In the cutthroat world of no-prep racing, and especially in the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings (No Pep Kings) series, getting a win doesn’t happen at the stripe – it happens way back at the beginning of the build, in the chassis shop on the fabrication table. So, when Randy Williams realized where his operation was lacking, he took action, assembling a new, purpose-built 1979 Dodge Challenger R/T.
Williams is no stranger to the NPK world, having raced his “Purple Rain” 1968 Plymouth Valiant as well as his 1968 Dodge Dart and his 2015 Dodge Challenger in previous seasons. “The Challenger just couldn’t handle the torque that the twin-turbo 528 cubic inch Brad Anderson engine was making,” said the Kansas native who tried to do everything he could to get the car to cooperate. “And my old Dodge was just too heavy and not designed for no-prep.”
Rather than waste time and money trying to force a square peg into a round hole, Williams decided to start from scratch. The lifelong Mopar man knew he’d be going with a Dodge, but debated which specific model it should be. “I remembered back in my high school years there was a B5 blue ’70 Dodge Challenger that I just never could beat,” reminisced the 68-year-old racer who kept finding photos of the infamous machine as he perused his nostalgic photo albums. “So, I figured I’d build the car I never could beat and maybe I would have the same luck!”
Williams purchased a rusted-out 1970 Dodge Challenger which he found rotting in a field in Nebraska and hauled the carcass to Jason Wood at Wizard Race Cars. After cutting it up, though, the men realized the car’s steel roof and quarters were too far gone … although the VIN plate and other odds and ends were still intact. Fortunately, some factory steel replacement panels and other fiberglass replacement parts from Glasstek breathed new life into the old car.
Right from the first piece of tubing that Wood bent, no-prep and No Prep Kings was the focus – and the goal. The build took about 14 months from start to finish, and Williams missed out on Season 5 of the show’s filming while his project was in progress, but the wait was well worth it.
Much care was taken to maintain the integrity of the Mopar’s stock wheelbase and original body lines, although the hood’s height was massaged slightly to accommodate the massive intake manifold. “We had to play with the front end to get my fuel cell to fit, so we ended up cutting it into two pieces and re-molding it,” shared Williams.
Finished in a stunning, eye-catching B5 Bright Blue Metallic OEM hue sprayed flawlessly by Chad Noel at MadChad Motorsports, a 526 cubic inch Brad Anderson Enterprises-built Hemi sat between the frame rails at first, but was soon replaced with a different engine.
Williams took custody of his new pride and joy immediately after the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, in December of 2022. “We still had to wire it, swap motors to accommodate the bigger ProCharger, and a whole lot of other work,” he stated.
A brand spankin’ new BAE 521 cubic inch Hemi was installed to replace its predecessor, which wound up back in Williams’s Dart, and a ProCharger F-140 supercharger paired with the powerplant. “We had been using the 136 ProCharger for the past three years but couldn’t build boost like everyone else,” explained Williams. “We love the 140. The performance difference has been night and day.”
FuelTech sent Williams a bespoke drop-in engine harness to incorporate the electronic fuel injection and he took point leading the plumbing and wiring through the technical school, Garden City Ammonia Program (GCAP), which he runs. “We teach and train mechanics for industrial refrigeration in the food industry, and give a hundred scholarships out every year with job placement assistance, too,” explained the man who sponsors several racers through GCAP and is passionate about providing opportunities to others.
Guided by advice from his trusted tuner, Craig Pachar of Triangle Speed Shop fame, Williams ultimately elected to use an M&M Transmissions three-speed Turbo 400 and matching torque converter. “I watched all the Pro Mods and everyone out there running M&M and was really impressed with Mark Micke’s communication and commitment to improving our program. I trust Craig to get me to the winner’s circle, so I’ve gotta allow him to make some decisions,” he added.
Other important pieces of the NPK-centric puzzle included a Merillat Racing 11-inch rear end housing and a custom Merillat four-link suspension system, coupled with Penske shocks and struts.
In the mad thrash to get the Mopar operational for the start of NPK’s Season 6 in 2023, Williams and his GCAP group finished the wiring the same day as the car was loaded in the trailer to head to National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, in early June for the start of the series. “We only started the car for about three minutes, then drove straight through,” clarified Williams. “We didn’t have time to go through the chassis or make adjustments, so our very first pass was made in competition.”
The opening event also hosted the first-ever NPK Team Draft for eight teams of five drivers each, and Williams (along with Scott Taylor, Brandon James, and James “Birdman” Finney) was picked to be on Mike Murillo’s team.
Williams began to slowly chip away at it as the No Prep Kings competition season progressed and picked up a handful of round wins along the way against some notoriously tough opponents. “We’ve been quicker on every pass we make,” he noted excitedly. “We have a car that can be competitive, and it has the power, we’re just trying to make the chassis happy.”
While he works on the chassis and finding the correct settings for both the shocks and the four link, and refining his transmission and converter to take full advantage of the estimated 3,500-horsepower on tap, Williams has certainly made his fans happy as he receives a nonstop barrage of compliments. The iconic blue and white 1970 Challenger is certainly a showstopper worthy of any high-end car show and brings a certain vibe of old-school badassery to a world filled with late model cookie-cutter clones.
At the moment, Williams is recovering from a shoulder injury which necessitated him sitting out several of the NPK events. He plans to get back in the driver’s seat shortly, though, with plenty of testing planned before he returns to NPK competition at Colorado’s beloved Bandimere Speedway in early September with his incredible icon of the classic muscle car era – and he is determined to come to win.
“I never could afford fast cars when I was in high school,” Williams recalled of his desires from half a decade ago, “but now this is in my garage and I love it. I’m very proud of it.”