In our younger years, we all carry dreams, wants, and aspirations – that is something we must simply carry into the brighter and more lucrative days ahead. For some, that may be a classic car they always wanted, for others a brand new home, or even dropping work and sailing around the world. Once in his 40’s, Orlando, Florida’s Jimmy Bradshaw was at a point in his life where he could make his dream a reality. With it firmly in his grasp, literally watched it go up in flames before his very eyes. Following three years of tireless effort on the part of Jimmy and his crew, his Pro Modified 1968 Dodge Dart had just been completed. “We were running this thing around on the street with a screw blower on it and electronic fuel injection, and to this day I can’t tell you what happened, or what caused it to happen, “ he explained.
The supercharger exploded, blowing it right off the car and rupturing a fuel line in the process, sending alcohol everywhere that quickly ignited. He continued “the shipping screws were still in the fire bottles, and this thing was on fire and had 18 gallons of fuel in it. I wasn’t going to crawl back in the car to try to pull the screws off. We attempted to, but after looking at it, it was getting worse and worse and so we gave up on the idea.”
Eleven months later, with the help of many friends and supporters, Bradshaw’s ultra slick Dart has been repaired and if all goes to plan, will finally roll into the water box for testing in the coming weeks. “It burned up and we turned around and changed a few things and made it a lot safer, and it is what you see today,” stated Jimmy. Bradshaw hasn’t raced in more than twenty years, dating back to high school and the ensuing years when he street-raced his very first car, a 1968 Dodge Dart. Thus, came the idea to base his dreams of building a Pro Modified car on that body style.
Between the frame rails of this beast rests a 526 cubic inch, TFX Hemi powerplant, sporting Alan Johnson cylinder heads and topped with a PSI D-rotor screw supercharger. The internals include a Sonny Bryant crankshaft and Bill Miller rods. Interestingly, the car has an on-board starter and is fully self-starting. The massive amount of horsepower from the big HEMI is transferred through an air-shifted, three speed Lenco transmission and a triple-disc RAM clutch.
The car is based around an original, steel, 1968 Dart body, and features GlassTek doors and front end, and a Cynergy Composites rear wing. Inside, you’ll find a full carbon fiber back end, including the wheel tubs. All of the body work and the ultra-sharp paint job was completed in just 14 days, in time for the car to be displayed at the PRI show in Orlando in December. The chassis was built at Ultimate Motorsports in nearby Ocoee, Florida, and has been stretched 7 inches.
Bradshaw and crew had planned to enter the ADRL event at South Georgia Motorsports Park later this month, but issues with some parts have set their debut a couple of weeks behind schedule. “We don’t know if we would be competitive or not, because those guys [in the ADRL] with the deepest pockets are flying, but we’re going to go out and try to have some fun.” He explained further “ It is a deviation from the everyday mainstream world. It’s something for a change of pace of your everyday work.”
The team plans to hit the World Street Nationals in Orlando this fall, along with Pro Modified events at PBIR in West Palm Beach and various events in the south. “Some people are still against running a screw blower [but] anywhere I can take the car, we’re going to go out and hit,” he said. “Just recently we finally got it running right. Lonnie Houde has been doing the tuneup – he did the fuel injection system on it and we put it all together and he flew in and now we’re just waiting to figure out when we’re going to go testing.”