Monday, January 21, 2008

Barrett-Jackson: 2008 Plymouth ‘CUDA Concept goes for $145K

From the article:2008 Charger SRT8 donor chassis with 6.1 Liter HEMI and AutoStick transmission. All carbon fiber body with functional Shaker Hood. Painted Lambo Pearl Orange. Sits on 22″ Zenetti wheels and Pirelli tires. Titled as a 2007 Dodge Charger.

“The “BBP Project ‘Cuda”. This car was designed and built to encourage Chrysler Corp to bring back the ‘Cuda model and the Plymouth brand. “Beefier” and larger overall than the original, there is no mistaking its heritage. It is faithful to its 1970-74 “E” Body ancestors. Although a Concept Car, it was designed to translate into a production version. It was important for the car to look and drive like a car that came off the assembly line.

The BBP ‘Cuda was handcrafted by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters in Fountain Valley, CA. Metalcrafters is known in the OEM industry for their extreme commitment to quality construction and quick build times. They count Toyota, Nissan, Audi, Hyundai and Chrysler among their list of OEM customers. Interestingly, Metalcrafters built the Concept Challenger for Dodge. Metalcrafters used the same technique to build the ‘Cuda as they used to build Dodge’s Concept Challenger. Starting with an “LX” chassis (in this case a brand new donor 2007 Charger SRT8), they proceeded to remove the body and totally disassemble the car down to the chassis. The bare chassis was cut in half and shortened 4″ and put back together.

A full scale foam model of the car was machined on a 5-Axis milling machine complete with stub axles, wheels and tires for critical review. After numerous cosmetic changes, a mold was made from the foam model for the carbon fiber body. The one piece, carbon fiber body was fit to the chassis. Once the fitment was confirmed, the glass areas were removed and the doors, trunk and hood were cut out. The glass for the windshield, rear window and side windows was manufactured by Metalcrafters at their facility. This glass is DOT approved, tempered safety glass, just like the glass in any production car. New door panels were made and the interior modified to convert from a 4 door sedan to a 2 door coupe. The stock instrument panel was retained for the production look and feel.

The stock drivetrain and electrical system were also retained with the addition of a functional Shaker Hood scoop and Flowmaster mufflers. Stock wheels and tires were replaced with chrome 22″ Zenetti “Fives” shod with 265/35/22 Pirelli P Zeros in front and 305/35/22 Pirelli P Zeros in the rear. The finish is highlighted by the clear coated exposed carbon fiber on the hood, deck lid spoiler and rear tail light panel. The remainder of the body is shot with Lamborghini Pearl Orange. In September when the car was nearly complete, MOPAR execs happened to be at Metalcrafters.

After seeing the Concept ‘Cuda, the executives asked if they could take the car to the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas where it made its official debut. MOPAR used this opportunity to gauge public opinion for potential future re-introduction by placing it front and center in their display. **TITLED AS A 2007 DODGE CHARGER**”

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