The Fast and Furious movie series phenomenon has been built around a heavily modified line-up of top notch vehicles. As is obvious, throughout the movies most of the cars are damaged or destroyed, so we were excited to learn that this awesome '70 Plymouth Barracuda that makes an appearance in the latest film was not one of the unlucky ones.
We had the pleasure of speaking to a few of the guys who had a hand in the transformation of this beautiful 'Cuda, including Dave Salvaggio, owner of Salvaggio Automotive Designs in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
"In 2006 Dave Freeman approached me with his '70 'Cuda named 'the Cudanator.' The idea was to incorporate AAR styling, Lamborghini Grigio eggshell matte paint, and flush fit glass, which meant fabricating and welding up all the window openings," Dave explained. "Basically take our subtle, sublime, and ever so elegant design edge and apply it to this beauty. The owner of the car wanted a traditional looking AAR, but of course he wanted all the modern upgrades for a better driving experience."
The Hemi is 540-inches, based on Keith Black aluminum block with Stage-V aluminum heads. It was originally built by Arruzza High Performance of Pittsboro, North Carolina, in 2003. Since then, the top end has been rebuilt by Always Evolving Performance of Valencia, California.
With a new power-plant, Salvaggio got to work adding a unique custom touch to every surface of the 'Cuda. Salvaggio Auto Design TIG welded all seams, designed the rear suspension, water-jetted pinion supports, and incorporated dual coil over shocks. New frame rail supports were water-jetted, and new rear frame rails were welded in place, along with the fabrication of new front control arms. AAR-style 3-inch exhaust was fabricated and TIG welded as well. The 'Cuda features a fabricated electric emergency brake from a Lincoln LS, and painted Fikse wheels wrapped in Nitto tires with Diamondback radial vulcanized RED lines.
PPG paint was applied to the entire car, including the grille, engine bay, and AAR hood. The front clip was outfitted with eggshell Lamborghini Grigio paint as well as all moldings and fog lamps finished off the clean front fascia. Custom AAR type graphics were made as well, and one-of-a-kind hood pins were added.
The interior also received a face-lift. The floor was lined with new Wilton Wool custom carpet, and the cockpit received Viper SRT seats covered leather and Alcantara. Power windows were added, along with ceiling console switches, as was brand new glass throughout the car.
"It is always our goal to preserve the essence of each car we build, and the first impression must be reminiscent of the old and cool. However, when you take deeper dive into the car you see the modern day attributes emerge throughout every nook and cranny," Dave told us. "The AAR heritage is very clear at first glance: AAR stripes, side exhaust, red line tires, and matte-finish paint, along with that mean traditional stance are the roots of that era. If you slow down and look at the detail, you will be amazed at the extent of the modification."
Current owner Erik Davis told us that "the car gets unbelievable attention. It honors the original '70 'Cuda, and is updated in a manner that respects that. Dave did a great job -- it's an unbelievable build."
When we asked Dave Salvaggio what he loved most about the car, he told us, "I think it's the fact that it looks so sinister. In the Fast and Furious movies, everyone wants the "bad guy" to win and that guy is usually Dom. This car goes along with that 'bad guy' theme."