This is the 'Cuda that came home. A lot of hobbyists here in the states don't like to see fine American muscle leave our shores for foreign shores and understandably so. Back in 1981, a Mopar enthusiast in Switzerland purchased this 41,000 actual mile Vitamin C V-code 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda from a dealer in Chicago, intending to do a complete restoration on the car. 26 years later, the 'Cuda sat in his garage gathering dust. Spotting our award-winning Curious Yellow 1971 HemiCuda convertible tribute car, he contacted us and a deal was struck, with the 'Cuda coming back to the US in trade.
When we took the 'Cuda out of the container, we were expecting a basket case. We were pleasantly surprised to find a super-clean car, with all of its original sheet-metal. Another customer spotted the car, a deal was struck, and a full-bore rotisserie restoration commenced. 18 months later, here she is: ready to rock the streets of the country she was born in, yet again.
Flawlessly restored with a fortune's worth of original and NOS parts, the first thing that you notice is the color: Vitamin C orange. While we've had Hemi Orange Chargers and Daytonas and Super Bees and Road Runners, most of the 'Cudas seem to be Plum Crazy or some shade of blue. So seeing orange on an E-body is kind of a new combination for me, and it looks spectacular, especially without the ubiquitous vinyl top. Then there's the fact that it's a 440 six pack car, not a Hemi clone, which is a nice change of pace. Different is good, and a good-running 440 Six-Pack will run neck-and-neck with a Hemi for a lot less money. I like that, too. They didn't stick a big, black Go-Wing on the back, either - thank you! And finally, there's a black interior, not white. You'd think orange on black would make for a real Great Pumpkin of a car, but you'd be wrong. It looks sinister, actually, as if the Great Pumpkin came back from the dead with a thirst for blood or something. I love this car.
Here's how the fender tag breaks down:
E87 440-6 barrel high-performance engine
D21 Heavy-duty 4-speed manual transmission
EK2 Go-Mango / Vitamin-C Orange
H6X9 Black high back bucket seats
316 Date Built: 3 / 16 / 1970
EK2 Roof Type
OR Color: Go-Mango / Vitamin C Orange
A33 3.54:1 Dana 60 Track Package
A62 Rallye Instrument Cluster
C55 Bucket Seats
G33 Left Hand Outside Mirror - Manual / Chrome
J45 Hood Tie Down Pins
M88 Quarter Panel Tape Treatment
N41 Dual Exhaust w/o Tips
N42 Chrome Dual Exhaust Tips
N96 Fresh Air Hood
R11 Music Master Radio AM
V6X Black Longitude Sports Stripe
Yeah, short of the uber-rare 2-tag cars I've seen, this one is as loaded up as a 'Cuda can be. The sharp-eyed among you will also note that it has the H31 rear window defogger, which isn't listed on the tag, but would definitely have been listed on the broadcast sheet. The color combination is original, the 440 Six-Pack motor is a date-coded block that is just like the original, and the 4-speed manual transmission is original to the car. Out back, there's a Dana 60 stuffed with 3.54 gears and a Sure Grip limited slip, just like when it was new.
Just look at that gorgeous body restored by Classic Car Creations. It is every bit as nice as the pictures make it appear. Body gaps are excellent, prep work is outstanding, and the paint is virtually flawless. Look again at the reflections in the photos and see how straight they are, how there are no distortions or waves. THAT is some seriously nice work. The 2-stage paint looks killer, and it was wet-sanded and buffed to look like the surface of a mirror. The body panels have been expertly repaired, but other than a patch in the trunk, it's 100% OEM steel throughout, even the floors and quarters. For these cars, that's just flat-out amazing. The rest of the trim on the car is first-rate, too. The chrome on the bumpers is definitely new, and they look better than new. All the stainless has taken a trip past a buffing wheel, and the emblems front and back are brand-new reproductions. The grille has been restored, and features the same glittering argent silver paint as the giant Shaker-style hood scoop on top of the Six -Pack. Lenses and headlights are excellent, too.
Under the hood, there's a very well detailed engine bay housing a date-code correct 440 cubic inch V8 topped by the Six Pack induction system and the Shaker hood scoop, topped by a date code correct manifold and date code correct carbs. The engine has been properly prepped and painted, including things like the battery cables which received their requisite dose of overspray. The hoses are date-coded with correct spring clamps, and a Group 27 red cap battery provides the juice. The exhaust manifolds look like they just popped out of the casting mold and suggest that this car has not been driven any distance at all since it was restored. About the only thing I can find that isn't quite right is the generic Fram oil filter underneath, but that's an easy fix - in fact, it will be fixed by the time you read this!
The engine is backed by the car's original A833 4-speed manual transmission feeding the original Dana 60 Track Pack rear end full of 3.54 gears and a Sure Grip limited slip. And while you're looking at those items, take a moment to admire the overspray on the floors, the detailing on the front suspension, and the all-new exhaust system, all of which exactly replicate the way the factory did it. I'm pleased that we're starting to see a trend away from over-restored cars with glossy floors that need to be washed and waxed like the body. These cars weren't flawless when they were new, if you want to restore it properly, duplicating flaws is part of the process. Big props to the guys who did this car, because they knew where to draw the line and how to make it look right. Besides, I'll always believe that an undercarriage with varying hues, finishes, colors and textures is A LOT more interesting to look at than one that has been smoothed, polished and buffed to glossy perfection. I'm glad to see I'm not alone.
Rolling stock consists of a set of new 14-inch Rallye wheels carrying reproduction Goodyear F70-14 Polyglas tires.
Inside, the interior is beautiful, and I spent some time sitting behind the wheel just soaking up the car's atmosphere (I tend to do this with the ones I really like). Obviously the door panels, seats, carpets and headliner are new, and most of the dash has been restored. The wood appliqué on the dash face appears to be a nice original piece, and it's stuffed with rebuilt gauges. There's no console, but the pistol-grip shifter falls right to hand, and the wood on it, as well as on the wheel, is better looking than in any other 'Cuda I've seen, maybe too nice. The Music Master AM radio still does its thing, and in all, this is what you would have gotten were you the original owner back in 1970. Just get in, turn the key, and enjoy.
Take a look at our selection of 'Cudas, and tell me if this one doesn't talk to you, too. If you figure out what it's saying, let me know, but in the mean time, remember that this is a fully restored car that is very correct in every way. You can drive it, show it, and even take home some trophies with it - it's that nice. The workmanship is excellent, and all the dates, codes and tag information lines up, making this a no-excuses car. While I'm not certain about production numbers on Vitamin-C paint, I'm betting this is not a car you're going to see at every show, so if you're into the slightly unusual, this might be your thing. And it's definitely your thing if you're into going fast - not many cars do that better than a big block 'Cuda. Best of all, this 'Cuda is a world traveler, and it's come home in style. Where will she end up next?
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