Russo’s Rat was originally built and raced in the US by Frank Russo in 1969 and the early 70s, before being sold and exported to the UK where it raced at Santa Pod in 1974. Since then it has been switched between road use and strip use numerous times. Chris Goodale first bought the car in 1999 used for both the strip then the street but he eventually sold it on. It was soon reacquired by Chris with the intention of taking it back to it’s 1970s glory days, which got underway in 2021.
Billadeau Speed oversaw the full body off restoration project from start to finish, working alongside a whole bunch of talented people – Ash Rawson at APR Bodyworks, Tim Holmes, Bri Whitfield at Roberts Motor Bodies, Craig Ainge, Dave McCallan, Ben Rushforth at EDA, Roger Luty, and more.
As you can see, the end result is absolutely stunning! The EDA built 548 big block Chevy under hood produced 750hp at the dyno.
The restored car made it’s debut in Nostalgia Super Stock at Santa Pod’s Festival of Power 2023. Check out these great wheels up pics from Eurodragster’s Julian Hunt.
This is the latest Billadeau restoration project, a genuine seventies factory backed Super Stock Dodge Challenger. The car was built and driven by Joe Allread during 1974 to ’75 before being sold to Dave Hendricks, who raced it through to 1979.
Powered by a 360ci motor with a Nash-Chrysler 4 speed and Dana 60 rear end, the Challenger ran an 11.56 @ 126mph during it’s final season in the SS/L class. The car was then parked and remained in storage right up until 2017 when it was imported to the UK by Duncan Watts. We took ownership in 2018 and set about bringing the car back to it’s best.
Thanks to Dave McCallan at McCallan Automotive a new rollcage was fitted, and we took the body back to bare metal.
The restoration continued throughout 2020 and we now have a finished article ready to hit the track! Hopefully it will go as well as it looks.
Mick’s Coronet underwent a full restoration at Billadeau Speed. The 440 engine, built to stock appearance, features forged pistons and a hydraulic cam. The body was fully restored and painted in original TT1 Light Metallic Green, with a bumble bee stripe also made up and applied.
Further work in July ’07 included changing the gears from 323 to 391, which saw ETs drop from 14.1s to 13.6s, and also MOT work on the front brakes and bottom ball joints.
At the 2012 August bank holiday weekend round of American Super Stock, Mick had a slight skirmish with another car. Billadeau Speed was able to help Mick begin the road to repair before the car was taken to Ash Rawson’s bodyshop for a new side to be fitted.
Before this Challenger was sold on to Brad it was owned by Dave himself, who performed a full restoration. Bodywork, paint, interior and the 440 Magnum engine were all given attention. The car was originally blue with a white vinyl roof and a 318 motor.