Manny Konstantinos is an officer of the law in Sacramento, California. He tells us he had known about this car for several years before he was able to finally purchase it. According to Manny—err, we mean Officer Konstantinidis—this is a real Lemon Twist '73 'Cuda with a white vinyl top and white interior. It has a 318 with a two-barrel, and an 83⁄4 rear end. Inside, the automatic is shifted with a handle on the column, and white bucket seats also have a fold-down "buddy seat" center armrest. It's equipped with Rallye gauges, air conditioning, AM/FM four-speaker stereo, and Magnum 500's. He's a Deputy Sheriff, and discovered the 'Cuda in the garage of a house in the district where he patrols. He says that 'Cuda appeared to have been sitting in this garage for many years, as it had a thick layer of dust on it, but it was barely visible underneath and behind all the boxes and junk that were piled on top of and around it.
Manny tells us, "I knocked on the front door to the house one day several years ago and spoke with the owner of this beautiful 'Cuda. She told me she was the second owner and had owned it for many years. She showed me the car and shared many stories about it. She spoke very fondly of it and told me her children grew up riding the 'Cuda. She parked it in her garage about ten years prior and simply stopped driving it. I offered to buy it from her at that time, but no matter how much I twisted her arm, she didn't want to sell it. She said her 'Cuda was a part of the family.
Recently, my partner and I received a call to the house where the 'Cuda lives. The owner called the police because she needed assistance resolving a problem with one of her adult sons. I immediately recognized the address as I drove to the call. After we arrived and resolved the issue, the topic of conversation quickly turned to the 'Cuda in the garage. I reminded the owner of the conversation we had several years ago and she immediately remembered who I was. I asked her if she still owned the yellow 'Cuda. She said she did, but I could sense a change in her tone when the subject of the 'Cuda came up.
She told me the last few years had been rough on her 'Cuda. It continued to sit in the garage exactly where I had seen it years before. Her son recently broke into the house through the garage and crawled across the top of the 'Cuda on his hands and knees, severely denting and collapsing the roof. The grille had somehow become cracked and other minor scuffs and dings mysteriously appeared on the body. She was almost in tears as she told me how upset she was about the abuse and neglect that her 'Cuda had suffered over the past few years.
It was sitting there on flat tires and covered in dust, boxes, and junk. Now, the top was severely dented, the grille was cracked, and it was in a little worse condition than before. The white buckets were covered with cheap seat covers and sheepskins. I peeled back the seat covers to reveal an almost perfect driver seat. The passenger seat had split at a couple of the seams but was definitely better than many original 'Cuda buckets I've seen over the years. The carpet was slightly worn, but the dashpad and back seat looked brand new. Even the door panels were in good shape, with the trim only slightly yellowed. Under the hood was all original. The heater core had been bypassed and some of the vacuum lines and emissions components were missing, but it was all there and all original. The best part was the car is absolutely rust-free.
We talked for a while and I once again made an offer to purchase the car. I assured her I would do the right thing and give her 'Cuda the treatment it deserves if she sold it to me. The owner admitted she had kept the car all these years intending to "restore it someday." As time passed, her thoughts turned to selling it, but she hesitated because she wanted the 'Cuda to go to someone who would fix it up right and not to some kid who was going to abuse it or modify it into some kind of a race car. We quickly agreed on a price and sealed the deal.
The steering and suspension are tight, the engine fires right up and runs perfectly, and it drives and steers like a new car. It even has the original spare tire in the trunk. It will need minimal work to get it back on the road.