Former show car uncovered
“Isaw the car in the back of a shop, just covered up. I thought, Man, if that guy decides he isn’t going to finish that car, let me know.”
Jeff Clark has a regular job. On the weekends and some evenings and days off, he restores muscle cars. “Some assembly required” does not bother him, especially when the car is a 1970 ’Cuda that came from the factory with a V code, for the 440 Six Pack. Clark wanted to buy the ’Cuda, but it wasn’t for sale, so he left his name and phone number.
“Raymond Douglas’ uncle [not the owner] had the old ’Cuda in his shop in Kansas. The restoration had stalled out. That was three, four, or five years ago.”
Clark, who lives in Pampa, Texas, wasn’t sure of the exact year he and Douglas drove north to Kansas, or what that trip was about, but the phone call he got in February of 2018 made a big impression. Douglas’ uncle had died, and the family decided to sell the ’Cuda. The car had to come out of the uncle’s shop. They hammered out a price on the phone. The deal was made.
Douglas owns his own paint and body shop in Pampa, and has built many different cars, including street rods, classic Mustangs,
and muscle cars. Why didn’t he buy the ’Cuda? He and Clark are car friends. Clark “showed an interest.” Douglas “thought about it,” and then “kind of backed out.”
Clark says, “We made a trip back up there about three or four weekends later, and took a trailer and gathered everything up.”
With the deal, Clark got a photo scrapbook of the car and stories from the deceased’s brother, Tony. The deceased, George, had not been a typical owner. He had his own paint and body shop, and when he purchased the ’Cuda “in 1970 or 1971,” he put a special paint job on the car with a Spirit of ’76 theme. This made sense during the years around the nation’s bicentennial. The car caught national attention at shows. Street Machine magazine ran a two-page feature on the car. Clark showed us a weathered copy of that issue he got with the ’Cuda.
Clark pointed out a side stripe with Christopher Columbus’ three ships sailing on the ocean. An 8x10 photo in the scrapbook showed Spirit of ’76 graphics on the car’s hood, roof, and decklid.
The odometer reads 15,044, which Clark says Tony told him “had not rolled over.” Clark says the ’Cuda “had been parked most its life,” but he has “zero documentation to prove” the mileage.
n The 1970 440 Six Pack ’Cuda is extremely rare: 854 hardtops with automatic, as seen here. Jeff Clark transferred the ’Cuda from a shop in Kansas to his own shop in Texas. The body, sans fenders, hood, and decklid, appears rust-free and has been repainted the stock Alpine White.
n A vintage photo that came with the car shows the show-car graphics on the hood, roof, and decklid. The Street Machine article from 1976 also depicts the show car configuration. Clark plans to put the car back to stock, although the show car look is a second option.
n The seats, stored in a barn for “at least 10 years,” are weather cracked, but complete. The front bucket seats feature six-way adjustable tracks.