’Cuda AARs were, of course, originally conceived and built to compete in the SCCA’s Trans-Am Racing Series. In 1970 drivers Dan Gurney and Swede Savage led the original All American Racers team, driving a pair of the newly redesigned ’Cudas.

Perhaps because he was a fan of the Trans-Am series and a long-time Mopar enthusiast, this AAR ’Cuda caught Patrick Cobb’s eye at an auction in Branson, Missouri, in 2000. It also caught the attention of two of Pat’s three sons who were there with him that day.

Trying to be a responsible dad, Pat set a $20,000 limit for himself, even though he admits to having “had more money than good sense at that particular juncture.” Not surprisingly, others were bidding against Pat for this ’Cuda, so when it reached his limit, he stepped aside. That is until his youngest son uttered a phrase he is still thankful for. He said, “Dad, you aren’t going to let this guy buy our car are you?” So Pat bid one more time, and the ’Cuda was his.

Though this AAR had been raced, it was mostly stock, and generally complete. It seemed to run fine, so Pat and sons drove it home to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The speedometer rolled over on the way, but other than that, they made it without incident—until they actually arrived home, that is. Pat was having a little buyer’s anxiety, and worried about what his wife might think. She knew he was going to the auction but never believed he would actually buy a car. But Pat figured that it was dark and he could slip it into the driveway without her noticing, at least until morning.

It turns out that just as Pat was rolling into the driveway, Mrs. Cobb was coming out of the side door to let the dog out. It’s at this point that she sees the car and exclaims, “What have you done?!” Pat’s completely unrehearsed reply was, “Well, we kind of bought a car.”

Fortunately, Dad and sons convinced Mom that everything was going to be OK, and, in fact, the entire family enjoyed the car for the next decade. The ’Cuda saw a lot of miles during that time, including taking the oldest son to his prom, and even some time racing around the Hallet short-track (1.8 miles with 10 turns) a few miles west of Tulsa, where he undoubtedly was trying to imagine himself as a Trans-Am racer from back in the day.

One day Pat closed the hood after some routine maintenance but forgot to replace the hoodpins. Later, the youngest son went to pick up his girl friend with the ’Cuda. Can you see where this is headed? Not long after they were on the highway, they both got a surprise they will never forget. Fortunately, the only damage was to the car. Likely, restoration thoughts had already been lurking in Pat’s mind, and this was just enough of a catalyst to push them to the forefront.

It’s at this time that he contacted Muscle Car Restoration in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. John and his crew did a phenomenal job making his ’Cuda new. By the middle of 2012, Patrick’s ’70 ’Cuda AAR was again ready for action—this time with hoodpins in place.


FAST FACTS
’70 Plymouth ’Cuda AAR
Patrick Cobb
Tusla, Oklahoma
MOPAR POWER
Engine: The street-version “TA” 340 blocks were cast with a high nickel content and additional material in the main bearing web area, so four-bolt mains could be added along with filled oil-pan rails, all to produce a stronger bottom end designed for Trans-Am racing. Additionally, the normal “J” casting heads had their pushrod holes drilled offset to allow more room to port the heads before reaching the pushrod holes. Hemi-like adjustable rocker arms were also used. These mods didn’t make the street versions flow any better, but did allow the race heads to be more radically ported, since SCCA rules required the use of a stock engine block and heads. Compression ratio was 10.5:1. A trio of Holley 2300 series two-barrel carbs on top of a painted aluminum Edelbrock manifold allowed plenty of breathing right up to the 6,500-rpm red line.
Transmission: Both four-speed and 727 TorqueFlites were available. This one has the automatic with a console shifter.
Rearend: Chrysler 83⁄4 Sure Grip with 3.55 gears.
Horsepower and Performance: Factory horsepower and torque ratings were predictably underrated at 290 hp at 5,000 rpm, and 345 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm. Race versions supposedly made over 460 horsepower. The July 1970 Car and Driver reported 14.30 e.t.’s at 99.5 mph. While his sons might like to take it to the track again, Pat will likely be content with normal cruising from now on.
SURE GRIP
Suspension: MCR returned the suspension to stock specs, which included front and rear sway bars, plus stiffer shocks and stronger rear springs than ordinary ’Cudas.
Brakes: Power discs up front with 11-inch drums in back.
Wheels and Tires: Goodyear Polyglas GTs: G60-15s in back and E60-15s up front and all on 15x7 steel wheels with trim rings.
HIGH IMPACT
Body: The car is hard to miss with the Tor-Red paint, black vinyl top, blacked out fiberglass hood and front fender tops, and the full length strobe stripe. There is also a black rear spoiler and chin spoilers on each front fender. The rear window louvers are also pretty cool looking. The hoodscoop seals against the air cleaner box and is fully functional, as are the hoodpins, which really do hold the hood down since there is no traditional hood latch.
Interior: In a word: black, with a woodgrain wheel, and dash and console inserts.