Mopar Madness: Chad Rone’s Unique 1959 Chrysler Saratoga Doorslammer

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Wild looking paint jobs on cars will always get fans to stop and look, but rolling into the staging lanes in a car is that’s way different that most is how you really turn heads at the track. And Chad Rone will be getting attention from fans and racers both with his radical looking racecar with a unique 1959 Chrysler Saratoga body.

Rone has always loved the old school-looking Pro Mods, and his new all-Mopar machine pays tribute to that look with a modern edge.

Growing up, Rone was always fascinated with cars, so it’s no surprise that he eventually turned toward hot rodding and racing. “I bought a 1966 Plymouth Satellite when I was 15 and turned it into a race car. I took it to Buffalo Valley Dragstrip and my first pass went 8.11 in the 1/8mile. That’s how I got hooked on drag racing and I’ve always been dreaming of going faster ever since,” Rone explains about his first trip to the track.

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Rone might have raced a lot at the track, but he also did his share of street racing when he was younger. He eventually turned back to the track, getting into bracket racing to get his racing fix. He’s driven everything from door cars to dragsters, but he wanted something much more interesting for his newest car.

“I’ve just always wanted a nice door car that’s fast. I’ve really loved the Pro Stock and Pro Mod-style cars, and that’s what drove me toward another door car. I enjoy the nostalgia Pro Mod look and wanted something different, so I went with this Saratoga body,” Rone says.

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Rone purchased his wild-looking Saratoga body from Larry Jeffers Race Cars in 2016 and commissioned GPS Race Cars to build a turn-key ride. Powering the car is a 636 cubic-inch Mopar mill that’s topped by a pair of Predator Heads. The rotating assembly consists of a Callies crank, GRP rods, and Diamond pistons to make power. For induction, Rone went with a pair of Pro Systems 1250 cfm SV1 carburetors. The motor and Powerglide transmission were built by David Solomon, who will also handle the tuning duties.

The chassis is a 6.00 certified piece from GPS with Strange Engineering brakes, struts, shocks, axles, and center section. The Fab-9 rearend was custom built by GPS Race Cars in-house for the car. For electronics, Rone opted to use MSD and K&R parts to keep the fire in the pipes. A set of Sanders wheels and Hoosier tires keep the Saratoga rolling down the track.

For the body, Rone had Ian Hawkins of 660 Concepts come up with the wild, eye-catching paint scheme, and Bruce Mullins laid the paint down on the car. The entire body is actually painted, with no decals or wraps. Mullins spent a lot of man hours doing the detailed airbrush work to give the car its crisp look.

This classic Chrysler might look like a show car, but Rone plans on running it at the track a bunch.

“I built this car to run a local 4.70 index class. I would love to run Pro Mod with it one day, but I will be focusing on the 4.70 class for now. The car should run a little quicker than the index, but we’ll back it down to run the number, for sure. We hope to bracket race it some, and I’m also planning on running a few Chrysler classic events around St. Louis in the Quick 8 class.”

Rone’s car is certainly a one of-of-a-kind ride that has some killer looks and the power to match.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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