- Former Sony SEMA car
- 6.1 Liter Hemi / 700+ hp
- Built 727 Torqueflite automatic
- Custom Art Morrison chassis
- SSBC four-wheel disc brakes
- 19x8 / 20x12 wheels
- Full custom interior
Just one look at this 1970 'Cuda convertible and you know it's special. Not rare special (although it is one of a kind), but cubic dollars special. Looking through the receipts, it appears that it would take a $300,000 check to duplicate this machine, and based on the fact that every single component in it has been modified in some way, I'm not surprised. Stunning in every way, from the design, to the powerplant, to the gorgeous leather interior, it's really no surprise that Sony chose this vehicle to be the centerpiece of their corporate booth at the SEMA Show. Yeah, Sony could have any car in the world, and they chose THIS one. Prepared to be astonished.
It all started out innocently enough, with a rough 1970 Plymouth Barracuda convertible. It had been beaten and abused, and when construction started, they didn't know just how far they were going to go. Well, it turns out that virtually every panel on the car was replaced, and those panels were scarcely installed out of the box. Instead, each was massaged and customized to create a shape that's definitely 'Cuda, but ever so slightly different at the same time. Of course, all the extraneous trim was shaved, including door handles, mirrors, side marker lights, and anything else that would detract from the clean, flowing profile. Then everything was prepped for show-quality paint, which meant weeks of block sanding, gap-checking, and other tedious work that separates the good cars from the great ones. I don't even have to tell you that the gaps are accurate enough to create feeler gauges using them as a template, or that the crease that runs from headlight to taillight is so straight it could be used to navigate the Pacific. Custom cars at this level aren't just machinery, they're art.
The paint is straight out of the Ferrari catalog, finished in two-stage PPG urethane with a lot of extra metallics and pearls mixed in for good measure. To look good under the lights at SEMA, it has to be more than simply shiny. This one glows. Even the original inspiration, Ferrari itself, doesn't do paint this nice, and ALL their cars cost $300,000. It's mind-boggling how much time this must have taken.
Other custom tricks include tucking the bumpers in tight to the body and painting them body color instead of chrome. The '71 'Cuda grille has been finished in charcoal gray instead of argent silver, and the headlights are crystal clear HID units. The car is completely de-badged, but the tail panel has been painted charcoal gray to match the grille and Shaker hood scoop that fits ever so much tighter to the hood than the originals ever did. The stainless around the windshield and on the rear deck has been retained and polished to show condition, and gives the black canvas top something to attach itself to. Glass is, of course, all new, with a subtle tint that isn't crazy, but just custom enough to look different.
Power for a machine like this had to be amazing, but just throwing in a Hemi crate motor wasn't enough. It started out as a 6.1 liter Hemi out of a 2006 Chrysler, but was torn down and rebuilt with forged internals. The heads were ported and polished, there's a custom cam in the middle, and it was finished in traditional Hemi Orange. A few different induction systems were test-fitted, including a set of way-cool Hillborn-style velocity stacks, but ultimately they settled on a polished 2.8 Kenne Bell supercharger. Known for making big torque and instant boost, you'll find that the boost needle is pegged before you can even get your foot all the way to the floor—THAT's how fast it makes boost. Altogether it makes somewhere north of 700 horsepower at the rear wheels.
The engine wasn't just lowered into a stock engine bay, however. First of all, this car sits on a custom Art Morrison chassis, so the engine was moved back a few inches to improve weight distribution. This is a racer's trick, and it definitely makes a difference. Custom sheetmetal panels were fabricated for the inner fenders and radiator shroud, framing the engine like a piece of art. Painted to match the body, it includes a Mr. Norm's ram's head logo, as well as some custom airbrush work up front. The installation is incredibly sanitary, and you'll definitely want to display this car with the hood open every chance you get.
The transmission is a built 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic, but before you start complaining about the yester-tech transmission, note that it has a Gear Vendors overdrive unit attached behind it. Capable of withstanding more than 1000 horsepower, this was really the only way to get an automatic transmission to survive behind that supercharged Hemi—there's nothing in the Chrysler stable today with more than three gears that can handle it. Operation is invisible, with just the touch of a button to activate it, essentially giving you six forward gears instead of three or four. Nice!
Now about the chassis. I mentioned earlier that the body was sliced and modified, but nowhere is that more apparent than underneath. A full frame has been inserted under this formerly unit-bodied ragtop, a custom Art Morrison piece that allows flat floors and some serious suspension upgrades. The frame and fabricated floors have been finished in matching Ferrari blue paint, but it uses a textured body schutz to protect the steel from nicks and abrasion. Up front, it's all Corvette C5 stuff, with upper and lower A-arms and adjustable coil-over shocks. In back, there's a bulletproof Ford 9-inch housing hanging off a triangulated 4-link setup with more coil-overs and an anti-roll bar. The brakes are monster units from SSBC, sporting cross-drilled 14-inch rotors. For ground clearance, the exhaust system is routed through the frame, giving it a very trick look and an awesome sound thanks to a set of Flowmaster mufflers. Wheels are gigantic custom-made hoops designed just for this car by Modern Muscle and measuring in at 19x8 up front and a mammoth 20x12 in back. The tires are from Michelin, 285/35/19 in front, and gigantic 335/30/20 meats stuffed under the tubbed rear wheelwells.
If you think the body is art, wait until you see the interior. Inspired by the Aston-Martin DBS, it's awash in sumptuous Burnt Orange leather that sizzles against the Ferrari blue paint. There isn't a stock component left in there, from the grippy bucket seats to the custom fabricated console, to the dash full of new Stewart Warner gauges. The entertainment system is, of course, by Sony, and features built-in navigation and a back seat and trunk full of amplifiers and subwoofers. Look at the stitching on the door panels—that's hand craftsmanship the likes of which you just don't see outside of the factory at Crewe, England where they build the Rolls-Royce Phantom. There's keyless ignition, too, so just hit the button and the Hemi roars to life. Overhead there's a thick black canvas convertible top drops neatly into the well behind the passenger compartment, where it's protected by a matching boot.
Documentation is extensive, including a massive build book that shows the entire project from start to finish, showing exactly how much work went into this car. Receipts, manuals, and other important paperwork are also included. Just quickly scanning the receipts, I can see nearly $50,000 spent on the engine alone, another $18,000 on the custom frame, the list goes on and on.
It was only a few weeks ago when I was saying that I think we had discovered the ultimate pro-touring Mopar. In typical fashion, as soon as we make a pronouncement like that, cars like this inevitably show up. Stunning in every regard, masterfully built, and ready to compete, show, drive, and race, this car takes no prisoners. If you're looking for the ultimate pro-built 'Cuda show car, this is it. It's the finest we've seen, but that's only until the next guy steps up and spends $500,000 to build his. Call today!
You May Also Be Interested In
What Customers Are Saying
RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.