Dec 21

Chrysler E body’s: The Plymouth Cuda and Dodge Challenger

Here’s the cool thing about being the guy that started this whole Infinite Garage thing, I can kind of do what I want. It was a rough few weeks while we were down and I just want to shout to the world that we are back. So up until this point after our return we have done a little news, some cool videos and now it’s time to get back to more original content. So why not kick that off with my two favorite cars of all time. The Plymouth Cuda and the Dodge Challenger. If I ever did get the funds to buy one of these classics I don’t know which I’d choose. It would be tough for sure. Now while they are both E body cars they are also both very different. Let’s have some photos do the talking.

Hemi Cuda

Probably a good place to start is the king of the E bodies the Hemi Cuda. It’s as bad ass as it gets with an amazing sound, stunning looks, and king of the streets type performance. The E body started in 1970 as a wider and shorter B platform. There were three versions of the Cuda in 1970 the base model, Grand Cupe, and Sport Coupe.

The Cuda had a huge engine option list. In cars today your a lucky to get two engine choices but with the Cuda you got eight.
Cuda Engine choices were:
198 cu in (3.2 L) Slant-6 I6
225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6 I6 which we here at IG affectionately call the leaning tower of power.
318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8
340 cu in (5.6 L) LA V8
360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8
383 cu in (6.3 L) B V8
426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8

The Cuda below has a 383 V8.


Of course the Cuda got some awesome hi impact color options like Plum Crazy. How can you not love a color called Plum Crazy? Technically being a Plymouth this would have been called “In-Violet”Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The color was originally going to be called “Statutory Grape” but it was rejected by the stiffs at the top of Chrysler’s executive chain.

Plymouth High impact color paint codes:
FC7= In-Violet
FJ5 Lime Lite
FJ6 Sassy Grass
EK2 Vitamin C
EL5 Bahama Yellow
FM3 Moulin Rouge
EV2 Tor Red
FY1 Lemon Twist
GY3 Curious Yellow

A Tor Red example.
Of course Cudas came in convertibles too if you wanted to do some top down cruising and hear that awesome engine roar.
In 1972 a refresh was at hand with some changes to the bumper grill and rear. By then the muscle car era was winding down and if you want to get a Cuda the 1972 and up models might be a good place to look as the prices are generally quite a bit less then the 1970 and 1971s.

The Dodge Challenger was a bit of a sister car to the Cuda. While the cars looked similar there were quite a few differences in the bumper, rear end, hood, and other touches. Engine options were the same for the Dodge as the Cuda and through some digging around through old car magazines and the internet I compiled a list of some performance numbers.
Pink Panther Challenger

Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Cuda performance stats.
340: 14.8 @ 96 mph
340 T/A: 14.3 @ 99.5 mph
383 2-barrel: 15.1 @ 96 mph
383 Magnum R/T: 14.3 @ 99 mph
440 Magnum R/T: 13.8 @ 102 mph
440 Six-Pack: 13.4 @ 107 mph
426 Hemi: 13.2 @ 108 mph

Those numbers are pretty good, but I’ll bet someone is sitting here right now reading this thinking “my Honda Civic does the quatermile in 14.whatever.” Sure it does, but those times above are on 1970s tires which suck. Modern tires turn these cars into rocket ships and are a must for any non factory resto.

Dodge Challenger High Impact color codes:
FC7 Plum Crazy
EF6 Bright Green
FJ5 Sublime
FJ6 Go Green
EK2 Go Mango
EL5 Butterscotch
FM3 Panther Pink
EV2 Hemi Orange
FY1 Top Banana
GY3 Citron Yella

The interior of the E bodys were not to bad for the day. Some vinyl, faux wood grain, and plentiful instrumentation made for a decent place to sit.
When it was all said and done a little over 165,000 first generation (1970-1974) Challengers were ever made. The oil crisis of the mid 1970s as well as climbing insurance rates did them in with 1970 being the highest selling hear and numbers tapering off after that.

That’s going to wrap up this brief history of the E body cars from Dodge and Plymouth. They are some of the most legendary muscle cars ever produced and I just like to take any excuse I can to talk about them.