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BFG Hemi Cuda
BFG Hemi Cuda—The Captain
BFG Hemi Cuda—The Captain
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TheCaptainIn 1986 I was working part time with Roland Osborne at Chrysler Power Magazine along with owning my own construction business. I did mostly property management remodels with Home Savings Bank in Southern California which required only the highest standards of excellence for their most esteemed customers.

MartyRoland so inspired me that I wanted to buy a HemiCar. Definitely a 426; B-Body would have been good but I am very fond of the E-Bodies. I already owned a 1970 Challenger that had won many first place trophies for its 25 coats of hand rubbed black lacquer. Now I wanted something to drive. Remember, in the middle 80s, Hemi cars and for that matter muscle cars in general were a dime a dozen and everyone wanted to know why I wanted such a gas-guzzler. I didn’t care. A nice Street Hemi sounded like the ticket for me. Because of that decision, I was able to purchase the car of my dreams and preserve the most recognized HemiCuda on the planet and preserve it in the most complete manner possible.

In 1987 I walked into the Chrysler Power offices in Duarte, CA. The locals called it DU-ROCK because it was in the heart of the LA Basin gravel pits at the mouth of world famous Azusa Canyon. It was also the home of Mickey Thompson and his wife until they were brutally murdered one spring day and a host of other automotive performance entities including Justice Brothers and Ahltech Racing Restorations.

I mentioned to Roland that I was now seriously interested in owning a 426 Hemi Car; told him what I was looking for and he put the word out. Not very long after that I received a call from a guy in Canada that had a 1970 HemiCuda for sale. He was selling this car to put together enough cash to purchase some logging property. After a couple of weeks of telephone conversations he agreed to bring the car to southern California. On February 9, 1987 he entered the states with the car and was at my doorstep February 10th. There was a guy in Phoenix, AZ that knew the car very well and was second in line to buy the car if I didn’t want it. Fortunately it never got that far.


When I first saw the car it had parachutes wrapped around it with diesel exhaust all over it. What a mess! Once unveiled, the first thing I saw was silver prism tape on both quarter panels that spelled out “THE CAPTIAN” over a sublime base color with a burgundy stripe down the center and across the back. It was 426 Street Hemi, 4spd, Dana 60; the rear had been tubbed with a 4-link suspension right out of the old Direct Connection-Chrysler  Performance suspension book. This car was classic race-stalgia. There was something about this car that when I saw it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It was mine.

The complete engine went to Dick Landy, the intake went to Arlen Vanke, the body went to Ahltech and was completely stripped and the engine bay was prepped for all new sublime green paint. When it came down to the rear fender wells, the only metal available at that time were donor cars. With Roland’s advice we decided to leave the tubs and remove the 4 link and keep just the leaf springs.



+1 #2 Rob Haynes 2014-03-28 13:17
I am the Canadian that previously owned this car and delivered it to David. If he failed to buy it, I was going to have to haul it back to Canada before I could sell it to someone else in the USA. I recall the look in his eyes of wondering what was under the oiled cover that hid it. Then David asking me is there really a 1970 Hemi Cuda under there, in total disbelief. I Know the name of the original owner who purchased it new and from where in Canada if you would like more history let me know.I am happy to see that it went to a person that truly appreciates it an it's part in history. Would like to come down and see the car in person again and all your upgrades so please contact me. Hard to rap my mind around it now being a poster car for BF GOODRICH. How about sending me a complementary 10' poster for my living room.
Regards Rob Haynes
+3 #1 Brian Maher 2013-02-19 15:47
Beautiful story and beautiful Car !!! I had two friends growing up and one had a yellow 70 Cuda and the other had a green 70 Cuda, both with pistol grips !!! I miss them almost as much as those cars !!! Now I am driving my 2nd MOPAR Challenger and I love it !!! MOPAR or no Car !!!