One of the most difficult things about an M-code restoration is finding the correct Chrysler 440 engine. These were used because at the time the '69s came out, Plymouth didn't have a 440 of its own. Fortunately for Cort, the previous owner held a '71 Chrysler 440 that came with the deal. Cort subsequently sent it to Pacific Remanufacturing Centre in Delta, British Columbia. The block was decked and bored .030 over. Otherwise, it is a completely stock mill, all the way down to the AVS carb and points ignition system.
"[When] I was looking for a body shop to do the [restoration] work, the only person to even bother to come and look at the car was Glen from Corvette Specialties," Cort says.
It turned out to be the right choice for the Schumachers, as they were amazed by the quality of the bodywork.
"Glen and the guys at Corvette Specialties were unreal," Ehren says. "They put four coats [of paint] just on the undercarriage. They noticed a pinhole in the trunk floor after it was painted, and rather than patch it up, they stripped it, repaired it, and painted again. After the car was painted the first time, my dad went to see it. But before he could even look at it, they were stripping it to be painted again because the body shop owner wasn't happy with the first job."
All the attention to detail paid off. During the car's first time out, at Kwantlen College University in 2000, it took home First Place honors and has been racking up trophies ever since.
So, just how rare is this car? The numbers on 440 'Cuda production vary depending on the source. One thing is certain: The fastback is more common than the hardtop, and Ehren was informed by the 440 'Cuda Registry that only 70 are known to exist. "The last [440 production] number I found was 316," he says. "I also heard some rumors about ones coming out with bench seats and radio deletes, but those may just be rumors."
No matter what the exact number, the Schumacher's 'Cuda is a rare fish, indeed.