I intended to build a mostly original, but clean looking driver which does not fear cornering! As far as I am concerned it turned out much better than expected! She just eats our twisting roads up the mountains like no other American classic in Austria! On the straight? Well, she accelerates like hell and is even too fast for the German Autobahn! Driving this beast is just great fun!

Body:
The Cuda was dismantled to the last bolt and every part possible was sandblasted, everything else was sanded by hand, painted or powder coated. The fender chrome moldings and lower body chrome moldings have been removed. All bumper guards were removed from both bumpers and all the bolts welded to the bumper so that the bumpers have a clean surface. The rear valance was modified to fit the new bumper design without guards. The radio antenna and the fender turn signal indicators were left out and the holes closed. The original grill was replaced by an after market reproduction type and painted with body color.
XV-Motorsports Laser Cut Sub Frame Connectors, XV style Inner Fender Braces and the Lower Radiator Support were installed.

back from blasting

XV-style Inner Fender Braces

XV Motorsports laser cut precision fit subframe connectors.
Note the overspray – something for the number crunching guys to discuss

Color proof – by coincidence the Rallye Hood I purchased directly from the US was a 71 and even though the hood was already blank, the plastic inserts still had the original color on them – again coincidence, FJ6 Sassy Grass Green! Therefore I had the perfect proof!

Suspension, Steering & Brakes:
To get the cornering ability I was looking for, I decided on a complete XV Motorsports Level I ┬ásuspension upgrade. This is specifically tuned to E-Bodies and the Engine weight. The Firmfeel Stage 3 steering box together with the fast ratio pitman and idler arms gives you all the feedback you want to have from the road without having the necessity to move your hands around the steering wheel. Double adjustable tubular upper control arms and double adjustable tie rod ends give you all the angles you would like to adjust. Dropped spindles are providing the low riding height and look you want to have on such a car without losing on your suspension travel! To make the Cuda stop when she should, both XV Motorsports Level I disk brake kits were installed. 13″ in disks in front and 11,75″ in the back together with the XV Motorsports Hydro Boost make the Cuda stop whenever your right foot commands so, no matter what!

Engine, Clutch, Transmission and Drive Train:
The 440 with the SixPack was already there, so why not make the best of it! Like the body, the engine was completely dismantled, refurbished and freshly built with all new parts! Unfortunately I never had it on a dyno so far. However, this engine with it’s lumpy idle and revving like a motorcycle engine makes the Cuda fly with no hassle! Even though modern 18 inch 275/40 tires are in contact with the tarmac on the rear end, they are always struggling for grip when you push the pedal!
Which transmission to use was no question for me. A serious Pro Tourer like this needs to have a stick and 3 pedals! Consequently the 727 auto was swapped against a Keisler 5speed transmission and I installed the third pedal actuated by a hydraulic kit from Keisler. It not only provides smaller and closer gear ratio but also the overdrive which is great for the Autobahn.
Since rotary speed of the drive shaft can get quite high with the overdrive in place, the drive shaft was custom made for 10000 rpm.
Internal engine parts used …
Keith Black domed pistons
Edelbrock Performer RPM Aluminium Cylinder Heads 88cc
10.5:1 compression ratio
CompCams 228-4 Camshaft
Cloyes Double roller timing chain
Melling High Volume Oilpump
Clevite High Performance main and rod bearings

Interior:
Again, mostly original and clean looking was the objective! Beside the dash and the door panels everything else was replaced by new parts. Sound deadeners were installed on roof and floor and a new carpet laid out. The console was thrown out; I just don’t like the look of a stick with a console – it just looks sportier without it. And of course it had to be a pistol grip for the shifter!
In place of the radio three new instruments now show the oil pressure and the water- and oil temperature much more accurate than the original inside the dash (still working though) and are of course with a metric scale to fit the km/h speedo. However, new 3-way speakers were installed in the back and the cabling for an amplifier laid under the carpet. Plan was to fire it via an iPod, but I never missed the music when driving this Cuda, thus I never installed the amp.
The most recognizable interior changes are most probably the two seats. What do you need when you carve through corners? Lateral support of course! Now the original plain Cuda seats just don’t have any of it. First I planned to have the seats modified, but then I found a perfect replacement solution on Ebay. A pair of freshly rebuilt Porsche 924 Le Mans seats (btw. only 1000 were built) were offered and had just the right look! They actually look like a copy of Cuda seats with much enhanced lateral support and an adjustable backrest! The rear bench seat was modified to fit the look of the new front seats. The original big and skinny woodgrain steering wheel was replaced by a reproduction Tuff steering wheel to get the grip you need driving this Cuda. The same was replaced by a leather version of a Tuff wheel beginning 2012.

List of new parts used for the build:
Porsche 924 Le Mans seats
Keisler 5speed manual gear box TK-500 incl. K-Member
XV Motorsports Level I front & rear Suspension kit
XV Motorsports Precision Lasercut Subframe Connectors
XV Motorsports Level I 13″ front disc brake kit
XV Motorsports Level I 11,75″ rear brake disk brake kit with parking brake
XV Motorsports Hydro Boost w/ Master Cylinder (not shown on the pic above)
Powermaster Alternator
E Body Fuel Filler Seal
Front of Hood Seal
1/4 Glass Sealing Strip
8000 RPM Dash Tach
E-Body Firewall Gasket Kit
Windshield Washer Jar
Steel Hood Pins
Outer Door Handles with Gasket
Axle Rubber, pair
Quarter Panels
Cuda Tail Emblem
Paint Seal Kit
Phoenix Graphx 440 Billboard, Spray
Technical Sticker Set
Headmen Headers 78030
Universal X-Pipe
2-1/16 Oil Pressure
2-1/16 Oil Temp
2-1/16 Water Temp
Tubular Upper Control Arms, double adjustable
Window Sweep Kit
Window Trim Clips
Body Bumper Kit
Body Plug Kit
Door Lock Seal
Door End Seal
Door Weatherstripping
Roof Rail Weatherstripping
Rear Quarter Window Seals
Trunk Seal
Hood to Cowl Seals
Sound Deadener
Firewall Insulation
Kick Panel Insulation
Headliner 5 Bows
Headliner Retainer Clips 6 pcs
Door Panel Clips 48 pcs
Trunk Mat
Tie Rod Ends and Adjusting Sleeves Heavy Duty
Lower Ball Joints
Firmfeel Steering Box Stage 3 Large Sector
Fast Ratio Pitman Arm
Fast Ratio Idler Arm
E-Body Solid State Limiter
70-74 Mopar Ebody clock repair kit
Woodgrain Paint
AAR Spoiler
Lightweight High Torque Mini Starter
Lightweight Starter Shield
BOLT KIT FRONT VALANCE 70-74 E-BODY
BOLT KIT-REAR VALANCE 70-74 E-BODY
FENDER BOLT KIT -COMPLETE 70-74 E-BODY
71 CUDA FRONT PARK LENS SET
71 CUDA TAILLAMP BEZELS
BATTERY CABLE POSITIVE 70-74E 71-74B, B/RB 2983649 MOPAR
BATTERY CABLE-GROUND 70-74 A/B/E 2983778 MOPAR
STRAP BATTERY HOLD DOWN 58-73
71 CUDA 6 SET GRILLE TOWER INSERT
71 CUDA GRILLE
71 CUDA GRILLE MOUNTING HARDWARE
71 CUDA BLACK HEAD LAMP RING SET
440 SIX PACK DECAL,AIR CLEANER
BUMPER KIT, HOOD 70-71-73 CUDA
CLIP AND STRAP KIT 71-74 E, 71-72 B/BODY
CLIP, SNAP SET 70 E-BODY ENGINE WIRING
CUDA TAIL PANEL MOLDING RETAINER PKG
71-74 E/BODY FRONT AND REAR CLIP SET REVEAL MOLDINGS
LENS CONSOLE PLATE
SHIFTER PLATE CONSOLE 70-74 E, 71-74 B CHROME PLATE
BUMPER KIT, 71 BARRACUDA
6-PACK AIR CLEANER LID, SHAKER HEMI/440+6
6-PACK, HEMI AIR FILTER
SHROUD 26 inch, 70-73 B/RB/HEMI B/E BODY
INLET PKG-WATER PUMP NECK CHROME
RADIATOR CAP OE. NEW FROM MOPAR
Interior Screw Set
Shiftlight
Pedalset
Bell Housing
Clutch Actuator Kit – hydraulic
Spline Stage 2+ 26
Flywheel (6 holes for 440)
Pistol Grip Shifter 1971 E-Body, Wood Upgrade
Shifter Boot and Trim Ring – E-Body
Slipyoke
Keisler Clutch kit
Inspection Cover Metal
PolyLoc Motor Mounts, Set 440
B/E Torque Strap
Driven Gears
Sidemarker rear
Rear speaker set Hertz HCX 690.3
Windscreen tinted
Carpet
Edelbrock Performer RPM Cylinder Heads, Aluminum, Assembled, 88cc Chamber, 210cc Intake Runner
Edelbrock 8591 Head Bolt Kits
Keith Black domed pistons
10.5:1 compression ratio
CompCams 228-4 Camshaft
Cloyes Double roller timing chain
Melling High Volume Oilpump
Clevite High Performance main and rod bearings
3Port Breather
Engine Gasket set
Freeze plug kit
Hardware kit
Drive shaft, custom made 10000rpm
18″ BBS wheels and tires all around
Fuel lines
HiPo WaterPump
… probably some more, which I don’t remember right now