Hughes Engines Tech Center: Sneaky Small Block ‘Cuda


Obviously not as outrageous as the billboards of the 1971 ‘Cuda, hockey stick stripes from 1970 models were a much more subtle suggestion of sinister tendencies under the hood. Nonetheless, they should never be overlooked.

Peter Prottengeier’s 1972 Plymouth ‘Cuda, for example, sports a set of 340 sticks that many big block bearers might pass by without a shake or shiver. That would be a mistake as Peter’s Plymouth is packing a potent Hughes-equipped 416 stroker that sounds super wicked. The ‘Cuda’s  meaty slicks, classic rake, and fat-numbered dyno sheet might surprise those big block fans.

Here’s how he put it in his own words in a letter addressed to Mr. Hughes himself:

I am sending you the dyno sheet on the 340 stroker motor that you CNC’d (stage III) the Edelbrock Performer RPM heads [60775-S3] for my 1972 Plymouth ‘Cuda. I am very pleased with the quality and performance of your work.  The first time out I ran a 6.39 @ 106 MPH in the 1/8th mile and had a 1.39 60 foot time. I have some of the big block guys shaking their heads when I tell them it’s a small block Chrysler. I consider the money well spent for your service and advice. Thanks again, David.

Peter J. Prottengeier

Do not get us wrong, you can make plenty of power with the big blocks, but the small blocks should not be overlooked. The small blocks are lighter and with the right components and machining from Hughes Engines, you to can surprise those big block heads. If you are looking to get more from your small block give Hughes Engines a call and see what they can do for you.

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Kent Will

Kent grew up in the shop with his old man and his '70 Charger R/T. His first car was a 1969 Super Bee project when Kent was fourteen. That restoration experience lead to pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a career in manufacturing. Since then, the garage has expanded to include a '67 Satellite, a '72 Scamp, and a 2010 Mopar '10 Challenger.

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