Kohrt Racing

Drag Racing Team

Project 68: New Dash, Gauges and Shifter

Project 68 has been coming along as we prepare some smaller but equally important pieces internally in the driver’s area. The shifter, gauges, and dash.

The dash was first up where sanding to metal was necessary on the surface-rusted dash. Opting to leave the original metal since it was in solid condition once cleaned up. I self-etched primed it, painted it with several coats and let her rip. A budget-friendly fix to what was a pretty gross beginning, new vinyl is laid down with padding to restore and finish the dash fairly quickly.










I love a good before and after.

Next is the shifter with the transmission in. For Project 68, a 727 manual valve body, 3-speed is utilized. I want full control and the action of shifting the car but also the consistency that you sometimes lose with a clutch. I plan to foot brake this car to start its revival. Hurst’s Quarter Stick has always been a favorite of mine and was one of my early purchases.

One of the major hurdles around the beefy 383 for this car was the shifter cable. Routing the cable around the driver’s side is the generic way of installation, however, with Super Comp Hooker Headers installed, this just isn’t plausible without serious linkage kinks and heat.

Routing the other way, however, down the passage that runs alongside the fill tube on the passenger side, down and around the front of the deep pan has been the ticket. It does pass near a header regardless before depositing to the linkage on the trans, so I’ve fabricated a guard that goes between the headers and cable and wrapped the cable with not one, not two but three different sizes and kinds of heat wrap. Can you tell I’ve melted shifter cables in the past? Not this time. The shifter after final installation works like a charm and operates smoothly.

On the shifter end, after opting to remove nearly the entire interior including the center console in an effort to trim weight. The shifter needed some height to be mounted. Quick fabrication with some diamond plate laying around gets us to the position I like for the final install.

Last come gauges where I am an absolute fan of Autometer. Mopar gauges and a Mopar Tach almost was a must as a nice touch to Project 68. For the drag racing application, a shift light is added and additional brackets are planned for more gauges in the future.

Completing install and wiring is a breeze and we are well on our way to firing it up for the first time.

Project 68 is a life-long dream of Mopar fanatic and second-generation drag racer Ronnie Kohrt to build from the ground up a 1968 Dodge Charger to drag race across the country. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the grind of restoring a car without the glitz and glam of big money, a large shop or a race team. Just a middle-class guy with a passion for horsepower and vehicles.