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Local family builds winning Plymouth

By Staff | Jul 2, 2010

Andy Mader stands next to his 1970 Plymouth Duster. His family discovered the car in Hardy County, towed it home, and returned it to its original muscle car glory.

Several years ago the Maders of Shenandoah Junction were traveling through Wardensville in Hardy County when they came upon a rare find stashed away in an alley.

Cast off, abandoned, packed with old junk, there it sat – a 1970 Plymouth 340 Duster.

Rust was creeping from the rocker panels upward. The interior was trashed, the crusty trunk full of parts.

But Steve Mader “had visions” – as his wife Liz now describes the experience – for this car that, by the way, wasn’t for sale (yet).

Steve is a guy who likes to rebuild engines in his spare time. And he has an affinity for Mopar products.

After chatting with some of the neighbors in Wardensville, the Maders found out the owner lived out of state. A few phone calls and $200 later, their 15-year-old son Andy Mader was the proud owner of this tired muscle car in dire need of some tone, and a title. To help the project along, they got an extra engine for $50.

Many, many weekends of wrenching, grinding, sanding, priming, painting and clear-coating later, Andy had his $250 car ready to drive. Mom, Dad, Andy and uncle Bill Andersen of Baltimore all worked countless hours on the project car. It was three years in the remaking, but the hard work has paid off.

Andy won 1st Place in the Trophy Class at the All Mopar Show on June 13 at the Mason-Dixon Dragway off U.S. 40 in Hagerstown, Md.

He finished the quarter mile in 12.48 seconds doing a little over 105 mph.

Now 21 years old, Andy is a part-time student at Shepherd University and works full-time out of town.

His mother said when the car was purchased, Andy dreamed of racing and driving it to cruise-ins.

On Fridays between 5 and 9 p.m., you’ll find him and other members of the tri-state Mopar Cruisers Car Club at the cruise-in at Somerset Plaza in Charles Town. There, you can get a good look at this locally built classic.

And if Liz is there, she’ll show you the “before-and-after” pictures.

It really is unbelievable what one man’s “visions” and his son’s dream can produce.