Deep in the heart of New Jersey, there lives a 'Cuda with an especially evil heart. Ten cylinders of turbocharged Viper-born fury (with 8-30 psi potential) motivate the not-so-subtle E-body. Along with the engine transplant came the Viper's stick shift transmission (a beefy 6-speed, in case you didn't know), feeding into a Dana 60 rear axle. The transplant is not a simple one, and credit goes to owner Jack Stickle for seeing it through. Jack wants to open his own performance shop someday soon, and he's hoping the 'Cuda will serve as a rolling business card to showcase his talents.
We think he'll do just fine, judging from the fit and finish on this fish. Power and performance were paramount, but the '72 Plymouth shines in many other ways, too. The obvious dosage of DuPont Chromallusion "Absolute Pupleen" paint adds plenty of sparkle and the reflective color changes grab the attention of anyone within view. Behind the shine, a slew of performance hardware ensures the car has cooks to back the looks.
Getting the turbo'ed powerplant in place was one thing, but getting it to run was a job unto itself. Since Jack wanted this engine to be capable of everything from quarter-mile passes to open road freeway flying to cross-country drives (it participated in the Hot Rod Power Tour), the list of requirements was long. To accomplish the task, Jack started with an iron V-10 block (from the Ram trucks) and topped it with the flow-happy Viper heads and intake. The block was filled with upgraded goodies like Eagle H-beam rods, JE pistons (for 8:1 compression), and Total Seal rings gapped a bit wider for eventual use with nitrous oxide. The cam is from Comp, and pushed .544-inch lift with 230-degrees of duration at .050-inch lift.
The heads received a 5-angle valve job and a good rebuild prior to being fitted up with the Garret GT30 ball-bearing turbos. Injectors were upgraded to 83lb. Bosch units urged by Motec engine management equipment and fired by ten GM coil packs.
Stuffing the V-10/6-speed combo between the framerails required some serious suspension surgery. The entire factory torsion bar front suspension and K-member were ditched in favor of a completely custom setup featuring tubular A-arms and a custom tubular K-member to support the new engine. A rack-and-pinion steering setup was also added. The additional space found after the suspension swap allowed the V-10 installation to fit without any firewall modifications at all. The transmission tunnel needed to be custom-crafted, but according to Jack, "...it was junk anyway, and needed to be replaced." Jack made sure to thank his pals Jose and Pete for their generous assistance in getting the turbo equipment and drivetrain installed and functional.
"It was really important to me for this car to have a full interior. I wanted it to be comfortable and functional, so I added many power accessories and a monster stereo/navigation system (with g-meter and vehicle dynamics program). It's pulled over 1g in the tight turns already. Once I get the nitrous dialed in, I'm hoping for 9-second quarter-mile times, and incredible top-end capabilities. I've had it up to 150 mph already, and that was in 5th gear. I've still got 6th to explore. While on Power Tour, it averaged about 15 mpg, so I know I'm getting close to having the kind of all-around performance I've been craving."
The interior does boast some solid equipment, including heated seats, the mandatory pistol grip shifter (Jack says, "That was an absolute necessity...") and more power goodies to come (like power windows). The air conditioning system is also being engineered, and when enjoying the comfort of the grey and white leather-covered Recaro seats and Momo steering wheel while being snugged into the RCI 5-point harnesses, piloting this 'Cuda must be a rush.
The wheel and tire package also adds to the performance of the car. Matching a pair of 18x8-inch Bonspeed wheels with BFG 225/40-18 tires up front coincides nicely with the 22x10-inch Bonspeed hoops and 285/35-22 BFGs anchoring the rear. Jack is looking into 18-inch drag radials for his quarter-mile assaults, but he tells us the 22s have plenty of bite after the first 50 feet or so. He admits the acceleration feels "really weird" as the combination of twin turbos, 492 inches of V-10, and 22-inch rubber is certainly unusual.
After looking over his work, we'd say Jack has a bright future in the custom car biz. If he's able to perform this level of work consistently and to his customer's satisfaction, there may be a new builder to watch on the East Coast. We'll be looking for this car at upcoming Street Machine of the Year competitions, once Jack says it's completely finished. He also made it clear he's got no intention of selling it, but we feel once the A/C, nitrous, and other goodies are all up and running, an offer may come along he simply can't refuse. Until then, we wish him the best in making the rest of his dreams come true. The dream he once had for a twin-turbo'ed Viper-urged 'Cuda certainly did.