This stunning 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda took Best Street Machine at the Triple Crown of Rodding event.
The event was hosted by Shades of the Past Car Club in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and held within the 34th Annual Hot Rod Roundup.
The owner of this Cuda is Casey Hornik while the builder is Zach Ingram at Z Rodz and Customs. The story begins with Zach finding the prime-year Plymouth stuffed in a semi-trailer in a salvage yard. It was then in a very bad shape. It was rusted, very much rusted. This car would have never been whole if hadn’t been entrusted to the right people. You need the right hands to put a car body back together panel by panel.
This process requires carefulness since it isn’t done right, the fenders, doors, and quarter-panels won’t fit in. But this doesn’t even begin to cover the extreme process that Z Rodz and Customs undertook to make this wonderful body-on-frame configuration.
The car builders Zach Ingram and Alan Johnson took two out of the three prestigious honors in the Street Rodder Triple Crown of Rodding—entailing the Best Street Machine, Best Street Cruiser, and Best Street Rod awards. The chassis is the new (AME) Art Morrison Enterprises Max G on mandrel-shaped 2×4-inch rails that highlight the company’s latest design, and a dropped steering arm that operates Corvette C6 spindles deciphers more engine clearance with a lower center of gravity.
After cutting out the entire stock floor pan with its boxed support structures beneath and inner fender wells the next step was hanging Auto Metal Direct (AMD) quarter-panels, roof, front fenders, trunk floor and trunk lid into place.
Sticking to the concept illustration penned by Problem Child Kustoms’ Brian Stupski, Zach formed a detail line in the roof, created Barracuda gills on the front fenders and notched the quarters for door-release buttons. It’s a tossup that between the custom-made tail panel, the custom-fabricated hood with 1970 Charger insets or the 1971 Dodge Charger RT SE Digi-Tails taillights. The stock 1970 ’Cuda front bumper was also modified and one-off grille was mounted between Oracle Halo headlights. The AM Hot Rod Glass of Fontana, California made the flush-mount acrylic windshield and rear windows.
The car came out from the factory in Alpine White, but then Zach repainted it Viper White using PPG products. The final touch was a complete color sand and rub. Stupski designed the interior and after the folks at John Mayer at Ogden Top & Trim of Berwyn, Illinois, put it to gray. Between a custom-fabricated Z, Rodz console sits a pair of GT3 Carbon sports seats with Impact Racing seatbelts. The sound system is installed by Deluxe Auto and features a Pioneer 2-DIN Flagship head unit with JL Audio speakers and components.
Zach accredits few friends of his as major contributors to constructing the ’Cuda. Zach transported the car at Dave Daunheimer of Competition Fabrications in Maple Park, Illinois, to fabricate a 21-gallon aluminum gas tank, a custom-bent 4.5-inch oval exhaust system with SpinTech mufflers and four-point chrome 4130 Chromoly rollbar. An over-the-top car deserves an over-the-top engine and transmission, so Zach chose all-aluminium 572-inch Hemi capable of producing 850 horsepower with more than 800 pounds of torque. You need a bulletproof transmission to handle the huge amount of horsepower and torque produced by the 572-inch Hemi, so that’s exactly what Bowler Performance Transmissions put – a GM 4L80E automatic to the utmost degree.
To transform the ’Cuda from a rusted-out hulk taken out of a salvage yard shipping container into winning the Best Street Machine, took its builders a lot of work and even more attention to details.
We must say the payoff was big.