Frank Badalson, Mopar Survivor Specialist, is crazy about Mopar muscle cars.
Just like so many Mopar enthusiasts out there today, for Frank Badalson, it all started with a 1968 Road Runner. All it took was a glimpse of the car and all he could think about was getting behind the wheel of one and when it came time to pick up his first ride, he went straight to Mopar and never looked back. His first, a 1973 ‘Cuda with a 2-barrel 318 locked in his obsession and in 1975 he bought his first Hemi. A 1971 ‘Cuda that was sold 41 years later at Mecum for $1,000,000.
Dealing with Harley-Davidson motorcycle fraud in the 1970s was quite an issue for local law enforcement, and in 1976 the FBI taught a class on how to collect and process engine and frame numbers off of Harleys. Working on the force at the time, Badalson attended that class and immediately applied what he learned to what was then just a hobby of collecting Hemis. It was this skill paired with a cataloging ability that turned a hobby into a profession for Badalson.
At American Performance, with its 14,000 square foot body shop and engine shop, Badalson and team complete everything from engine work on good condition cars all the way to full restorations of forgotten Mopars with a specialty in “survivors.” That is where his some odd 40 years worth of cataloged original part numbers come into play. Armed with the secret weapon of information and records better than the factories these masterpiece rides came from kept, Frank Badalson is truly passionate about preserving cars like a one of only fifty-nine ultra low milage 1971 Hemi Challenger.
Getting into one of American Performances “Survivor” Hemis is like taking a seat in a time machine and is truly a special experience that Badalson and his team have perfected for his clients.