When we last saw this ’70 440 Six-Barrel ’Cuda convertible (you’ll remember it's one of six promo cars sent to the Canadian provinces), it had just been pulled out of a barn in Iowa after decades of storage and at least a decade and a half of hard track time. To say it was rough would be a massive understatement.
Now that it’s back at Muscle Car Restorations from a thorough chemical stripping process, John can clearly see what it’s going to take to bring this piece of Mopar history back to original condition. In some ways, it’s in better shape than one might expect, and in others, it’s much worse.
Since it only spent a couple of years on the road as a demonstrator, there really is very little rust damage. Yes, the rear wheelwells and the bottoms of the rear quarters have been patched, but that would have happened no matter what. Besides a little rust damage on the cowl at the bottom of the windshield, this thing is pretty clean. It also appears to have avoided any type of collision. How twisted it might be from countless hard launches is another matter entirely.
Rear wheel tub: Clearly, the greatest challenge will be undoing the rear wheel tub modific
Four-Speed shifter hole: At some point, the 727 was pulled in favor of a four-speed, and s
Rear quarter: Back in the day, this was probably considered good bodywork. In all fairness
Of far bigger concern is what was done to it in the name of racing. The front part of the floor would be fine if it weren’t for the welded-in rollcage, the hole cut in the tunnel for a four-speed shifter, and a pair of frame connectors that protrude through the floor.
The back half of the cage was welded directly to the rear framerails, so those will have to be replaced. But that will be relatively minor compared to the alterations made to accommodate the wheel tubs. Not only are the original wheelswells long gone, the rear of the floor, the trunk floor, and even the rear seat supports have been butchered. MCR will, of course, attempt to save as much of the original body as possible, though there isn’t much left. Most of the back half of the car will need to be replaced.
Auto Metal Direct is our source for body parts, though some will have to be modified to work with a convertible. The next step is for MCR’s metal techs to get a close-up look at what’s there, what’s not there, and what can be saved so they’ll know what needs to be located.