When it comes to E-Bodies, it’s safe to say that Dale Cole from Alberta, Canada has one of the most unique pair of E-Bodies out there. For those that don’t know, the E-Body platform consists of the 1970-1974 Dodge Challenger and 1970-1974 Plymouth Barracuda/’Cuda. Both are absolutely fantastic in their own rights and Dale proudly owns one of each; both 1971 model years.
As you may remember, we featured his stunning 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T back in January. Now, we’re going to take a look at his 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda and it just so happens to be one of our favorite Hi-Impact colors; GY3 Curious Yellow!
Dale tells us, “I started looking for a 1971 ‘Cuda around 1997. The Internet was not that popular yet back then so most of the resources available were in paper form such as Hemmings Motor News, The Bargain Finder, Auto Trader and of course, newspaper classifieds. I was fairly particular on the car I wanted; it had to be a 1971 with a 4-Speed and it had to be GY3 Curious Yellow. I wanted something numbers matching with a shaker hood and preferably a 440 Six Barrel as well.”
By 1999, the Internet was taking off fast and new Mopar classified sites were popping up daily. Dale quickly realized that a numbers matching 440 Six Barrel V-code ‘Cuda was not going to be easy to find within his price range. It wasn’t until the fall of 1999 after searching a new auction site called eBay that he found something close to what he was looking for.
The car was a nice rust free ‘Cuda with factory GY3 paint. It was somewhat restored sometime in the mid 1990s and by that time, the original 383 was gone and replaced with a 440. The automatic transmission was also swapped out for a 4-Speed. “I placed a bid but did not reach the reserve. A few days after the auction, I was contacted by the seller asking if I was still interested in the ‘Cuda as it didn’t sell,” explains Dale.
He continues to say, “I flew from Alberta to Nashville, Tennessee to look at it in person. The ‘Cuda was basically a nice driver but looked to be pieced together with lots of incorrect and missing pieces. What sold me was the fact that it was a real southern dry GY3 ‘Cuda. A deal was struck and arrangements were made to have the car shipped to Canada.”
Once Dale got the car home, he quickly decided that since it wasn’t numbers matching, he would build his dream 440 Six Barrel ‘Cuda. By 2007, he had located all of the proper parts required to build the car to Six Barrel specifications.
This included a G440 HP2 block, complete date code Six Barrel setup, skid plate K-frame, lower control arms with front sway bar tabs, power disc brakes, power steering pump cooler, Dana 60 Sure Grip rear differential, correct 26” radiator, torque boxes, heavy leaf springs, and a date code correct A833 4-Speed transmission.
By this time, Dale had gotten to know Kori Alexander over at Show and Go Restoration in Red Deer, Alberta. He tells us, “Kori was the obvious choice to do the work because of his deep knowledge of details with these cars. While Kori was building the power train, I was still enjoying driving the car.”
At the same time, Dale was also getting other things corrected or restored to prepare for the power train swap. For that work, he took the ‘Cuda to the Classic Car Ranch in Rimbey, Alberta. The incorrect 1970 trunk lid with the 1970 Go-Wing was replaced with the proper 1971 lid and 1971 Gull wing. The tail panel chrome was installed along with a six way seat, rocker moldings and a Rim Blow steering wheel. All new tinted door glass from AMD was also installed.
Once Kori had the power train completed, Dale brought the ‘Cuda to Kori’s shop and the swap was done. A couple of days later, the car was finished and ready to enjoy. Dale tells us, “With the power train installed, I was now focused on the fender tag options and putting correct date code parts on the rest of the car.”
“The car was coded for a black vinyl top and elastomeric bumpers so a set of bumpers were purchased from Jean Gregory. I then sent the ‘Cuda to Rob Polson at Prairiefire Paint in Consort, Alberta where he installed the vinyl top and also installed and painted the rear window louvers, grille, radiator support, and the correct 1971 hood.”
In closing, he says, “Today the car is enjoyed and driven almost on every nice day we have up here in Alberta. I consider it the next best thing to having a real V-code but can enjoy it without the stress of a few rock chips or scratches. I do plan on painting it one day when it starts showing the wear and tear but until then, it will continue to be driven as much as possible!”