Day By Day


  • Pamela

    Is it this one: 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda?

    • Greg B

      We can only hope.

    • nadadhimmi

      Take it from an old 70’s street racer. The 440 Six Packs were easier to keep in tune and usually harder to beat at the lights. The 426’s had to be exactly on, or they weren’t that fast. The 454 Chevelles were insane.

      • Lucius Severus Pertinax

        The 440’s WERE a better street motor than the 426’s. They were much lighter, parts were cheaper and more plentiful.

        However, I truly miss my old ’72 455 Cutlass………

        • Pamela

          May sound weird, but I miss my Olds ’76 Vista Cruiser with the 455.
          Beat a Jaguar and a Ferrari from a standing start at the light to the top of the hill one morning.

          • billf

            I might as well get in on the story-telling,my brothers and I grew up in the late 60’s (what a great time to be a car guy).I had a 68 Cutlass convertible,I took out the small block and put in a hot 455.It would spin the tires as long as you wanted,and before you knew it you were over 100.

          • Freelancer60

            ’71 Satellite Sebrings with 440 Interceptor motors were the choice of police and fire departments for ages, because they were far more dependable and nearly as powerful as the hemis.

            For myself; ’70 Convertible 442 W30. Hurst-blueprinted 455, Rochester six-pack, B&M massaged TH400, 3.23 Posi. It didn’t need a taller rear-end gear, with 465lbs-ft off the line, and man, the top end.

      • RooftopVoter

        Amen to the 440 versus the 426 thing. You were jacking with them ALL the time to keep them at the top, then they still had to be spun like crazy to move.

        That old 440 just pulled like an electric motor, very little muss and fuss, got you in trouble WAY faster than any of us young punks ( at the time 😉 ) realized.

        The only one I liked even more was my 70 GS 455 Stage 1, that thing never lost to much short of a fully built vehicle, way sneaky fast.

  • The_Basseteer

    Or a 65?? Sam, under glass?

  • JTC

    ’65??? That ain’t a Cuda that’s a Valiant!

    Oh well, long as it ain’t pink.

    • JTC

      Plum, maybe:

      $1.3M and still WAY under the record. I’ll be visiting my son in my old W. Palm Beach stomping grounds in a few weeks and might check out the B-J auction, but I don’t think I’ll be picking up any 7-digit muscle cars…but while kicking tires I won’t be able to forget the 440 Challenger a buddy and I bought for $600 way back and chopped up into a dragster, ouch.

        • Pamela

          She’s a nice one Polly Cy. Did you and your Dad replace the wiring harness during the restoration?

          • Polly Cy

            Not sure, Pamela. That’s why “helping” was in quotation marks. He replaced so much, and for most of the early work, I was the most junior of partners. I was six when he started the project, closer to 60 than 50 years ago, so I didn’t understand many of the things he was doing to the car early on and I’ve forgotten a whole lot. I just held what he told me to hold, turn whatever screw he told me to turn, tried not to get burned when things sparked, ducked when tools got thrown around the garage, and learned lots of new words. My brothers were afraid to go out there, but I tried to hang in!) A lot of what I did at that age involved a toothbrush and rust removal. The timing took forever to get right, I remember. And when I say forever I mean years. It had, if I recall correctly, either three or six carburetors. My memory says six, my head says that’s impossible.) By the time I was old enough to understand the mysteries of the internal combustion engine, they and the valve lifters were the major focus. It took forever to get that beast to fire correctly. I left for college before it was done. By the time I was out of grad school and back in the area, most of what he was doing was cosmetic, and I helped some with the body work. Even an over-educated woman can provide mindless manual labor, so I filled and sanded and filled and sanded and filled and sanded…I knew that chassis naked for so long that it never looked right to me wearing paint. He knew better than to ask me to help paint or sew, (the leather seats and back bench had to be redone, but being left handed, the industrial sewing machine he bought was far too expensive to risk in my hands) but as I said, if it was mindless grunt work, he’d let me do it.

  • WayneM

    Pretty hard to sneak in a Cuda…

    • B Woodman

      You’re right. ‘Cuda’s are for making a bold statement.

    • Bill G

      On a place as large as that ranch you could sneak in a tank battalion.
      Come to think of it, DHS probably dreams of being allowed to.

  • B Woodman

    Being sneaky is skill that has saved many a life and ensured many a survival. NOT to be taken lightly.

  • SoCal Stoli

    Wait…they’re taking the pick-up truck that Naomi drove when she went out with her djinn, honey-whomping junior jihadis?

    This could get interesting – and I’ve a feeling that some light’s going to be shed on Travis, too.

    • This definitely has a Wade kicking some raghead ass potential to it.

      • GWB

        Now you’ve got me thinking of a scene or two in Roadhouse………

        • billf

          Hey,a guy that looks like Wade was actually in Roadhouse!!

  • H_B

    I’ve always been more partial to the ’71 Plymouth Roadrunner. Sam could fit in a Barracuda, but she really belongs in a ’74 Charger.

    • H_B

      I just came across this in a discussion forum. Show this to anyone who says “Donald Trump is a closet life-long liberal who is fooling the Republican base and plans to lose to Hillary”:…

      • SteveInCO

        Maybe he doesn’t intend to lose.

        But he sure did give 25 grand to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign. Which makes me wonder what he really thinks and what he really plans to do.

    • nadadhimmi

      It was all screeching to a halt by ’74.

      • H_B

        “It reached its pinnacle in ’74”, you mean =D.

        • eon

          ’74’s from all the marques were…bad. To meet the new Federal CAMPG targets with existing designs, the car makers did tricks like “flat-rating” engines, retarding spark time, etc.

          If you want to see what I mean, check the specs for the Ford 302 V-8 in the Fairlane/Torino line for ’72, ’73, and ’74, or the specs for the 307/305 in the Chevy Camaro for the same years. BHP was halved on both engines in that period, with the sharpest drop being in the ’74. (By ’78, the Camaro was down to 110 BHP on the dyno while claiming a red-hot 130.)

          Generally, when you bought a brand-new ’74, the first thing it needed was a “tune-up” that amounted to new plugs, wiring harness, retiming, etc. And that was just to get the thing to (a) run and (b) accelerate fast enough that when merging from an on-ramp you didn’t get hole-shotted by a Peterbilt. (I was on the road a lot back then, and saw my share of rear-enders due to insufficient oomph in the merge, even at 55.)

          Turbocharging came in a few years later. In the PD shop, our definition of turbocharging was that the manufacturer was tacitly admitting that the engine was too small in displacement and BHP for the weight of the vehicle, usually by about 15-20%. The bill tended to get called due when “turbo lag” in acceleration resulted in a corner-ram from behind, or worse.

          OTOH, the turbos rarely could outrun our 440 Dodges or 455 GMs. Exactly none of which were “factory-spec” after our mechanics got done correcting the errors, so to speak.



          • JTC

            ’74 Gran Torino; at age 20 with two years of union mill wages under my belt and two baby daughters (well, second one born 11/74) already at home, that chocolate metallic 2-dr. with 302, vinyl roof and “opera” windows was my first brand new car ($4600) and it was beautiful.

            But let’s just say my memories of driving a high school girlfriend’s new ’70 Torino Shaker GT bought for her 16th birthday by her rich daddy was not a good indicator of what my experience with my new ’74 tank would be. That thing must have weighed 5000 lbs, about 1000 of that in those giant bumpers mandated that year, along with so much smog gear under the hood that you couldn’t really see the 302 that was in there somewhere. Wouldn’t get out of its own way and got about 8 mpg, just in time for the big Arab Oil Embargo that year. Oh, well at least it kept my babies safe on the road.

            Traded it in ’76 for the swoopy new Chev Monte Carlo in baby blue that wife fell in love with…and it promptly burned a hole in a piston of the impotent little 305 at 1500 miles.

            Yeah, mid-70’s, the dark ages of American Iron and just in time for my car buying days; how the mighty had fallen. Blame gov, but it was mostly Detroit’s own fault for failing to innovate to deal with the new regs while allowing the Japs to eat their lunch…my next new car was a ’79 280ZX and the only problem with it was that I couldn’t keep my petite and trim little blue-eyed blonde 25 year old wife out of it; that and my devolving into a mill rat like the rest of the roughnecks I worked with resulted in us being apart for most of a year…ultimately the best thing that ever happened to us though and this Dec we’ll have our 45th anniversary at age 62.

            One thing that didn’t change is her disdain for American auto nameplates. There are a lot of good US cars now but she won’t have them, so there’s been a series of lexus, bimmers, audi’s and benzes like the little red C300 she has now. Of course my trucks are always American, the F-150 ecoboost I have now is outstanding and amazing in its power, torque, speed, and mpg. Never thought I’d have a full-size truck with a six, but that twin-turbo is awesome.

  • Spin Drift

    Has that thing got a ‘Hemi? I write this watching the first laps of the Haas F1 car in Australia. No ‘merican drivers though, mostly cheese eating Euroweenies. Cars still sound like crap though.

    Cognito Ergo Zoom

    • JTC

      Sebring track is about 6 m from my house and the 12 hrs is sat. Sitting on my patio I can hear them doing night practice, the porsches like angry hornets, the vettes and vipers like locomotives, and the prototypes whining like turbines.

      Haven’t been to the race in a while, the week-long party ain’t my thing anymore and you don’t really see that much racing although there have been a lot of recent improvements on that apparently. I did used to like to see the historical race, things like Polly’s dad’s vintage Ferrari, but in general yeah lots of the eurotrash types. Used to be some guys like McQueen and P. Newman would come to race but it’s now Fittipaldi et al.

      Still some cool history and it brings some bucks to the burg.

      • NotYetInACamp

        I loved going to that race for years. Started as a little kid. As kids a work truck, or van, would have a wood deck added to the steel pipe rack on top of the entire truck. The deck would be parked at a strategic fence and we had the platform to put chairs and watch the race on. We staged out of the family house that was on Lake June in the Winter in Lake Placid just South down US 27. Friends would use our house for before and after activities, including bbq, sleeping, and swimming or boating on the lake. There were many interesting people to be talked with. A friend, with who I had helped tear down and rebuild his early 60’s E type Jaguar Convertible’s V8, and I were talking with someone while watching the cars go through the chicane when we discovered that he had the answer as to whu the engine had some slight smoking after the total rebuild. It had to do with going back and adding a few more steps to seat the rings that was totally unexpected. The guy was a factory jaguar mechanic and knew exactly what we had to add to a normal rebuild of an engine. it was a high performance jaguar, so it needed something extra. Those were good days. It did get to be a zoo there after a while. I remember all of the local groups had their concessions every year. And we all wanted the Corvettes to place better.

        • JTC

          @NYIAC, “we all wanted the Corvettes to place better.”

          Then you and your crew would be happy to know Corvette (to the degree that a Coyote is still a vette) won the overall last year. Of course that and the Ford USCC car that won the year before is mostly due to Factory Audi and Peugeot pulling out their turbo diesel LeMans cars that dominated for over a decade.

        • Spin Drift

          Um, Jaguar never put a “V8” in an early E type only 3.8 and 4.2 liter inline 6’s. The V12 went in in early 70. Please note that I do own an AJS 4.2 liter V8 in my 2005 S Type. It sounds like a big block motorboat through the Borla’s though.

          If you want it to purr, you gotta stroke that kitty.

          P.S. I hope the advice was not to drop a can of Bonami down the carbs.

          • JTC

            That S-Type shared a platform and that AJ-V8 with Ford’s T-Bird and Lincoln’s LS…son had one of the LS models in black, beautiful snazzy car and it was a rocket but had serious engine failure at 60K.

        • Merle

          That Jag had a factory V-8? All the early E-types I ever saw had either a 3.8 or 4.2 liter inline six. ???

      • billf

        JTC,I was just down there a couple weeks ago for the vintage weekend.The early Trans Am cars were featured and there were about 30 Camaros,Mustangs,Cougars ,and Dodges,in original paint schemes.Quite fun to relive those cars.

      • Chris Muir

        Dad and I went to Sebring and Daytona 24hr every year from ’64-76.Never occurred to me to collect the programs or posters,duh.Great Father-Son times, once saw Steve McQueen in the pits(back then it was free,and the wall was ‘2 high) walk past me trailing tape from his broken foot cast when he almost won the race that year.Also the pits before, which were in the air hangar, and you could just walk in and wander around the cars,talk with the drivers…now it’s all commodified, humidified, french-fried, corporate.Blech.

        • JTC

          Chris, if I’d known that I woulda been glad to take you tomorrow and walk you through backstage, all the LEO’s that run security are my acquaintances/customers for many years and they’re always offering me free tix and passes, even an escort into team-only areas. Like you say though it’s very homogenized now and I think there’s only been one American driver (Scott Pruett for Ganassi) among the 3-man winning teams in the last 12 years.

          Still could be a fun half-day (I ain’t staying out there ’til the end, that’s when the party people really let loose)…maybe next year?

          • Chris Muir

            Thanks, but now I watch ’em with my Dad who’s too old to walk around the tracks-bad knees.But your description sure took me back!:)

          • JTC

            Chris, yup…what’s a race…or a football game…without your Dad to watch it with? Haven’t given a shit about the Dolphins since my Dad went Home in ’93…

  • Sam

    Passed my driver’s license test in a late 60s/early 70s ‘Cuda with a six-pack carb and a radical cam. Had to give it enough gas when putting it in gear so as to not kill it but not so much as to squelch the tires. I apparently did okay, since I passed. The friend it belonged to could (and did) do some amazing slalom driving on narrow twisting streets with cars parked on both sides! Glad it was him driving and not me.

    • Pamela

      Passed my drivers test in a ’52 Willys pained green with a white star on the hood. The look on the Testers face was priceless. Dad used it for hunting trips.

  • Tim Moyer

    A sneaky love ‘Cuda is never a bad thing. Can’t wait to see this!

  • NotYetInACamp

    Sneaky as to getting into the vehicle they love to drive.

  • I must say the Challenger of today is a righteous tribute to Kowalski’s car.

  • herdgadfly

    The guy who owns this ’70 Plymouth Hemi Cuda (#1 off the production line) is my barber. He turned down $2.1 million at auction.

  • Bill G

    Sneakiness is not to be confused with slickness.

  • Glenn

    Switching vehicles around like this at the last moment means another feeb hit on the wrong driver/passenger. They have a long hixtory of killing the wrong folks then saying, assuming they bother to say anything, “oops! Their bad foor switching cars without telling us.”

  • JT

    oh yeah.. can only hope it is a 71 hemi Cuda. I learned to drive a stick in one of those. 142 mph in 3rd gear on a 2 lane backroad blacktop and scared to hit 4th because the car jumped a foot to the right when speed shifted. I was only 16 and had driven less than 10k miles in my life. Fun times
    Thanks for stirring up those memories Chris.

  • SheepDog

    I learned to drive in a 73 Plymouth Fury Golden Commando with an over bored Hemi. Even ran it at the Drag Strip. But, they wouldn’t let me take my driving test in it. The officer there in Chattanooga just kept walking around it and mumbling to himself about wanting to take it out for test drive himself. With all the stuff we did to it, I don’t know how it remained street legal. But that was a long time ago too.

  • SheepDog

    My error, it was a 63 not a 73. Fat fingers strikes yet again.

  • RooftopVoter

    SheepDog, if it was a 63 it had to be a 426 Wedge car, doubt it was the Max Wedge, but possible.

    Love them old BB Dodges.

    • Pecan Scandi

      Better stay away from Copperhead Road.

    • SheepDog

      As best I can recall it was a 63 Golden Commando II. My friend owned it and his dad had a trucking dealership and overhaul shop. I don’t remember if it was a Mack dealership or one of the other big names. He bought it new and brought it into the shop. They also worked on dragsters at the shop. I watched Don Kallita (sp) run his motorcycle with the Ford V-8 in it, at the drag strip in those days. They reworked the Hemi and stripped out most of the interior of the car, really lightened it up. He had 11″ slicks on the back. After all that, we had to add a chute to the back to slow it down before we ran out of pavement, when we raced it on the 1/4 mile. With the cutouts open you could hear it a mile away when he got on it. I still don’t know how it was street legal. The police wouldn’t chase him on the freeway, when two of them passed a patrol car, racing. They’d just drive over to his house and wait there, to hand him the ticket. I’ve topped 160 mph in it personally, and it had room to go. Never drove my 97 Taurus SHO over 140 mph. But, most of that was a long time ago, some of it, a long long time ago.

  • eon

    I took my driver’s test in a ’63 Buick LeSabre, 410 CID 4-barrel, ex-Michigan State Police. The examiner didn’t make me parallel-park; he said that if I could get out of a parking space with the beast (which I did), he granted that I could get into it to begin with.

    He also stated that if I could accelerate onto a four-lane up a ramp with it without hitting the kickdown and having it go “machbusting”(which, again, I did), he figured I knew what I was doing.

    I never did figure out exactly what its top end was. Except that it could “double the double nickel” without breathing hard. Not bad for 4,400 pounds of four-door.

    I had that monster until a would-be drag-racer lost control coming over a rise north of my then domicile, skidded 270 feet mostly sideways, went over a sapling, up into my yard, hit the LeSabre, and knocked it 20 feet backward when it was in park. Totaled its drivetrain and front end. With a ’75 Duster 6-cylinder, no less. Cashed the check with his left front fender.

    He even drove the Duster home. Well, his dad, my butcher, did. Tough little car.



    • Old Codger

      That Duster probably had a 225 slant 6 with a split duce carb. Rated at 210 hp and 230 lb/ft of torque. The slant six was like half a V-12. The split duce carb worked like half a quad. If you kep your foot out of it it worked like a modest single bbl. If you punched it the secondary opened up an it was big enough to drop a silver dollar into. My first car was a 62 Lancer with a slant six. You could goose it in neutral and the right side would dip – torque rolls. Hell of the line but no super great top speed (although I did, on occasion, keep the speedo on the peg – only went to 110) At speeds above 70 it drank gas. Had to stop at least once maybe twice for gas on a 400 mile trip.

  • Uffdaphil

    In 1965-66 a local firm advertised 427 AC Cobras for lease. I didn’t quite get the concept. Guy on the phone got a good laugh at this teenager wanting to “lease” one for a weekend.

  • Pamela

    What I want to know if it is painted PINK, or maybe painted something along the Chameleon lines. Or some vapor flames for accents.

    As long as there isn’t one of those bouncy headed dogs in the back window, it’s cool.

  • steveb919

    Ah the memories of 1969. At the time I was the proud owner of a 1969 Mustang convertible (302 with 3 on the floor.) Also a 1957 Thunderbird (312 automatic) with the removable hardtop. Topped out a 138 by the speedo. To round it out a 1957 lincoln Landau ( forgot the cubic inches but it was huge) and cruise down the Interstate 95 at a 140 if I wanted. Not bad for a single Tsgt in 1969. Then I got married in 1970. The rest is as they say is history.

  • dg

    Had a herd of ‘stangs. 72 Mach 1 (351 Cleveland), 67 fastback with 427, factory Hurst and tri-Y headers, 68 Cougar, 70 coupe… Wish I still had them. Can you spell “Speed?” and “ticket” and “insurance”. Oh my.

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