Kent Nelson has been a loyal Mopar enthusiast since day one, so it’s no surprise that a friend and coworker thought he was the right person to save a forlorn 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II that had been sitting in a field, sinking into the ground, for many years.
“This was back in 1989,” recounts Kent, “and I told him that I didn’t have money for another car, but he insisted that I take a look at it and gave me directions to where it was. I drove out west of town and there it was, in the middle of a field.”
Despite the car’s sad state, Kent immediately fell in love with its roofline and asked how much it would take to buy the car. To his surprise, the friend said he could have it for free, minus the engine, transmission, and rearend that were in it.
“The engine was a 230-horsepower Poly 318, with a three-speed manual transmission and a tapered-axle rearend from an earlier B-body, and none of this was of interest to me anyway,” explains Kent, “so the deal was done, and I pulled the diamond in the rough out of the frozen ground and dragged it home with help from some friends.”
Kent put the car into storage after getting it home, where it remained for the next couple of years. When he finally got an urge to get the car back on the road, he began hunting down the various parts that it needed. Somewhat miraculously, he managed to find good 1965 Belvedere quarter panels in a salvage yard, but they were from a four-door so he had to modify them to fit his two-door body. He also sourced a good fender to replace his badly damaged one, fixed a few small dents, and “threw a quick paint job on it.”
Once he finished the body rehab and paint, Kent added a roll cage and then went to work on the mechanics. He installed a nitrous-injected 426 wedge, a 727 automatic, and a Dana 60 rear fitted with 4.56:1 gear, then he went racing on the street and strip. The car was a lot of fun, but over time Kent drove it less and less, usually opting instead to use his completely restored 1974 Road Runner, which is the first car he ever owned. The Road Runner was far more streetable compared to the Belvedere, and more appropriate for car shows owing to its pristine condition.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
LIVING LARGE WITH AN OLD-SCHOOL 426 STREET WEDGE DART
CAMPBELL AUTO RESTORATION COMBINES CLASSIC E-BODY STYLE WITH THE CAPABILITIES OF A 1970S GRAND TOURING COUPE. JASON JOHNSON’S 1972 BARRACUDA WAS BUILT TO GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE FINEST EXOTICS OF ITS ERA.
Muscle Car Era Console Update
REBUILDING A CENTER CONSOLE WITH YEARONE PARTS
Dedicated To The Cause
SERGEANT JOHN LIVINGSTON HAS OVERCOME PLENTY OF OBSTACLES IN HIS QUEST TO BUILD THE ULTIMATE ROAD RUNNER
Ok, Show Me.
GREETINGS FROM THE GRAVE
Just Do It
KENT NELSON SAVED THIS BELVEDERE II FROM CERTAIN DEATH
Custom-Tailored Mopar Quarter
OFF -THE-RACK PANEL INSTALLATION, OR TAILORED TO YOUR CAR?
Adding Fuel To The Fire
PLUMBING AN AEROMOTIVE STEALTH/PHANTOM IN-TANK FUEL PUMP TO FEED OUR HUNGRY ELEPHANT
It's A Wrap (Really)
WE SEE MANY MODIFIED YET STREET-CAPABLE CHALLENGERS IN OUR TRAVELS. STEPHEN GORDON’S 2015 DODGE CHALLENGER STRETCHES THE DESIGN AND MODIFICATION ENVELOPE, STOPPING JUST SHORT OF THE LINE.
We stay pretty busy going through airports and rental car counters, dealing with flight cancelations, hotels, restaurants and much more, to attend the various Mopar events across the country.
Radio Free Tulsa
Live from Cain’s brings Oklahoma music history to the airwaves.
KELLY RIPA SHARES FAMILY HEARTACHE!
Son’s brave battle to turn dyslexia upside down
THESE HIPS DON'T LIE!
Purple Daze Jan. 15
TWO B&B FAN FAVES RETURN
Ashley Jones (Bridget) and Kelly Kruger (Eva) will appear again this week on B&B, and they gave Digest the exclusive scoop on their returns — and their off-screen bond.
B&B: HOPE FIGURES OUT HER FUTURE
While waiting for the results of Steffy’s paternity test, Hope uses the time to reassess her marriage.
KELLY'S MAKING ELLEN PARANOID!
Fears high-rated Clarkson will steal her prized TV slot
CREEPED OUT KELLY'S NIGHTMARE THERAPY
Terrifying dreams after producing her own ghoulish crime series
Winter Presentations For Southern Rivers
Winter has arrived, yet in the South it’s still mild enough to keep fishing with the exception of maybe a week or two of an Arctic front.
PORTIA CAN'T DUCK HURRICANE ELLEN
EMBATTLED chatterbox Ellen DeGeneres is lashing out at everyone around her — and sources dished her long-suffering wife, Portia de Rossi, is bearing the brunt of her rage!
KELLY'S KICKING ELLEN'S BUTT!
Ratings war getting ugly