NST 'Cuda, 2015 Sherwin Williams SEMA show car, A/C, 392 Hemi 525HP, pro-touring

Price: US $159,900.00 Item location: Macedonia, Ohio, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Plymouth
  • Model: Barracuda
  • SubModel: Hemi 'Cuda
  • Type: Coupe
  • Year: 1970
  • Mileage: 499
  • VIN: BH23G0E103306
  • Color: Purple
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Air Conditioning
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Interior color: Black
  • Options: CD Player
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1970 Plymouth Barracuda Hemi 'Cuda

In this business, ou see a lot of custom cars and talk to a lot of custom car owners and builders. I was personally involved in the construction of a lot of really fast Corvettes and part of the team that helped start the Pro-Touring movement. I mention all this because there’s one thing I’ve noticed: every guy who builds a custom car wants something radical, omething they can point at and say, ldquo;1000 horsepower,” or something like that. Then they get in, rive it three miles home at 35 MPH and park it until next week. My point is, veryone is building extraordinary cars that barely work as cars just so they can have the bragging rights that come with a dyno sheet.

This stunning 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda is the antidote for over-built, nder-used Pro-Touring builds. Yes, t’s got plenty of power (525 horsepower or thereabouts), ut it’s also comfortable, eliable, mooth, uiet, nd insanely capable. It was built by the pros at Bair Customs specifically to take the stage at the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas, nd as the centerpiece of the Sherwin-Williams paint display, ou know the bodywork and final finish are mind-bendingly beautiful. Having driven a lot (A LOT) of custom cars, will say right now that I’ve never driven a vintage car that’s as accessible and user-friendly as this one, specially not one that will run with the fastest modern hardware you can buy.

The paint is called “Purple Haze,” a custom blend that Sherwin-Williams mixed up at the behest of Jason Bair. They started with an off-the-shelf color from the standard paint catalog, ut blacked it out a bit, ntending to make the car look black until you were right up on it in the sunlight. The effect is stunning, nd everyone who sees it in our showroom, ven under the bright lights, oes a double take and says, ldquo;Wait a minute, hat’s not black!” It’s very, ery cool. In fact, t’s so cool that the guys at Sherwin-Williams have added it to their catalog, o expect to see it on a bunch of rods next summer.

Of course, eeing as it was going to showcase Sherwin-Williams paint at the biggest automotive trade show on the planet, hey couldn’t spray it on any old car. No, ason and his crew took an already finished, igh-end 1970 ‘Cuda that was probably an $80,000 car as it sat, nd tore it down to a bare shell. The sheetmetal was already excellent, ut they dipped it, tripped it, nd blocked it to make it worthy of all those critical eyeballs that would be crawling over it in Vegas. I’ve been doing this a long time, ’ve seen some pretty impressive cars, nd this might just be the best bodywork I’ve ever seen. There’s not a ripple or wave anywhere on the car. The gaps are exact. And that paint, ell, ust look at the reflections in its surface to get the story. A huge amount of time and effort was invested in getting it to look like that, ecause even good sheetmetal doesn’t look like that without tons of block sanding, ut the results speak for themselves. It’s two-stage urethane, o no worries about maintaining it and it’s plenty durable enough to be driven all the time. In fact, ason himself drove it to our shop from Ft. Wayne, ndiana. This is a show car that was built to drive.

Once the paint was dry, hey installed a bunch of traditional ‘Cuda styling details, ncluding the HEMI hockey sticks in satin black, o they are visible, ut subtle. The bumpers were painted body color, o they blend in nicely, nd the stainless trim around the windows was retained just to add some contrast. Up front, standard ‘Cuda grille gives it a cool look with those red inserts, nd the headlights are killer HID lamps that light up the road like Wrigley Field. There’s a correct deck lid spoiler, pair of mini spoilers on the chin, omplements of an AAR ‘Cuda, nd some LED taillights that look pretty stock until you step on the brake. You’ll also note a special badge on the tail that reads ‘NST ‘Cuda.’ NST has two meanings: it was the license plate on the donor car (NSTCUDA = NASTY CUDA), ut today it stands for New School Technology, ignaling that this car uses all the technological advancements that the past 45 years have brought us. It also means that the HEMI badges are well-earned.

Inside, hey added just enough tech to make it ready for duty in 2016 but without erasing the inherent goodness of the original design. Chrysler designers had five years to perfect their pony car, nd they really nailed it inside. With that in mind, nly the front seats were replaced with body-hugging buckets that are better suited to the car’s newly-found cornering abilities. Those new seats were re-upholstered to match the original materials, sing textured vinyl inserts that match the back seats almost perfectly, nd of course, hings like the door panels, arpets, nd headliner are brand new. A tilt steering column with a custom steering wheel (complete with NST ‘Cuda emblem in the center) adds to the racy feel and up-to-date performance. The original Rallye gauges were yanked in favor of a new carbon fiber insert and a full array of Auto Meter dials which are not only more accurate, ut simply drop-dead gorgeous, articularly at night. Vintage Air supplied an A/C system that chills the interior effortlessly and there’s more carbon fiber on the center console, p to and including the trick pistol-grip shifter. And yes, t does have a killer entertainment system, n Alpine AM/FM/CD/iPod/satellite setup that sounds great thanks to acres of hush mat installed throughout the interior, aking this a car that seals up as well as a modern piece and is tight and rattle-free on the road. Impressive for any car of this age. The trunk is fully finished with custom bulkheads to dress it up and hide the inner workings, ncluding the battery and stereo equipment.

If you think you need an old-school Hemi to make horsepower, uess again, ecause I’ll put my money on this built 392-inch fuel-injected Gen III mill every time. Built by the experts at Bouchillion Performance, t twists out a rather civilized 525 horsepower on pump gas, nd that’s real horsepower that you can use, ot dyno sheet horsepower that only works in a test cell. Turn the key and the factory-style fuel injection system lights the fires instantly without any prodding—it’s a lot of fun to simply stand next to the car, each in, urn the key, nd have it light off perfectly every time. The guys at Bouchillion use their own ignition system with individual coil packs and a special tune inside the black box ensures that it drives like you just bought it from the Chrysler dealer down the street. As many OEM parts were used as possible, ust to ensure reliability and easy service, nd it certainly does look like the factory was building fuel-injected Hemi ‘Cudas in 1970, oesn’t it? Up front there’s a custom serpentine belt drive for the accessories, air added a special intake, ut otherwise it should look very familiar, nd that was entirely the point. You’ll note that this all-aluminum powerplant was actually painted Hemi Orange to add a little bit of contrast in the engine bay that’s also a nod to tradition. There’s a giant aluminum radiator up front, ooled by twin electric fans that are completely autonomous, nd they spent extra time getting all the plumbing and wiring out of sight. The firewall and inner fenders were smoothed and finished to the same high standards as the rest of the body, nd the hood itself has a real Hemi Shaker hood scoop grafted on, ust because we love the look.

Transmission is a built 545RFE Chrysler 5-speed automatic, nd before all you Nancys out there who say that a real car needs a manual transmission, ome and try this one on for size. It’s ten times faster than you were on your best day—about the time you’re thinking about mashing the throttle, t’s already dropped down a gear, nd before you can get your foot on the floor, t’s dropped down two, o the car rockets forward like it has a JATO rocket strapped to the bumper. Yeah, t’s really friggin’ fast, o fast you’ll never miss that cranky old 4-speed and again, uch more in tune with what people want. Guys SAY they want a 4-speed but I bet that once you drive this one and put it in your collection, t’ll be your weapon of choice whenever you simply want to drive. The sucker just works.

That slick-shifting gearbox is linked to a built Dana 60 rear end with 3.55 gears and a Sure Grip limited slip, ll from Scott’s Driveline. Up front, here’s a complete Reilly Motorsports AlterKtion K-member with tubular A-arms and coil-over shocks, ully adjustable of course. In back, eilly supplied a Street Lynx 4-link, gain with double-adjustable coil-over shocks. Long-tube headers feed a full TTI exhaust with reasonable-sounding mufflers (again, his is a car you’re really going to want to drive) and the entire underside was treated with a textured protective coating that’s durable and easy to maintain so it’ll look this good for years to come. Front brakes are top-of-the-line Wilwood Superlite 14-inch discs squeezed by 6-piston calipers, hile out back you get another set of 14s with 4-piston calipers, ll powered by a Hydratech hydro-boost system with a CPP master cylinder. Of course, ower steering is part of the deal, nd without a 600-pound iron elephant motor over the front end, his ‘Cuda snaps around corners like a sports car. And just for a little contrast, he guys at Boze Wheels whipped up a set of beautiful polished aluminum wheels just for this car, easuring 18x8 up front and 19x10 in back. Rubber is from Mickey Thompson with 245/40/18s up front and giant 305/35/19 drag radials out back, nd you’ll note that there’s exactly zero rubbing or interference issues even with those giant meats. Nice!

Think of this car as a paradigm shift. There are guys who think the old school is the best school, nd they can keep driving their 60-year-old tech with finicky adjustable valves and sticky carburetors and cold start issues. But if you’re the guy who understands that static hardware at a car show isn’t the end of the game, hen the NST ‘Cuda is a better choice. It’s got the power of an old-school Hemi, ut the usability, ttitude, nd extraordinary performance will shock you. Nobody wants to drive a carbureted, -speed, rum brake muscle car every day. With the NST ‘Cuda, t’s not only possible, ut likely, ecause you’ll never want to get out of the driver’s seat. It just works.