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1970 Plymouth 'Cuda Convertible - Oh So Clean

Check out this stock muscle car that's anything other than boring.

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After Trisnan had the 'Cuda for a while, he started to notice what it means to be driving this kind of car. "I think Mopar guys just get it," says Chris. "The English cars have prestige like the Bentley, etc., but never the colors and style of the American cars. The Hemi was at the top of the heap. Guys who recognize these cars understand the design and the feel of the '70s. I liked the '60s and '70s era; the style was an in-your-face blend of loud color and high performance. We observed it from England, and the English always looked at the American car market as something to be admired. We had nothing like the American cars back then. Now I just look at the car and think, Man, they had it together back then." Now-adays when Chris drives the convertible 383-powered 'Cuda, he gets a new kind of respect. "I can accidentally cut people off and they will still give me the thumbs-up."

Just because he bought an original car with only 85,000 miles on it doesn't mean it didn't need work. Lucky for him, he met Grant May at the Spring Fling Mopar show in SoCal while he was asking a guy whether or not a Rim-Blo steering wheel would fit the car. The vendor said it would, but Grant overheard the conversation and cut in to say it wasn't right for the car. Because Grant was from New Zealand he spoke with an English lilt. The accent and a visit to his shop to eyeball his work ethic cemented the friendship. "His spanners were all lined up, and the shop was spotless," says Chris. Grant talked Chris out of changes to the car that would have ruined the value. Working from a shop on a three-acre spread in California, Grant began to tweak the car, starting with a tune-up. Then the interior was stripped down and rebuilt using mostly original parts, which were refurbished. It's not easy to find convertible 'Cuda parts, so what wasn't available, Grant restored to look like new. "It is an expensive hobby, but if you want it right you need to pay the money," Chris laments.

After Chris had been exposed to the E-Body, he started looking around at others. "I would pay extra for a car that was numbers-matching and restore it rather than change the car to something that wasn't on the showroom floor," he says. In another fit of luck, Chris found a car with wilder graphics and the big engine he always wanted. It was a '70 Challenger R/T with a 440 Six-Pak engine. "I've always liked the way cars came off the production line. I like the big horsepower too, but it has to be an original car. The big draw for the Challenger is the paint combination, and the big engine is the bonus." To restore this car, Chris is going to go crazy: "The new car is Sublime Green, and I am willing to drive out of the state to secure a gallon of the correct paint."

As Chris transforms into a Mopar guy, he's picked up car-guy bad habits and also collected a '70 Charger. It is also a 440-powered car, painted Plum Crazy purple with a white interior. He says it's all there and is an original unmolested car--how could he refuse? He confides that he has the three cars he believes are the crme de la crme of the Mopar world, and he is done buying muscle because there's nothing else that appeals to him--except a Hemi, of course.

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