Cuda Drag Car Is Barn Find Gold

Nov 22, 2023 2 min read
Cuda Drag Car Is Barn Find Gold

Wait until you find out what’s under the hood…

Back before drag racing became a sport which required serious financial backing to be competitive, a person could piece together their own quarter-mile monster in their garage on the weekends (and a lot of weeknights, too). That’s what Milburn Varner and his brother-in-law David Rehring did back in 1970 when they acquired a hot 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda and decided to make it a Hemi-powered hero using his garage as a workshop. After retiring the American muscle car in 1974, he simply parked it until recently, when a group rescued it and made the thing sing again – which you can hear in the included video.

A ’70 ‘Cuda is cool in its own rite, but what Varner and Rehring were interested in was making the car get down the dragstrip as quickly as possible. They settled on pulling the 440ci Six Pack V8 from the ‘Cuda and dropping in its place a 426ci Hemi V8 from a 1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi Convertible. That might sound like an insane move in a few ways. After all, that GTX was 1 of 17 made, so pulling the engine to put in another vehicle might seem irresponsible today, but at the time they were concerned with performance, not collectability.

The funny thing is by doing the engine swap, these two created something even more unique and in a way more interesting. Plus, Varner kept the Plymouth GTX Hemi Convertible right next to the ‘Cuda, so it’s not like he just ditched the other car. Just as amazing, the ‘Cuda has just 149 miles on it, but a fair number of those were done in quarter-mile hard sprints. For that reason, when the car was “rescued” it just needed a washing and was left original.

Check out the video, which has some nice backstory about the ‘Cuda and how it’s been chronicled in recent years. Plus, if you watch to the end you get to hear the old beast fire up, which is truly epic and worth it, even if you just skip to that part.

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