The Real Deal
Jim, the owner of a custom 1978 Dodge Magnum, still finds it hard to believe the car is real, which is why he names it Mirrage. Find out why it took 27 years to make this dream design a reality in our interview. Could you wait that long to see your build completed? Tell us your restoration stories in the comments.
“I Never Thought I’d See It Done”
Showing his car in Detroit Autorama’s Cavalcade of Customs is a first for Jim. “Many folks mistakenly think it is a Chevy Monte Carlo,” he laughs. “I bought the Magnum in 1978 and held onto it.” Deciding to customize his car, Jim creates his ultimate design plan. He begins a 27-year-renovation that takes the car through four separate custom shops and many delays. “I never thought I’d see it done,” he says, “but I couldn’t give up on it.”
Custom Design Proud
Today, Jim proudly shows off the finished product. The car still has many of its original parts, including the 400-cubic inch V8 engine. The top is chopped by four inches and the roof is lengthened. The trunk is shortened and both doors are lowered. The only seams on the car are the two doors and hood. The Chrysler standard longitudinal torsion bar and front/rear sway bars get replaced and an air-ride suspension is added.
From the two-toned handmade seats to the Tigerwood dash, this car’s interior is as unique as its exterior. The notched steering wheel (which looks surprisingly like the MOPAR M) allows the front seats to swivel completely around to face the back. There is no denying Jim’s Magnum is one-of-a-kind.
Hazards of Showing Classic Cars
Jim is learning the ups and downs of showing classic cars firsthand. “I showed the car a couple of times outside over the summer. At one of them, the wind blew a competitor’s tent across the top of my car and we had to repaint.” He has had no such problems at the Detroit event. “I have met some nice people and they love the car. It was a long road getting it done but I am proud of it.” Here’s to following your dream, Jim!
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