When you were 15, did you reliably make good decisions? "No," you say laughingly. Whew, few of us do. In fact more times than not, we were so overcome by our emotions that we kept our guardian angel on her heavenly toes just trying to keep up.
Whether it was experimenting with a 250-horse nitrous oxide kit--key word "experimenting"--or school-yard antics with our best friends, the teen years are when we find the limits, where we distinguish good decisions from bad ones simply through experience.
Fortunately for Dewey C. Green of Birmingham, Alabama, when he was 15, he had the envious position of owning a new '70 Superbird. Dewey recalls, "The Superbird was a 440 Six Pack four-speed. I talked my parents into buying it--before I was even 16." Aside from having the daggers of envy thrown at him by every other student, he also had the desire for something even better. "I traded up to a Hemi 'Cuda when I was 17. A '70 B-5 Blue Hemi 'Cuda--complete with a four-speed," Dewey concludes.
However, that was awhile ago and since then, Dewey has been looking for both Mopars. Did he want to relive his well-spent youth? Dewey says, "I wanted to restore and bring back the cars--not necessarily the actual cars I had, but rather cars exactly like what I originally had--like my B-5 Blue four-speed Hemi 'Cuda."
After a search that lasted three years, the perfect candidate was found. Not only was it a four-speed and B-5 Blue, it was a 32,000-mile original--1 of only 284 four-speed Hemi 'Cudas known to have been assembled. In the late '80s, it had been part of a vast musclecar collection out West. From there, it was sold to a musclecar aficionado in New York.
While it had been repainted, it did have a lot of original parts. Dewey says, "Galen Govier documented and certified the Hemi 'Cuda prior to the purchase." Mike Staveski of Time Machines, the Hudson, Florida-based restoration shop that handled the restoration of this 'Cuda explains, "There was some minute pitting on the rear floorpans, and when I say minute, it was just that. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the most rust-free Mopars I have ever seen. Yes, the most amazing Mopar with the most original body I have ever seen."
Just how good is it? The interior features the original seat covers. Dewey says, "I don't believe they have ever been redone."
With such a fine canvas to start with, the restoration simply addressed the repaint with the guys from Time Machines applying DuPont Chroma Basecoat/Clearcoat, handling the major detailing of the interior and engine compartments, and installation of those components that were missing. Under the watchful eye of Richard Brandl Sr., Phil Somers and Tom Lewis handled the bodywork, while Jim Kupres and Richard Brandl Jr. took care of assembly and polishing.
However, restoration is a work in progress, and as things have progressed, so has Dewey's focus. "It was always very important to me to have someone restore the car correctly," Dewey says. "We're now going to the 'nth' degree, to get the correctly coded hoses and such. My vision of the car is to take it to the 'Nats and gain a Gold in OE Certified."
With that in mind, the crew from Time Machines is now taking the restoration to the ultimate level. This includes finding the correct front radiator hose for the car, which will then go to Almost NOS to have the correct markings scribed.
That's quite a task--even if the car is 99 percent there now. "We're going the next 1 percent," Dewey says. "The car has had many good comments on its presence. People have commented that the Shaker has the correct primer overspray on the bubble, and all the markings on the bottom side of the car have passed scrutiny. Yes, the 'Cuda has taken Best of Show and First Place at nearly every venue we've taken it to, but I want to go the final step."
That is quite an undertaking, especially considering the amount of notoriety the car has already garnered, including an airing on Horsepower TV the weekend of Feb. 13-14, 1999, in a segment dedicated to the Hemi.
Whether Dewey has relived his youth or taken his efforts to an extreme that is well beyond reason is only for you to decide, but we say that his judgment is sound, regardless of the course he sets.