Claude tells us the car was his first-ever Mopar or collector car. He took it to several shows in 2001, including a debut at Carlisle's All-Chrysler Nationals where we shot the photos; it took the top honors in the Stock Plymouth E-Body there. What's more, he and his wife drove it down from Canada. Claude and Al both admit it's not perfect yet, but I think we'd all agree it doesn't get much better than this.

Pilot Car Pros And ConsPilot cars like Claude Lozier's 'Cuda are unique and hold a special significance to serious Mopar collectors because most were the first of that year's production runs. In some cases, parts used on pilot cars were not placed on subsequent production vehicles. In other cases, parts from the previous year might have been used up. They differ from prototypes in that pilot cars are the final step before full-scale production begins.

The downside is they may suffer from difficulties experienced while the production process was being finalized in terms of fitment quality. Certain pieces from outside suppliers may not have functioned as they should, and if the vehicle was used for serious testing by either the factory or media guys, chances are good that it was abused. In some cases, pilot cars were used for reference work and then subsequently destroyed. Regardless, those that have survived until today are unique treasures for their owners.