Triple Black Attack: 1970 440 6-Pack 'Cuda - BIG MUSCLE

Uploaded by drive on 07.06.2012


MIKE MUSTO: So we're here in beautiful San Jose,
John Cross' 1970 Plymouth Barracuda.
The car is just simply unreal.
It's one of those rare cars that we've always wanted to
feature, but we had to find the right car.
And, well, John had it.
So John, come here, man.
Tell us a little bit about this crazy thing that
you've built us.
JOHN CROSS: Hey, how you doing?
How you doing, man?
JOHN CROSS: So this is a 1970 Plymouth 440 six-pack 'Cuda.
Four-speed car, Dana rear end.
I got it from my cousin, who sold it to me in 1978 when he
was getting married.
I was 17.
As a boy, I remember getting glued to the backseat of this
heading out of Reno.
It used to say "end speed limit" out of Reno.
And we went out to dinner, and I remember just looking at the
fabric up close, because my head was
glued to the back seat.
MIKE MUSTO: Now, how old were you back then?
JOHN CROSS: I was in the single digits.
It was like in the mid-'70s, '74 or '75, right in there.
Three or four and 1/2--
MIKE MUSTO: So this car's been in your family for--
JOHN CROSS: Since '72.
MIKE MUSTO: Since '72.
It's a numbers matching car, correct?
MIKE MUSTO: Now, for those of you that don't know, finding a
numbers matching 'Cuda, 440, Dana car, shaker hood,
four-speed, is almost next to impossible.
So the fact that you've had this car for so long, it's
pretty incredible.
So what we're going to do is, John's been kind enough to
bring it out.
And we're going to go have some fun with this thing, and
just enjoy the day.
So stay tuned for "Big Muscle."
MIKE MUSTO: From 1964 to 1969, the Plymouth Barracuda was a
small sports coupe which had much of its underpinnings with
the economy-based Plymouth Valiant.
And while it looked good, it didn't possess the performance
that many muscle car enthusiasts
of the 1960s demanded.
However, in 1970, that all changed when Plymouth's Fast
Fish received entirely new sheet metal from front to back
as well as a host of engine choices that ranged from a
little Slant-6 to the fire-breathing 426 Hemi.
That engine, when combined with the right color
combination, helped secure it as one of the most
sought-after muscle cars in existence.
So you might think that starting a car like this would
be kind of a piece of cake, but in reality, it's not.
I mean, you're talking about a car that's 13 to 1
compression, runs on 100 octane.
And well, there's a couple of procedures involved.
So, step one, key in the ignition.
Step two, make sure the parking brake is on.
Step three, flip the ignition on.
Step four, pop the car out of reverse.
Turn the key, put the battery on.
It's because it's got reverse lockout.
We want to make sure it's out.
Pull it back.
Done, out.
Give it a crank.
It's going to take two.
It will start on number two.
MIKE MUSTO: And now you are ready to go unleash 700
horsepower on public roads, with 100 octane of fun.
So how do you take a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, do a nut
and bolt restoration on it, but make it completely [BLEEP]
at the same time?
Now, most people would think that's not possible.
However, John Cross isn't most people.
You see, he knows his car so well.
You know, when he was a kid, he used to ride in the back
seat and get his face pinned to the vinyl back there.
The car itself--
again, looking at it, you would say, OK, well it's a hot
rod, there's no doubt.
It's a black Barracuda, shaker car, gull wing on the back.
Every bit of a street fighter as you could ever have in a
muscle car.
However, when John built it, he knew he
wanted that extra punch.
And that's why he pulled the original 440 motor, put it on
a stand, and built the crazy 496 that lurks under
the hood right now.
JOHN CROSS: This is a Dave Hughes-built Hughes Engines
440 six-pack.
It's 493 cubic inches.
And I told them what parts I wanted them to use, and they
put it together.
And when they dynoed it, they were shocked that it put out
more power than they've ever gotten out
of a six-pack motor.
MIKE MUSTO: So what are you making out of this?
What did this make at the crank?
JOHN CROSS: It dynoed at 684, with about 682 torque.
And I've done some mods to it since then, so it's pushing
700 probably right now, maybe a little more.
I've tried not to take away from the
originality of the car.
All the stuff that's on it can be unbolted
and put back to stock.
But I needed more power.
I needed some comfort and--
MIKE MUSTO: Right, because you need 700 horsepower.
So like John said, he's owned this car for 34 years.
That's a long time.
He bought this car from his cousin for $1,000.
You can't buy anything for $1,000 these days.
You know, his cousin wanted the car back.
John wouldn't sell it to him.
So he built one that's almost exactly like it.
I have a feeling John's laughing the entire time,
because he actually got the real deal.
His cousin?
I don't know if that's a numbers matching car or not.
We know that this one is.
Now, what John said when we got in this car was, hey,
Mike, just so you know, you're the only guy who's ever driven
this car, aside from me, in the last three decades.
It's a little frightening, I'll be honest with you.
John's not a small guy.
Now, it's an honor and a privilege for us
to drive this thing.
Now, you guys at home, you might not
think of it as an honor.
But it is.
And if you know muscle cars, you'll know that this is one
of the rarest and the most sought-after ones out there.

In doing this, was your intention to build a motor
with this much power to go drag racing?
Or you just wanted a cool street rod?
Or you just wanted to have a car that you always wanted
since you were a kid?
JOHN CROSS: The latter.
I've been in this car since I was in the
single digits in age.
And I remember, back then when you're a kid, it seems so much
bigger than life.
And when I grew up, I needed more than the stock.
I've driven stock 440 six-pack cars before, and
I just wanted more.
But I wanted reliability.
I wanted air conditioning.
I wanted an electrical system that could handle the modern
add-ons without stressing.
MIKE MUSTO: But to handle all this power--
let's kind of walk back to the rear, because obviously you
had to update suspension, chassis, rear end,
JOHN CROSS: It's got an aftermarket fuel system that--
I had Rick's Tanks do a tank for me, in stainless, to add
more fuel, because I wanted to have a little more range.
And then it's got a return fuel pump system.
The fuel pump's about one and 3/4 horsepower.
MIKE MUSTO: So stock tank is what, 19
gallons on these cars?
JOHN CROSS: There's like 17 or 16 usable.
OK, so then what do you get for mileage?
So if you're just cruising on the highway with this thing--
JOHN CROSS: I'm getting about 12.
And then 9 around town.
MIKE MUSTO: So you actually have a--
you've probably got a solid 300 miles, 350-mile
range in this car.
JOHN CROSS: It's not bad.
MIKE MUSTO: You've done the fuel system.
Obviously, you moved the battery to
the trunk for weight.
Now, also for that power, what did you do to the
rear end of this car?
I mean, yes, it's a Dana 60, and we all know those are
pretty bulletproof.
But have you upgraded that at all, or is that stock as well?
JOHN CROSS: It's out of a Bee body, because
it's a little narrower.
And it has a inset spring hanger kit on
it from Doctor Diff.
And I just put fresh clutches and
bearings, and had it rebuilt.

MIKE MUSTO: The way this car is set up, it's not a canyon
car, and it was never meant to be.
This car is a straight line bullet machine.
Everything was built for that.
Now, has he upgraded the suspension?
Sure he has.
I mean, it's got Afco adjustable shocks, subframe
connectors, and counteracts.
In a straight line, that's all well and good.
That means when you put the power down, the big tires at
the back, the 335s, they're going to stick, and they're
going to keep you pointed on the straight and narrow.
However, in the corners, on a bumpy road like this, I'll be
honest with you.
We're bouncing all over the place.
The seats are typical 1970 buckets, which means they
offer little, if no, support.
Throw this car into a corner, you don't have anything to
hold on to.
So your passenger, odds are, is going to slide either into
you, or be pinned against the door, and there's nothing they
can do about it.
If you don't like somebody, it's a great way
to get rid of them.
But if you do, I suggest you put something in this car so
they can hold on.
John spent loads of time and countless hours doing research
on how to make this thing quiet.
And I'll be honest, it's one of the quietest muscle cars
I've ever been in.
I mean, I'm talking to you right now.
There's no wind noise coming in through the windows.
The exhaust is out the back.
And it's great.
I mean, it's really not that obtrusive.
Now, one of the things that John did do, because he wanted
to have that typical hot rod FU in the car, is
he installed dumpers.
And as you know, on this show we actually love dumpers.
So by hitting this button right here--
MIKE MUSTO: --we can open them, and make
it sound like that.

Ah, glorious.
That's all glorious.
I mean, the car just sounds--
it just sounds vicious.
And it's great, because this is the car that you pull up
next to the guy in the Ferrari, and you're
all nice and quiet.
Then you open the dumpers, and he looks over at you and just
goes, ah, nice [BLEEP].

The hooligan in me would love to own this car to just go out
and just embarrass people and have fun,
and play street racer.
The handling portion of me, not so much,
because it's tough.
I like things that serve a purpose, and if you just want
to be straight out, flat out knock your other car down in
competition, this is the one.

This thing is a handful.
And plus, I'm just too damn big.
I mean, I got to work this thing.
Like I said, the steering wheel's down by my gonads.
It's not really a happy place right now for me.
Otherwise, though, this thing is--
It's a lot of fun.
It just makes you feel like a four-year-old kid playing with
Hot Wheels cars.
It's something that you generally don't
get to do as an adult.
I mean, you do, but people just look at you funny.

Was your idea always, from when you first got the new old
car, to do and nut and bolt resto on this thing?
JOHN CROSS: Yeah, I've always wanted to.
And I had to wait for quite a number of years to be able to
get in a position where I had a place to do it, the tools to
do it, the knowledge to do it, and the money to do it.
And it was just a labor of love, really.
MIKE MUSTO: So how many hours do you think you personally
have in this car?
JOHN CROSS: Thousands.
MIKE MUSTO: Thousands of hours?
JOHN CROSS: Probably close to 3,000.
I paid $1,000 for the car in '78.
MIKE MUSTO: So to buy a 'Cuda for $1,000, this car--
and right now, I have a feeling this car would
probably go for the minimum of the six digits.
Somewhere in the six digits.
JOHN CROSS: I've been offered a lot of money for
it, but I'm not there.
MIKE MUSTO: And would you ever sell it?
JOHN CROSS: If the right offer came in, I probably would.
JOHN CROSS: You know, anything's possible.
I love the car.
It's been in the family since '72.
MIKE MUSTO: Yeah, it would be tough to get rid of, I would
think, right?
And there's no rust in this car.
It's one of the most solid E-bodies I've ever seen.
MIKE MUSTO: All right, so the day is coming to an end in the
San Jose canyons.
We spent the day with John Cross and his wicked 1970
Plymouth 'Cuda.
I mean, in the annals of Mopardom, it really doesn't
get much better than this.
I mean, 440 six-pack car, Dana rear end,
four-speed, triple black--
I mean, this car goes as good as it looks.
I mean, the car is just evil from every perspective.
Now, granted, it's not a canyon car.
But it's a straight line animal that we love, and it's
been a privilege to hang out with John and
drive the car today.
So guys, can't thank you enough.
Stay tuned for more big muscle next week.
Oh my god, my kidneys.
This would be the worst car to drive if you have to pee.
Like if you've got a full bladder, and you're going down
this road, oh my god, you'd be peeing all over your leg.
I have a feeling it was also to intimidate every father who
had a daughter.
Because if I had a daughter, and some kid showed up in this
thing to pick her up, there is no way in hell she'd be going
out on a date with this guy.
Never going to happen.
Because really the only thing he's trying to do is squeeze
her skinny ass in the back of that seat and play [BLEEP]
ping-pong back there.
That's not going to happen.
Oh, that probably won't make it into the video, huh?