After reupholstering the black interior, Brian installed the necessary monitoring devices for his well-endowed street machine, including a 5.5-inch Autometer Monster tach with shift light, and Autometer oil pressure and temperature gauges. A Hurst line lock was also added to assist in future drag race efforts. And in keeping with his intent to drive the 'Cuda on a daily basis, a Sony CD player was mounted in the dash, with an MTX 400-watt amp, 10-inch Orion subwoofers, Kenwood 6x9 three-way speakers and Sony 5.25-inch three-way door speakers included in the mix.
In August of 1995 Brian's work on the 'Cuda came to a close. But not the fun. Ever since leaving the shop his street monster has been on active status. Brian says that from April to October he enjoys participating in cruise nights, car shows, and "beating the snot out of" the 'Cuda. And when we met up with Brian at the 2000 Carlisle All Chryslers Nationals, that's exactly what he was up to-whomping on his driver atop the Mopar Muscle magazine-sponsored Dynotec Motorsports mobile chassis dyno. With a barometric pressure of 29.33 inches and intake temperature at 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the 'Cuda pulled down a top horsepower run of 319.5 and a maximum torque of 339.6 lb-ft at the tires.
We mentioned at the beginning of our story that Brian's 'Cuda has seen its share of hard knocks. Brian says they are funny to recount now, but they weren't so amusing at the time they happened. The first mishap occurred when he was getting the car ready for its paint job. "A fellow worker moved a car without brakes and smashed the header panel, which I had to repair." The next incident happened a bit later, and this time he only had himself to blame. "I was backing the car into the driveway with the car cover half on and hit a '95 Ram truck. No damage to the truck, but the car was another matter. I had to replace the rear bumper and repair the deck lid in time for a car show."
But wait! There's more...
"I started the car up before going to work, and the emergency brake was not properly set. The car rolled out the driveway and into the ditch across the street. It was still running when I came out. I had to put the car on the frame machine and pull out and repair the lower core support, repair the fender where the bumper pushed into it, replace the front lower valance, replace the license plate, repair the right front door where the fender pushed into it, and repaint the car."
Like we said, Brian Mastrangelo's 'Cuda takes its punches and comes right back for more.
Owner: Brian Mastrangelo
Engine displacement: 393 ci (383 bored .060)
Power at the tires: 319.5 hp, 339.6 lb-ft
Interesting Features: Brian's a body man by trade, which is good considering therough life this 'Cuda has led!