Dennis Collins and crew head off to the sub-freezing temperatures of rural Illinois to acquire two classic cars that bookend American automobiles from the latter part of the 20th century. His efforts uncover a 1971 Plymouth Cuda that showcases the pinnacle of the muscle car era (at least from a Mopar perspective) and a 1981 Chevy Camaro that represents what happens after smog regulations and two energy crises.
A Mopar Treasure And A Meh Camaro
The heart of the video starts with a reveal of a Cuda tucked away in a covered trailer. Unlike Collins’ typical finds that involve layers of barn dust or tree debris, this Plymouth is gleaming. Getting down to business, the team wants to confirm the car’s originality. A glance at the factory info under the hood shows the rear window louvers and trunk spoiler are stock, as are the front road lamps.
The excitement builds as the four-speed manual transmission, shaker hood, and Rallye Red paint are determined to be part of the original build. Once extracted from the trailer, the car’s perfection shines. It appears to be pristine inside and out. The “340” side graphics add to the Cuda’s coolness factor.
Things then turn to the garage-kept Camaro. Its mechanical specs are unimpressive, thanks to an anemic six-cylinder engine that (when new) coughed out just 110 horsepower. But, the car’s original owner status, low mileage (72,000), and a full complement of options make for a more interesting story. The Camaro looks as clean as the Cuda.
1971 Plymouth Cuda
For the 1971 model year, Plymouth offered the Barracuda in three variants, including the top, performance-focused Cuda trim. Among many available Cuda engines were the monster 426 Hemi and its 425 ponies, but Collins’ Cuda has a 340 cubic-inch V-8. Despite a more modest output of 275 horsepower, the 340 was preferred by many buyers as the reduced weight made the car less nose-heavy (the same reason that Jay Leno likes the turbo-four Mustang over the V-8). Interestingly, the 1971 Barracuda is the only third-gen version with quad headlights.
1981 Chevy Camaro
1981 marked the final year for the second-gen Camaro. This era of Chevy pony car is renowned for nurtured performance resulting from onerous federal emission regulations and consumer concern about fuel economy (the US endured two separate energy scares in the 1970s). A 350 cubic-inch V-8 and its 175 horsepower was the top engine choice for the 1981 Camaro.
Sources: YouTube, conceptcarz.com
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