THROW a respectful salute to this Plymouth ’Cuda – it’s the only car to ever participate in both Hot Rod Drag Week in the USA and Street Machine Drag Challenge here in Oz. Back in 2007, its owner Andrew McLellan along with mate Steve Reimann became the first Aussies to tackle Drag Week.
“We bought the car, stuck it in a storage facility for three months, then ran Drag Week,” Andrew explains. “We had to look after it and keep it on the road because after Drag Week we had to drive it all the way back to Los Angeles!
“It was a stocker when I got it,” he continues. “But I just wanted to make this girl go fast! It’s based on a 440 block but it’s a 512 stroker now with Ross pistons, Edelbrock alloy heads, Rod Machine electric water pump and the ignition, but I like big-cube, big-horsepower naturally aspirated stuff. It has a massive cooling system in there, too, to keep her happy – and we needed that this year!”
Behind the big-block is a John Cotebuilt 727 trans, while the third member is a CalTracs-located Dana rear end. “It’s nothing too flash,” Andrew says. “It’s oldschool tech that works for a lot of cars.”
The ’Cuda has just finished its third Drag Challenge. “The first year, Steve was driving – I lent it to him,” says Andrew. “It was Quickest Mopar then. I’ve driven it the past two years.”
Using 6500rpm through the quarter, Andrew ran in the 10s this year. Dramas Victor 440 intake and a Demon 1050 carb. There are a few mod cons such as an “This year was much better!” he says. “It ran on-song, in the heat and in the cold. But I might fit fuel injection for next year so I don’t have to tune the bugger each day!” from last year – a recalcitrant crank pulley threw belts all week – were just a memory for Andrew and his ’Cuda.
Class: Tuff Mounts Outlaw Aspirated
“Hot and sweaty and wet and noisy!” is how Andrew describes his ’Cuda, this year’s Quickest Mopar QUICKEST MOPAR Engine: 512ci big-block Mopar KE ST M O PAR Transmission: 727 auto Converter: 5000rpm Diff: 4.11:1 Power: 500rwhp Previous PB: 10.66@124mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 10.83@122mph