Is this awesome or sacrilege?
You really can’t deny these days that Mopar muscle cars are enjoying a huge upswing. That’s not to rip on Ford and GM, but the Dodge lineup has been shooting for the moon over and over with crazy power figures and other compelling performance upgrades. However, we don’t see many people putting modern Mopar engines in classic Mopar muscle cars. That’s what makes this video of a 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda with a Hellcat engine swap so interesting. Some will see it as pure sacrilege while others might be getting some ideas for a future project.
There are some nice cosmetic touches to this ‘Cuda, although they definitely depart from the factory-original appearance, but that’s the whole point of this build. Matte black graces some parts of the exterior with glossy black adding contrast. On the rear quarter panels there’s a subtle callout to the engine with a glossy Hellcat logo on the matte background.
Many of the factory badges have been retained, while some modern Mopar badges have been added. For example, the ‘Cuda badge on the rear fascia is present, but on the aftermarket rear wing is an SRT badge from a newer Dodge. That mixture of the old and new creates an interesting effect that will fascinate some and anger others.
Other cosmetic changes include rear window louvres and red gauges, which is kind of a callout to the Hellcat. They kept the iconic grille, hood, and front fender vents, but most of the brightwork has been painted black.
As you watch the video at first it’s pretty much silent. The guy moves the camera around to show off different details, but he’s definitely not a professionally cameraman, so sometimes it gets a little weird. Then they take the car out for what’s probably the first test drive. At first they drive it so gingerly you can barely hear the engine, but then they begin letting it rev more and you can hear that supercharger whine. Unfortunately, they never really let it rip. We’d like to see and hear a big burnout and some hard pulls, but the YouTube account has nothing more about this car, so that’s all we get.