Dan's
1970 'Cuda
An AUTO biography
Dan and Barb’s 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda came stock from the factory with a 383 h.p. 335-horse power engine.
The ‘Cuda package came with a Rally hood w/ hood pins, chrome trim, fish gill rocker mouldings, blacked out
tail panel, road lamps, and 15” rally wheels. The ’Cuda has been restored with New Old Stock parts pulled in
from over 20 states. This is a numbers matching car with everything on the fender tag restored to its original
build including the FJ5 color and the elastomeric bumper. It remains as stock today as the day it rolled off the
assembly line with the ’71 spoiler as an exception…Dan had it then, he has to have it now.

The car was given to Dan as a high school graduation gift from his parents in 1972. While Dan was in college
Barb met the ‘Cuda. Dan was part of the package; it’s been a package deal since the beginning.

A short time after Dan and Barb were married the car was destroyed in the Tornado of ’75 in Omaha, NE.
The car was a total loss but Dan and Barb refused to let the car go. With the car in hand and $1,100 from the
insurance company, Dan, his brother and Dad put Humpty Dumpty back together again. (Lots o’ Bondo)
The car was back tearing up the road until 1981 when time and abuse took it’s toll. Still refusing to let the car
go; it sat in storage for 18 years while Dan and Barb raised a family. When they became empty nesters the car
once again emerged as part of the package. Restoration began … Paying close attention to detail; at first it
was the engine, (to make it go)
Then the suspension (so it would go straight) and as long as they were at it, let’s get brakes just for fun. (we
might want to stop some time). As this process progressed, their mechanic helped them understand their
‘Cuda a little better. It became important to them to have the proper parts, to clean and save all the nuts and
bolts, and keep everything bone stock original. Once the ‘Cuda emerged from the mechanics’ shop they
couldn’t wait to drive it and drive it they did. The excitement from the public was immediately realized with a
wave, shout or thumbs up coming from all directions. ( And they hadn’t restored anything anybody could SEE
yet)

Enter the car show phase… Believe it or not, Dan and Barb had little knowledge or interest in Car Shows; their
mechanic sponsored the ‘Cuda into the Havelock (Lincoln) NE car show that same year. Boy did they get their
eyes opened to a whole new world of collector cars and their owners. This could be a fun time and a good
activity for both Dan and Barb to enjoy together. They soon realized however, that to compete at any level,
the bodywork was a must in the world of competitive car shows.

The body restoration was a long 20-month process with Dan lying awake nights saying, “I want my car.” By this
time they were better educated on what the judges looked for in the Stock Class. They were able to work with
a true professional in restorations. They had the car taken down to the metal and all previous dents
massaged out. (no more Bondo!)
In the mean time… Dan and Barb’s basement was furnished with car parts of every description that had to be
detailed and/or refurbished. This includes reupholstering the seats, replacing all wiring harnesses and
preparing all other pieces and parts for reassembly. Oh, the smell of parts cleaner in the morning!

The trip to the body shop was only part of the story. The ‘Cuda returned home for the reassembly of the
interior, glass and various body parts. This was a true labor of love. No detail was overlooked; including period
battery, polyglas tires and DOT stickers.

Once reassembly was completed, the car went for one last trip to the mechanic for reinstallation of the engine
and transmission…
IT’S SHOW TIME!  (Click to see more).