You've seen it in the movies. You've seen it on the show scene. You're now seeing it in 1/18th-scale diecast form. And, this spring, it's back on the big screen.

It's HAMMER.

Next to the Super Birds that Petty Engineering built and raced, HAMMER is undoubtedly one of the most famous '70 Plymouths ever.

But the road to fame wasn't a smooth one. In fact, builder Steve Strope says that before his Pure Vision Motorsports shop got the '70 Satellite hardtop that was built into HAMMER, that B-Body Plymouth had seen some serious trashing away from the pavement. "It was literally a field car," Steve recalls. "The bottom of it was whomped from them doing I-don't-know-what kind of off-roading with it. It was a very, very, very used car!"

Fortunately, there was just enough solid material left in that "field car" which owner Eric Peters had found to build from. That was after what was left of the rusted out floorpans, quarters and other "aged" unibody panels came off at Gold Coast Custom, Inc. in Ventura, California. They did the remedial bodywork, metal finishing, and paint prep before they shot it with Glasurit BMW Sterling Gray paint. "We [also] got together with a bunch of cool companies that I've been involved with forever, like Year One, and they were a big part of it."

Eric had something different in mind for this Mopar, something that wasn't a factory-original recreation but rather a restification inspired by what Pure Visions had built before. "He wanted to do a `European' kind of build," says Steve. "He enjoys that kind of a car, but he grew up around musclecars--his older brothers built a bunch of them."

The car was to be filled with the latest powertrain and chassis technology, one that would be equally at home on the dragstrip, road course, or autobahn. Steve says, "When we started designing the car, I called it `Hammer,' named after the AMG super-sedan that's built on the four-door Mercedes S-Class."

In Hammer's case, that meant that it got one of Reilly Motorsports' AlterKtions front K-members, as well as being loaded with good stuff including an electronic fuel injection system.



During the build, Steve met up with the producers of the TV show Rides. "They came and started filming when we were building, and a whole lot of nonsense happened while we were building it, like most builds do," he says. "There was a certain amount of unwanted drama that happened, and none of it was staged or scripted.

Following Rides was HAMMER's big-screen debut. "It was in The Fast & The Furious 3--it was Vin Diesel's car that he drove onto the screen to come back out of nowhere at the very end of the movie," says Steve.

You'll now be seeing Hammer again at a theater near you, in the fourth installment of that series, Fast & Furious, which opened on April 3rd. You're also seeing it in 1/18th scale, thanks to GMP, who brought out their diecast of it this spring.

If you were at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona in January of 2009, you saw it win in a very competitive Mild Custom Hardtop 1970-'79 class. GNRS rules call that class "Mild," because its entries don't have the radical re-sculpting those cars and trucks in other Custom classes have. But the Ray Barton-built, all-aluminum Mopar Performance Hemi under the hood is far from mild.

The big engine also brought one more update to HAMMER. "Since the Hemi was offered, and Ray Barton built it for us, I re-designed that '70 'Cuda-style Hemi "hockey stick" stripe to work with a B-Body. That breaks up the car a little and gives it more of a musclecar feeling to it," Steve says. Kinesis wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport radials finish the look.