Wfe're lucky to live in a country where we are free to enjoy hobbies like restoring, racing, and driving muscle cars and performance vehicles, and we have that luxury because of people like Greg Willsey of Syracuse, New York. Like many of us, Greg grew up around Mopars, and at the age of 16 his first car was a '69 Dodge Monaco station wagon. Like some of us, Greg also served more than 20 years in the U.S. military protecting our freedom to enjoy our hobby, and for that we owe him and all of our troops, both serving and retired, a sincere thank you. This month our rare find features the patriotic red and white '73 'Cuda that Greg's brother
Nate helped him procure from a neighbor's basement garage.
Greg is like most of us as he's always looking for a good deal on an old Mopar and keeps a list in his head of cars he's found and whether they're for sale or not. One such car that the owner told Greg was not for sale was a '73 Plymouth 'Cuda in his brother's neighbor's garage. Knowing about this car for several years, Greg was surprised one day when Nate called and said "my neighbor Chris has decided that he's thinking about selling the 'Cuda." Knowing this could be a good opportunity to score a nice E-body, Greg rushed over to look the car over thoroughly.
When he arrived, Chris told Greg that the car had been sitting since 1984, when he had removed the transmission for an overhaul and a new clutch. Originally a 340 car, the factory small-block had been replaced long ago by a 440 with a stout cam and headers. Even better, the factory color combination of red with white interior and graphics made the E-body stand out. Seeing the car was in overall great condition with only 74,000 miles showing on the odometer, Greg asked Chris if he had a price in mind, and was told he wasn't sure. Rather than making an offer, Greg told Chris that he wanted the car, and once he decided on a price to call him and if he could afford it he'd buy it with no questions asked.
Three weeks later, Nate called to tell him some good news. Nate had spoken with Chris about the price of cars, mentioning a GTO he was restoring, and Chris told Nate he'd take $5,000 for the car and all the parts. Knowing this was a good deal, Greg hurried over and paid for the car, sealing the transaction.
Once home, Greg cleaned up his new purchase and found the 'Cuda to be in exceptional condition with only a little rust in the lower quarters and minor surface rust on the roof. Amazingly, the floors and trunk were in great shape. Options include the 340 engine (long since gone), a heavy duty four-speed and Pistol-Grip shifter, 3.55 geared Sure-Grip, and white bucket-seat interior. When Greg put the car on the tow-dolly to get it
Opening the trunk, Greg found all of the window molding, the console, and amazingly very little rust.
home, he noticed there was no transmission. Chris said he'd look for the tranny, and eventually found it in the back of his garage, rebuilt but never installed!
Greg plans a restoration of this 'Cuda, keeping the original red color, white decals, and white vinyl top. He'll probably get rid of the Cragars, bias-ply tires, air-shocks, and chrome traction bars for a more factory
State inspection decals on the windshield verify that this car hasn't been on the road since 1984. Greg plans to change that and will drive the car regularly once he completes the restoration.
appearance, and plans to install a fresh '72 440 police car engine that he's been saving for just such a project. Although Greg keeps plenty busy with three kids and a house that he's currently remodeling, once the house is finished he plans to make quick progress on his Plymouth. We congratulate Greg on his rare find, and thank him for his service to our country. MM
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