1970 Plymouth Cuda 340
I bought this car in 1980 for $450. While mostly complete and rust free, it
was mechanically shot with a badly faded, cheap re-paint. Over the next 4
years, I completed a "rolling restoration"; going through all the
mechanicals and repainting it with never more than one week's down-time for
each operation, since it was my primary (and at times only) transportation.
Modifications from stock were limited to minor suspension tweaks - I added
the steering box, front sway bar and disc brakes from a junked AAR 'Cuda and
front and rear springs from a '70 440+6 Challenger (man, remember when the
good cars were going to the junkyard by the truckload!). I have also
experimented with other rear gears and transmissions, but have always kept
the original stuff.
Throughout the 80's the car was my primary commuting transportation, but was
also used for heavy duty street driving, drag racing, auto-cross, ½ mile
oval drag racing and showing. It performed all those tasks admirably. Due
to other priorities (family, house, grad school, stock car racing) the 'Cuda
saw limited use during the '90's, and it's condition suffered. This winter
however I began prepping it for a complete repaint. I plan on taking more
than a week to paint it this time.
The car is a testament to the engineering excellence of the Mopar engineers.
In mostly stock form, it has proved to be an extremely versatile and
reliable car. It can (and has) blown doors off Chevy's on Saturday's in a
variety of circuits and been a show car on Sunday's, then taken me to work on
Monday. All with style, reliability and extreme competence.