Tony Angelo is Working From Home and Reviving his 1971 Dodge Demon from Winter Storage
When Tony Angelo’s HOT ROD Garage says he works from home, what he really means is that he works in his personal machine shop just outside of Philadelphia. The store is a former machine shop from the Second World War that made large guns for battleships, with its gantry crane that spanned the entire length of the store. Tony says they do pretty much everything outside the shop – engine work, manufacturing, general maintenance, you name it. In his office, he has memories of his time as a professional drift racer and a car club he helped found, Club Loose, but the store, as they say on Cradles– this is where the magic happens.
The little bit of magic Tony is currently doing revives his 1971 Dodge Demon from winter storage. Tony bought the Demon, his first car, when he was 15 and destroyed it throughout high school. He and his friends would travel to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the annual Chrysler at Carlisle event in search of rare and hard to find parts. He likes the car for its difference compared to all the cars of the other students – Volkswagen, new Camaros, Mustang with Fox body – his Green Go Demon definitely stood out in the mid-90s. He would race anything and n anyone on the street and generally credits the car for its inspiration for Mopars and his crazy career in the automotive world.
Tony bought the Demon cheaply from a man who tried to prevent his ex-wife from getting the car during their divorce. The engine was already bored for over 30 years, had a hot cam and “nasty” headers, and was designed for street and street fun. Tony was surprised that his parents allowed him to buy the car.
Tony admits he didn’t store the car properly for the winter, drove it into the store and threw a blanket over it, then forgot about it when it was cold. Normally, he would add a fuel stabilizer and drain the float tanks into the carburetor. To wake the car from hibernation, it will have to take a few more steps.
His first step is to clean the engine compartment, a little mold on the interior trim of the fenders and a bunch of rodent debris hiding around the intake tubes. Then he wants to avoid any dry start, so he will pull the distributor and prime the oil pump. Of course, the battery needs to be recharged after months of sitting and it also inspects all fluids before starting. But most importantly, it should give the carburetor a good cleaning.
The float bowls didn’t look very good and Tony had to use a bit of hard-hitting persuasion to remove them, which is never a good sign. He decides that the best way to proceed would be to pull it all out, clean it thoroughly and reassemble it with new seals – the “reusable” seals didn’t live up to their name. Fortunately, carburetor parts are still inexpensive and readily available at most auto parts stores. After giving the jets and measuring blocks a good soak in a bucket of carbohydrate cleaner and checking that the entire fuel passage was clean and flowing, it was time to screw the carburetor back in and start the demon. To avoid unnecessary starts, he manually filled the float bowls, and to his delight, the demon started on the first try! A quick adjustment on the idle screws and timing and now Tony’s Daemon 71 is ready to sail all summer.