While most of us simply hang out at the track on grudge nights, Brooklyn, Minnesota's John Foster grew up at the racetrack ... literally. John's mother and father were the general managers of the now-defunct Minnesota Dragway, which was one of the most highly regarded NHRA racing facilities of its time. This gave John firsthand experience with the sport and even allowed him to hang out with many of the Midwest's top racers, including the late Pro Stock racer John Hagen and his Hemi Barracuda.
Hagen encouraged John's enthusiasm and became one of the biggest influences in sparking his interest in early '70s 'Cudas. It wasn't until years later that the perfect opportunity came along to build his ultimate street machine. A buddy of Foster's sent him a newspaper ad for a '70 Plymouth 'Cuda out of Sioux City, Nebraska, and after several weeks of careful consideration, he finally plunked down the coin and drove it home.
Although the car was in fair shape, John was after a specific look, a certain amount of horsepower, and even an exact sound. With the concept in mind, John enlisted his father as project manager and had Bob Fults of C&F Race Cars help them reach their goals. Four years later, John had exactly what he had envisioned. Unfortunately, both his mother and father passed away shortly after the 'Cuda's completion. Since then, John's impeccable '70 'Cuda has become more than a simple weekend cruiser-it's a permanent reminder of the happy times of his youth.
Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: What do you like best about the car?
John Foster: It's a real cruiser. The motor is about as extreme as you can get for a street car. And even though the gas mileage is terrible at 3 to 4 miles per gallon, it never runs hotter than 170 degrees, and it's a blast to drive.
CC: Are you planning any additional modifications?
JF: Honestly, it's taken longer to build and cost twice as much as we originally anticipated, so we're just glad to have it complete and to be able to enjoy it.
CC: Have you had the opportunity to run it down the dragstrip yet?
JF: Not yet, but we do intend to. Between the power, weight, gears, and converter, we expect to dip deep into the 10s at around 130 mph.
Car: '70 Plymouth 'Cuda
Owner: John and Paula Foster, Brooklyn, Minnesota
Engine: 496ci big-block (stroked 440)
Heads: Ported cast-iron Chrysler 906, 2.25/1.81-inch intake/exhaust valves, 1.5:1 Indy roller rockers
Induction: Indy single-plane, Dominator adaptor with Holley 1,050-cfm carb
Camshaft: UltraDyne flat-tappet, 309/284 degrees duration at 0.050-inch lift, 0.613/0.635-inch lift
Transmission: Chrysler 727, TCI 10-inch 4,000-stall converter
Rearend: Dana 60, 4.56:1 gears, Strange Engineering axles
Front suspension: Stock, with Energy Suspension bushings, Monroe shocks
Rear suspension: C&F Race Cars 4130 chromoly four-link with Koni coilovers
Brakes: Wilwood 11-inch discs, front; Wilwood 12-inch discs, rear
Wheels and tires: 15x5 Weld Racing Aluma Stars with 28x7.50-15 Mickey Thompson front runners, front; 15x14 Weld Racing Aluma Stars with 31x18.50-15 Hoosier Quick Times, rear
Paint: Sikkens Urethane Lemon Yellow by Maple Grove Auto Body in Maple Grove, Minnesota
Cost to build: Big bucks