiber air splitter was fitted to the bottom of a lightly reshaped front bumper. The trunk lid is stock but now sports an aluminum stand-up spoiler. The driver-side rear quarter panel has a NASCAR fuel filler neck that leads to a race-spec 18-gallon fuel cell, but the neck has been modified to accept a standard gas station nozzle.

Evernham did not want a highly reflective paint job for ForPly. He chose a shade from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes called Radiant Red with Graphite racing stripes and accents. The paint's eggshell texture really complements the Plymouth's vintage.

ForPly features the most comfortable interior to ever sit on a NASCAR chassis. Its factory windows now open and close with the touch of a billet button. Driver and passenger can access their carbon fiber bucket seats with ease, owing to a modification in the NASCAR-style roll cage. Each is held in place by a true NASCAR five-point belt harness. Custom door panels are powdercoated aluminum with arm rests, and the headliner is a panel of smooth fiberglass with carbon fiber appliques. The transmission tunnel and door sill plates are made of carbon fiber.

Gauges are high-tech digital displays surrounded by carbon fiber, and the passenger has his own version, which doubles as an entertainment system with multi-channel input. The dash-mounted stereo plays through four speakers. A modern sport steering wheel is attached to the steering column from Dodge Racing chassis, which was also the source for the clutch, brake and throttle pedals. ForPly's black tight-loop carpet would seem out of place if not for the other creature comforts.

Not only does ForPly showcase Evernham's talents as a designer of innovative super-performance street cars, but it serves a purpose closer to the three-time NASCAR crew chief champion's heart.

I've planned all along to sell ForPly during the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013 auction in January, Evernham said. Proceeds will go toward a new community center and training program for adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome called IGNITE. It will be located in Davidson. Evernham Family Racing for a Reason is providing founding support and has been working on the project with the Autism Society of North Carolina.

Click HERE to read more about the ForPly at Ray Evernham's website!

COT Dodge Sprint Cup car gave up its Racing Chassis

Dodge Racing R5-P7 fuel-injected engine that displaces 358 cubic inches

Engine and chassis with 1964 Plymouth Belvedere body mounted

NASCAR chassis and suspension

Body mods on the 1964 plymouth Belvedere

The final engine install is sanitary and NASCAR-like

ForPly interior features a full digital dash

A magnificant result

Great from any angle!