In the spring, I ran into Tom and he had changed his mind on converting the convertible I had desired into a hemi car. Several conversations later, Tom agreed to take back the #’s matching Cuda in partial exchange for the convertible. With my dream car in sight, I sold the other Cuda and traded back the other Cuda (with some cash!!!) and the 70 Cuda convertible was mine!!
In 2001, after receiving a serious collision settlement, I had the funds available to purchase my first 70 Cuda. While not a convertible, I finally was back in the Cuda/Mopar world. I spent many, many hours (and dollars!) restoring this Cuda. However, the love for a 70 Cuda convertible never died.
After several years, I went to look at a 70 Cuda convertible which was possibly for sale in Red Deer by Tom Skjonsberg. It was the car of my dreams but not my bank account’s. Besides which, Tom had intentions to convert the convertible into a hemi. While I was looking at the convertible, Tom showed me another 70 Cuda he had for sale. It was a numbers matching, fully documented 383 automatic Cuda with extensive documentation. It had originally been purchased by a lady school teacher just outside of Regina. For some reason, I fell in love with it and made a deal to purchase it. I now owned two 70 Cudas!!
My convertible Cuda is an original EV2 Tor-Red (Hemi Orange), 340 4bbl, 727 automatic, 3:55 8 ¾” Sure-Grip, complete with factory A/C, power top, AM-8 track. It was originally purchased in Florida and eventually found a home in Connecticut. It was here that my Cuda received some much needed restoration. A major restoration was undertaken in Connecticut in 2003. It was at this time that the only significant change from factory original was made – the original white convertible top was converted to black. The owner of the car moved to Colorado after Connecticut and the Cuda followed him. Tragically, the owner passed away and my Cuda ended up in the possession of Tom Skjonsberg in Red Deer.
I had to make changes to the interior to restore it to a correct, 1970 interior. This included installing correct 1970 seatbelts, console, shifter and linkage, front seats and dash pad. All the trim was straightened and polished and the bumpers were re-chromed. The original body work and paint has stood the test of time.
My love affair with Mopars, and in particular, 1970 Barracudas, started in high school. I was going into Grade 10 and had recently obtained my driver’s license. As fate would have it, my aunt had recently passed away and had willed her 1970 Gran Coupe Barracuda to me. She had purchased the Barracuda new from Patrick Dodge in Saskatoon in 1970 and was the original and only owner of the car prior to it becoming mine.
The car, while very solid, did require some work in order to get it to the level that I desired. The engine bay was original and un-restored and did not fit well with the quality of the paint and body exterior. As well, the (non-original) 340 engine was tired. I pulled the 340, had it re-built and while the engine was out, I had the engine bay painted. A new exhaust system was also installed and the steering and front and rear suspension has been upgraded by Dale Adams Automotive.
It was fall when I purchased this Cuda so I got to drive the car very little. It and my other Cuda ended up in my garage over the winter.
During the time I owned my Barracuda, a 1976 Dodge Monaco and a 1975 Dodge Swinger would also grace my garage. Due to a number of circumstances, things all of us are only too familiar with, all three of my Mopars eventually got sold. However, my love was always to own another 70 Cuda.....only a convertible next time.
My Cuda convertible is not a show car/trailer queen and that is not what I wanted it to be. My desire was to have a Cuda I could drive as much as I wanted and to have as much fun driving it as I do maintaining it. My mission has been accomplished! It has made several trips to the Radium show and I have taken it as far as Sand Point, ID to the big weekend car event there.
Besides my 70 Cuda convertible, several other Mopars have come to reside with my wife and me. They are: a 62 Dart with a 440 auto, a 79 Little Red Express Truck and an 89 Dakota, factory convertible. We also have three other Mopar daily drivers. Without the support of my wonderful wife Diane, owning these Mopars would not be possible.