1971 Plymouth 'Cuda

The 1971 'Cuda was a short lived project gone bad. I purchased what I thought was a solid CA car from the U.S.A to build a 1971 Hemi 'Cuda. This was the car the 540ci Hemi was suppose to go in. At first, the 'Cuda looked the part, great paint, seemed solid and was from CA, the home of rust free cars, right? WRONG. By the time we got it here, stripped it back and gave it an acid bath, the car revealed it's true secrets. It was a heap of shit bondo car. Poorly "restored", mad bill metal jobs, fabrication only Ray Charles would say looked fine. Despite having someone inspect the car, we got sold a dud... a lemon. You would have only known by doing what we did... stripping it back to bare metal.

If we had left it as is, in "Viper Blue", we wouldn't have known any different. However, hindsight is nice and with so much wrong, I didn't even want to take it on. It would have taken around $35,000-$40,000+ for the body work alone to do it right. I'm not joking. The entire body was cheese. Not a simple buy fenders, quarters, a few floor pans and you're done, there were holes all over the place!! I'm a young guy... younger back then, I didn't have that type of cash or the patience for another 3-5+ year build! F#%k that. After discussing it with the resto shop, we decided the best bet was to spray it up with a protectant coat so it wouldn't get any worse (if that's even possible) and instead of making "lemonade" from the lemon life dealt us, just sell the bastard! We sold it "as-is-where-is" as a rolling chassis. 

The "Viper Blue Metallic" paint was awesome but I wanted a triple black car.

A beautiful looking car hiding a lot of ugly secrets.

After the professional and careful "acid dip" revealing every issue. Depending on who you talk to, an acid dip is bad or good. If a cowboy just slams a car in the cocktail, it can be very bad. If you find a reputable shop with years of experience, depending on your situation, it's a quick way to weed out the bondo leaving nothing but a steel body. We done this after chipping away ourselves first and finding several bad spots. As it got bad we really questioned what was under there. A call was made to do an acid bath to cut to the chase. I'm glad we did.

Believe it or not, these "welds" were some of the best work on this car haha. We thought it may have even been used to teach blind kids how to weld?? Yes, there are MUCH worse cars being restored, if it's your first project and you have plenty of time or have endless cash, help yourself. For me, at the time, it was not an option. Canning this project was one of the best car decisions I have ever made. You have to know when to walk.

A rough patch job lower right corner, roof holes / tiny holes throughout. 

Wherever you look, you will spot shit work. Such a shame. To take a car back to steel is no easy effort in terms of time and money. So once there, why do a rush job if you've gone to that much effort? Blows my mind. Unfortunately, there will be many cars out there like this. Sad but true. If you buy an American "restoration", make sure you do your homework, we did and we still got stung. Nothing against Americans of course, I have plenty of American friends. There are just a lot more cars and many more "do it yourselfers" over there. There certificates / WOFs are a lot less stricter than ours too so the work doesn't "have" to be to as high a standard as here.

The roof / window rails riddled with holes...

It's hard to tell in these photos how bad it is. If you look just below the rear turn signal hole, you'll notice the weld lines going all the way across to another patch job just above the wheel arch. They didn't even get it flush and flat, just filled it with bondo. 

Closer up revealing what I have been trying to describe. F#%ken shocking work.

The entire car had these "hidden surprises" everywhere you looked. 

Drivers side / corner of cowl. To do this properly, with metal, cutting, forming and fabricating this shape, takes hours and hours to do right. That's just one spot of hundreds.

Looks "good" from far but it's far from good.

How the car was sold. Covered in a protective primer. 

It was sold with all the interior, a few new panels, no engine or trans and with all the paper work needing to get it on the road like clear title and bill of sale.