1979 Chrysler 300 Race Car - John Cailey


This tale is unique in that a pristine, but perhaps less than exciting, car has been turned into a powerful weekend warrior at the drag races.

John Cailey was given this car by his father in ’94, and after driving it several thousand miles home with some adventure along the way, it became a daily driver in the Illinois rust belt for a few years.

John started hopping up this behemoth (it’s named “Moby Dick” — as in the great white whale), and as often happens, it became faster and faster, but less “streetable” at the same time.

After retiring to Payson, the decision was made to make it a dedicated racecar. A full roll cage was fitted, the seating replaced with a lone lightweight race seat, most interior panels replaced with nicely crafted aluminum replacements and all the heavy power accessories removed or replaced with lightweight counterparts.

The result of the diet was the removal of 500+ pounds of “pork.” This, coupled with stroking the engine from 360 to 408 inches, plus improved breathing from many aftermarket components, has resulted in a vast increase in performance. Where the stock vehicle was tested by a magazine as capable only of 17.2 seconds at 89 MPH in a quarter-mile, John’s reformed land yacht has clocked an 11.53 at 116 MPH pass. No racer is ever satisfied, so a stronger engine is being built to use a supercharger, with 700 HP as the goal. Bet he’ll surprise a few competitors with this one!


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