The Great 8, 2022 Ridler Award, among them are some of the best custom car projects seen in many years. We’ve already shown you the unique 1932 “Sho Bird” Chevrolet Independence and the equally creative 1951 Studebaker pickup. Compared to those, this 1979 Plymouth Barracuda could seem a little conventional, but it’s the perfect muscle car.
Entering the competition to win the Ridler Award is a huge achievement by itself. You can almost taste the amount of money needed to execute a build to this degree. Maybe that’s why it was painted green.
The car submitted by Don and Mary Doctor of Denver, North Carolina was put together by a shop called Creations by Gemza run by Rony Gemza. It’s one of those projects where everything looks nearly stock, but it’s completely not the case.
The theme: Super Cuda
While not all Barracudas are worth being called Cudas, this one has even loftier ideals. Simply put, its builders wanted to promote one of the most iconic muscle cars to supercar status. Fabrication is one thing, but this also has the right engine.
It’s a Gen III HEMI, a 6.1-liter so not the largest or most powerful of its kind. However, it’s been supercharged and fitted with a lot of custom-fabricated performance parts. Why a 6.1? Well, this project started 8 years ago, and this was the crate engine you bought. But it’s been dressed up to resemble a Hellcat now, plus it’s been modified to a 6.55-liter.
It’s now making 1300 hp on race fuel or 900+ on regular gas. To achieve those numbers, the motor has been supercharged, but to keep the look as clean as possible, a custom hood was fabricated, emphasizing how tall the motor sits in the Plymouth body. That hood is a work of art, probably the best piece of the whole build, the air cleaner being packed inside a hidden area.
Even though the body looks normal from afar, it’s actually heavily modified. The rocker was moved up over an inch to give it a nice stance. The wheelbase has also been increased by 3 inches, and everything has been smoothed over: no gaps, no lines. Ridler cars have to be as pretty underneath, so this even has partly hidden mufflers and perfectly-painted undercarriage.
The owner wanted the paint to look black in the shade and green when the light hits it. The one-off color has been dubbed Hyper Cuda Green. In contrast, you’ve got a little copper, but there’s no chrome to speak of. And just check out the weatherstrip around the windows.
For the interior, the owner and designer envisioned something which doesn’t look factory. However, the dark brown seems like a perfect match to the character of the car.