Cruisin' the Coast

Car of the Day: 1962 Plymouth Savoy

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDJeff Prusinowski of Biloxi stands beside his 1962 Plymouth Savoy on Thursday in Long Beach.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALDJeff Prusinowski of Biloxi stands beside his 1962 Plymouth Savoy on Thursday in Long Beach. SUN HERALD

Owner: Jeff Prusinowski of Biloxi

What's it got in it?: A 500-cubic inch, 550-hp Max Wedge engine with dual quads on an offset manifold. It has a push-button 727 TorqueFlite transmission with a 2,800-rpm stall speed converter, Hooker fender-well exit headers and an 8-3/4-inch rear end with 4.10:1 gears. It has steel wheels all around, 7 by 15-inch in the rear spinning Hurst cheater slicks and 5- 1/2 by 16-inch truck rims on the front.

What's been done to it?: Prusinowski found the Savoy in a Georgia field 10 years ago, its body still in very good condition. It needed only a few dings fixed before the single-stage black paint was applied. Then the interior was reupholstered.

How long did it take?: It took Prusinowski four or five years to complete his restoration. He built it as a tribute to his father's first brand-new car, also a Savoy. It had been the only car available when the elder Prusinowski, then just a teen, went to a Detroit dealership to make a purchase. "He was just a kid," Prusinowski said of his father. "He didn't know what he'd bought." He got the vehicle onto the fabled Woodward Avenue and floored it, nearly losing control. Little wonder -- the car, it turns out, was one of Chrysler Corp.'s stripped-down, high-powered entries into the Super Stock wars. Niceties such as a radio and heater had been deleted to boost the car's speed. The younger Prusinowski's replica of his dad's ride has an authentic look, right down to the racing decals on the door-glasses, including one from the long-defunct Detroit Dragway.

-- Lawrence Wheeler, Special to the Sun Herald

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