Four-round taillight styling stayed on all Barracudas from 1972 through the E-Body's final
Attention is something Carlos also got when he took it to Mopars at the Strip last year in Las Vegas-and not just a second-place trophy in the competitive E-Body Stock-Plymouth class. "It was a Cannery Choice award winner then," says Carlos, who adds that his 'Cuda grabbed the eye of a noted designer and builder at the show.
"Chip Foose looked at my car there, and he said 'That's cool!' I said, 'That's quite a compliment coming from you! Why don't you take it with you and make it one of your creations?' And he said, 'It's too nice.'"
'73 Plymouth 'Cuda
Owned by: Carlos Gastelum
Queen Creek, Arizona
- Engine: Carlos rebuilt the original LA-series 340 (taking out the stock 8.5:1 pistons and putting in '71 style 10.5:1 to boost the power of the 340, and it's still wearing the stock twin-snorkel air cleaner and valve covers that went on at the Mound Road Engine Plant. Machining services were provided by Mopar genius Dave Orcutt, owner of Automotive Machine of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ.
- Transmission: Carlos had his friends, transmission guys Wayne Martella, Jimmy Hoey, and Tony McDermott at AAMCO Direct in Mesa, go through the original 727 TorqueFlite. While in there, a mild shift kit was added to give it a firmer grab between shifts. The shifter is the original "Slap Stick" shifter in the OEM console.
- Rearend: What else? Ma Mopar's 8 3/4, with a Sure-Grip and 3.55:1 rear gears
- Suspension: Restored original '73 'Cuda . . . that means heavy-duty front torsion bars and rear leaf springs, front and rear sway bars, and heavy-duty shocks all around, plus all new chassis and suspension bushings.
- Brakes: Restored originals here-front disc/rear drum, power assisted
- Wheels and Tires: P225/70R14 BFGoodrich Radial TAs on five-spoke wheels (with the large bolt pattern that became standard across the board in 1973).
- Body: Original '73 E-Body unibody wears its OEM scooped 'Cuda hood plus its 5-mph bumper in back (Carlos took it off the front) and all its original brightwork-all refinished, thanks to Carlos, Ken Pierson of Vintage Motorcars, and Metro Plating in Mesa. The white vinyl top is a Legendary repro of the original "boar-grain" one.
- Paint: PPG basecoat/clearcoat Rallye Red, by Bruce and Jesse Painter of Painter's Auto Body, Queen Creek, AZ.
- Interior: Believe it or not, the carpets and the headliner are the only non-original items inside Carlos' 'Cuda-they're from Legendary Interiors. The seats are the standard '73 'Cuda front buckets/ rear "bench," wearing their original white vinyl covers.