Following its predecessor's footsteps, which became the first US-built production car with an output of 300 hp (hence the name), the improved 300B was the first American production model to make one hp per cubic inch.
Furthermore, it was the only American ride that could challenge luxurious European grand tourers in terms of styling, maneuverability, and power.
Considering all that, it is hard to argue with those who say that a surviving example in good shape should be, at most, restored and certainly not modified.
Daring to be different
Roger discussed the idea with a close friend and renowned custom car builder, Troy Trepanier, who suggested the iconic 300B.
Although the future owner knew that restomodding one of the few surviving examples would be considered blasphemous by many, he agreed to finance the project, knowing that his friend would focus on retaining the car's original styling.
From 1950s icon to retro-modern masterpiece
Once it arrived at the Rad Rides by Troy headquarters in Manteno, Illinois, the car was stripped of its original chassis, and its remarkably rust-free body was fully restored.
Unlike typical restomod projects, this one focused on subtly improving the original styling. The front grilles, bumpers, and side chrome trims of headlight surrounds were all refreshed, but none were dramatically altered.
Furthermore, each body panel was diligently reworked, leading to smaller panel gaps. Though not obvious to the untrained eye, this improved the silky smooth look of the unique custom.
Bespoke chassis with Dodge Viper hardware
The custom chassis received front and rear suspension assemblies borrowed from a 2007 Dodge Viper. On the rear, Moser axles were added to reduce overall width, while Hypercool springs were used for the desired ride height.
The steering rack and four-piston brake calipers were also borrowed from the legendary supercar, but cross-drilled Baer rotors were added to improve stopping power.
NASCAR V8 power
They could have just gotten an OEM crate HEMI from Dodge and called it a day, but that's not how the Rad Rides crew did things.
Instead, they opted for a race-bred HEMI 354 (same displacement as the original engine) used in NASCAR Dodges during the 2008 season.
After painting the block and creating custom valve covers resembling the FirePower, the team sent the V8 to Bob Care at Jesel Racing to optimize it for road use.
Even if it didn't feature any stock internals and received many upgrades, such as custom manifolds, dry sump lubrication, and twin-turbo induction, the eight-cylinder monster was tuned to behave in daily driving conditions.
However, if needed, all 800 horses could transform the custom 300B into a veritable weapon that could obliterate modern sports cars.
Mated to a heavily reworked Bowler four-speed automatic based on GM's 4L80-E, the race-bred HEMI was fitted inside one of the cleanest, most beautiful engine bays we've ever seen.
A classic interior with cleverly concealed modern tech
Rad Rides' Lawrence Laughlin fabricated the steering wheel from scratch, designing it to look like the original. But to give it a modern feel, he reduced the diameter and integrated paddle shifters behind each spoke.
Moreover, the original push-button transmission controls were also retained and modified to work with the new automatic.
The 1956 300B had two bench seats, which interior specialist Jim Griffin reupholstered. He used a combination of fine tan leather and rose cloth that emulated the original bird pattern.
The car also received a small console with cup holders and a tray designed to house the infotainment system's remote control. Speaking of which, the Kenwood system was cleverly tucked away inside the central glovebox, alongside boost and fuel pressure gauges.
An award-winning custom
In the following months, it toured America's most prestigious custom car shows, including the 2009 Autorama, where it failed to win the coveted Ridler Award because it didn't make its official debut at the legendary event (it was unveiled months earlier at another show).
Nevertheless, it earned first place in the Full Hard Top and received the Casi Cup Award.
Awards aside, Nancy and Roger Ritzow's impeccable custom is a rare example of a restomod that even purists can't criticize.
The Rad Rides crew flawlessly infused modern tech into an iconic car without altering the design that made it special.
Though there are many incredible restomods, this one remains one of the greatest ever conceived, even 15 years after it was completed.
For a virtual tour of this epic custom, we recommend watching the YouTube video below by Richard Fleener.