1971 Plymouth Cuda
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Factory N96 Shaker '71 Plymouth Cuda, Pro-Touring HEMI Stroker!

After 40 years of building cars around sponsored products for Mopar Performance and other famous names in pro-touring aftermarket, Matt Delaney of Delaney Auto Design realized that no one maker has the perfect solution. The most expensive solution is most certainly not the best in many cases. So, Delaney embarked on a project to marry the best "bang for your buck" in modern performance, blending the best of breed aspects found amongst the top manufacturers of suspension, braking, and drivetrain technology. Selections were made on merit alone, not brand sponsorship or price premium. Stretching upgrades to the point of diminishing returns, he transformed a genuine 1971 Shakerhood Cuda with a mission in mind: Take an original 340 powered 'Cuda and build a Hemi 'Cuda using today's technology, improving upon 40 year-old engineering limitations while keep the soul of 1971.  Beginning with the Hemi, the decision was to start with a new water block (water around each cylinder). These blocks are no longer produced. It has a standard 4.25 bore with a 4.35 stroke. The longer stroke solves one of the Hemi problems. A faster moving piston keeps the fuel in suspension and helps the engine idle clean. This combination makes a 500 cid engine. The pistons are premium quench dome pistons from Ross 10.5 to 1. The rods are Eagle 7.1 with .990 pins. This is fed by an 800 CFM Demon carburetor. The 800 has the same size primaries as the 750, also promoting fuel atomization and secondaries the size of the 850. An MSD ignition and distributor burns the fuel and TTI exhaust takes care of the spent charge. SUV Flow Master mufflers were used in this novel application. These mufflers have no drone while cruising. The cam is a custom grind done by Hughes engines with 236 @ .050 that is needed to make max torque. The Dyno pull started at 3000 RPM and the Hemi already reached its peak torque of 640. That means that it made earlier. Probably 650 at 2600. Low end torque moves cars. The oil is held in a 7 quart Milodon low profile pan. The trans has a TCI 11” breakaway converter that flashes to 2600 rpm…ie peak torque. It is difficult to open the secondaries in first gear and stay on the road. The 727 torque flight starts with an A&A billet 2.77 first gear and 1.57 second gear. This goes through all premium clutches with a bolt-in-sprag and a 5.0 apply lever. That’s $1,500 worth of hardware before you begin building the transmission. Most of the cars you see listed have transmissions that are rebuilt with stock parts. Not this one. The gear set in the transmission allows the rear end to be a 2.94 Posi. This keeps the cruising rpm down. The 2.77 first gear gives you an effective 3.32 rear at launch. This makes the car leave quickly while the 2.94 final drive ratio keeps the driveshaft rpm down at highway speeds. Overdrive transmissions do not reduce drive shaft rpm’s. The Hemi is fed from a new fuel system (tank, etc.) with a billet electric fuel pump. Cooling of the engine is done with a real Mopar aluminum water pump housing and pump. Other aluminum housings have internal passages that are half the size of the real Mopar one and their pump moves more water than the rest of the pumps. The aluminum radiator has the thickest core made that fits. It holds ½ gallon more than the next available. The twin fans move 2800 CFM. The AC, to cool the driver, is from Classic Auto Air and has the best control panel made. Their vents fit in a custom molded panel that replaces the factory one. The AC compressor is mounted below the alternator so the engine compartment looks correct. The brakes are applied by a hydro-boost and the rotors are 12” slotted and cross drilled. This combo works great. There’s three ways to apply brakes, manual, vacuum or hydraulic. The clamping force is 700, 1100, and 1500 respectively. The manual brakes have a hard petal; the vacuum booster likes a smaller cam for more vacuum but the hydraulic works of of the power steering pump. The steering box and upper control arms are from Firm Feel. Their control arms come with a custom bump stop to keep the suspension from bottoming out on lift. The others don’t. The bushings are poly-graphite and the bearings in the rear are all new with green axle bearings. The springs are Hotchkis and the shocks are Bilstein. All of this was put into a rotisserie restored painted 1971 N96 Shaker Cuda. All of the glass is new and the stainless around the front and rear glass was replaced by the rubber strip used on the new Vipers. The interior panels and hardware is new and the custom leather seats have new foam and backs. The Rally gauge cluster was built by Redline gauges and the headlights are HID. The stereo is Pioneer and Kicker. The bumpers are new. The taillights, side marker and fender blinkers are excellent originals. This car will surprise you and the price point is affordable. It is reliable, comfortable, and fast. It can hold a 5 degree positive castor so it drives straight. The Bilstein shocks and Hotchkis springs make the ride and handling great. It does have front and rear sway bars. The front wheels are 17 x 8 and rear wheels are 18 x 9. Nitto Invo tires are the quickest I have owned and handle wet and dry great. This car may be beautiful to look at but it is built to own the road!

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