RKM Built Hemi 'Cuda Convertible 6.1 Liter SRT8 5 Speed
- *RK Motors Design/Build
- *Arrington Racing 6.1L Hemi
- *Tremec TKO500 5-speed
- *SSBC four-wheel disc brakes
- *Dana 60 / 3.54 gears
- *Power rack and pinion
- *Tubular upper/lower control arms
- *Air conditioning
- *Fully sorted
Modern underpinnings and a classic shape—that's the recipe for Pro Touring. Well, if you're going to go, you might as well go all out, and we did that here: This is a true triple black 1971 Barracuda convertible with an Arrington Racing 6.1 liter Hemi, a TREMEC TKO500 transmission, four wheel disc brakes, an RMS front suspension, and a Dana 60 rear end. Expertly sorted, drivable beyond belief and VERY fast, this reborn Hemicuda Convertible is set to tear up any street you care to throw at it.
Someone really did order this car in triple black (TX9 body, TX9 interior, V3X black top.) We even have its original Chrysler Corporation broadcast sheet and fender tag to prove it. The car originally came with buckets and console, the light package and the basic group. This one left Hamtramck with a 318 and an automatic, but we went ahead and remedied that!
Rather than get the tried-and-true 426 crate engine everyone else has, we went out and purchased an Arrington Performance 6.1 Liter SRT-8 Hemi, with Arrington-calibrated EFI from FAST. With 535hp on tap we have enough power to keep up with just about anything, with much better reliability than any old carbureted mill. Arrington Engines even stands behind their motors with a three year/36,000 mile warranty. Imagine trying to finagle that out of Chrysler on one of the Chinese built HEMI crate engines. We built this car to drive…anywhere you want, anytime you want. Drive it to work, drive it to the Dairy Queen, take it on the Power Tour ... whatever you do-just drive it! This car starts promptly, idles for long periods in traffic without overheating, and fries the tires upon command—trust us!
The shaker hood was a must, as it's easily the coolest option you could order for an E body. The SRT intake doesn't point straight up, though, so we had to do something different to get the look. We ended up custom fabricating a shaker hood assembly that bolts to the hood itself. That surprises the heck out of people when we raise the hood! Back underneath a new Sinister Pulley Systems serpentine system is up front, working with the Vintage Air setup. We needed the HEMI to stay cool, so we threw in a beefy four core Be Cool radiator with a cooling fan that kicks in automatically at 180 degrees. We threw on a pusher fan on the condenser as well for those especially hot days—this is a black car, after all!
Al black is cool, but more black is even cooler! We installed HEMI billboard decals (we went through three sets to get them perfect) and purchase a set of Gene Gregory rubber bumpers and painted them to match. The body was repainted no less than three times because Joe Carroll can't stand any imperfections (the last repaint was done 200 miles ago). We restored a correct color-keyed grill, using all of the correct finishes. And hey, you have to have a correct reproduction 1971 Go Wing! We just purchased an NOS 1971 Go Wing. If you are interested, we'd be happy to install it on the car.
So that we can see clearly at 145 MPH, we put in a brand spanking new PPG tinted windshield, and since the windshield was out, we buffed all of the windshield trim had all of the stainless polished. We removed the convertible top frame and mechanisms, blasted and painted them before installing a new black Legendary top, along with a new black vinyl convertible top boot. We got all of the chrome redone or replaced with high quality reproduction pieces.
For wheels & tires, who wants to see another boring set of Rallye wheels with BFGoodrich Radial T/A's on a Pro Touring car? Not us: We purchased a set 17X7 American Racing Shelby Legend Series Torq Thrust Type M wheels, gloss black with machined lip and mated them to fat Kumho Ecsta meats, 235/45/ZR17s up front and 255/50ZR17s in the rear (you gotta have that slightly raked look!) We'd figure that with this combo, we'd upset both the Mopar and the Ford purists! Of course, we took off the Shelby center caps and paint them…black, of course!
Shift to the chassis. With a modern engine like a 6.1 Liter HEMI, you can't just throw in an old four speed…you'd need an all around great box like the Tremec TKO500 5 speed with its hydraulic clutch like the one here. To keep things looking right, we installed a new Pistol Grip shifter in the center console…we figured that was mandatory! With the 5th gear in this 'Cuda, is 190 possible??? With all that fast, this baby has to STOP fast, too! For braking, we installed a Wilwood 4 piston front disc brake setup, fed by an SSBC master cylinder and power brake booster. Coupled with the disc brakes on the rear of the brand new Strange Dana 60 allows us to stop in a hurry, time and again.
For handling, we spec'd out a brand new RMS Fabrication AlterKation bolt in sub-frame/K-member replacement, complete with power rack & pinion steering, tubular upper & lower control arms, and QA1 coil-over adjustable gas shocks. If you've never ridden in an old Mopar with a setup like this you have NO point of comparison for how good this system is! The Strange Engineering Dana 60 out back sports 3.54 gears and is an all-new unit from axles to gears to the housing. We don't mess around! We finished off the package with a new fuel tank, new stainless steel fuel lines, new stainless steel brake lines, new hoses and everything else you'd expect on a fully restored car.
Moving on to the interior, we would want to maintain a stock appearing car, with some essential upgrades. Of course, we replaced the original carpeting with new rugs from ACC, along with new sound deadener and carpet mats. New door and kick panels, new sun visors, sill plates, door handles, restored dash pad…the works! An ultra-cool wood rim-blow steering wheel, perfectly restored, is here, matching right up with the Pistol Grip in the console! You can't have vinyl seats in a car like this, so we purchased new leather seat covers and seat foams from Legendary and have the seats redone from top to bottom, including the seat tracks and mounting hardware. It's uncanny how the black leather seat material matches the shade of the black billboard stripes, almost exactly! While we were at it, we installed a brand new set of one-year-only 1971 'Cuda convertible seat belts from BE/A. Now for the upgrades—this car was built to drive, and you have to have tunes! A nice Alpine AM/FM/CD/IPOD stereo with four JL Audio speakers, tastefully mounted in the doors and rear panels fills the bill nicely. So you're up to speed with what's going on with the engine room we installed an XV Motorsports gauge housing and stocked it with Auto Meter Phantom gauges (speedometer, tachometer, voltage water temperature, oil pressure and fuel level. The dash is finished off with a complete Vintage Air climate control System with in-dash, factory appearing controls. Last but not least, we completed our modern enhancements with a full power window setup. After all, what if it starts to rain when you're on the Tour????? You'd have to get those windows up in a hurry!
We're all done…just imagine this car…triple black, leather seats, black billboards, really hot wheels: This is one incredible ride! Taking it to a car show causes people to part like Moses at the red sea. Crowds flock to this car wherever it goes because it's something that's unique, ultra-cool, and outruns the new Challengers, not to mention the old ones! This Hemicuda is the best of the old and the best of the new, and a real hot rod, in every sense of the word!
Now the all important question: How does it drive? Well, let me tell you exactly how it drives…at least five times better than any stock E body, ever! The engine starts with a turn of the key and idles like it can go on all day and yawn while you wait forever for the plugs to foul. On its maiden voyage, the Hemicuda pulled into the local Burger King and sat in 88 degree weather, at idle, with the A/C on, for a full 15 minutes. The temperature gauge never went over 182 degrees! The fast revving 6.1 Liter STR8 HEMI has more power than you could ever ask for on the street, the TKO with its hydraulic clutch and slick shifter is a vast improvement over stock…sharp, crisp shifts, with immediate response.
If you are looking for the ultimate nice weather toy and don't want to spend $250K with our restoration shop on a custom build, this is your car. Looking for attention? This 1971 Plymouth Hemicuda Convertible is shock & awe wrapped up in triple black! If you watched our last one sell earlier this year faster than a bullet, you'll jump on this one while you can. Call now!
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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.