Big Hemi


1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI ‘CUDA “NST ‘CUDA” (New School Technology)

Engine: 392 Gen III Hemi from Bouchillon Performance 525+HP
Induction: Multi Port Fuel Injection
Ignition: Bouchillon Performance
Custom Factory Serpentine System
Cooling: Mark 7 Radiator
Fuel: Walbro/Bouchillon
Transmission: Bouchillon 545RFE Chrysler 5 sp
Differential: Scott’s Driveline-Dana 60 3.55 Gears
Exhaust: TTI Complete Exhaust System
Front Suspension: Reilly Motorsports AlterKtion
Rear Suspension: Reilly Motorsports Street Lynx 4 Link
Brakes: Wilwood 6-Piston/4-Piston Drilled and Slotted/Hydroboost
Wheels/Tires: Custom Boze Wheels
19″X 10″ Rears 18″X 8″ Fronts
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires
Paint: Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes Custom Color “Purple Haze”
Paint Supplies: Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes
Body and Paint: Wade Yost The Candy Shop Customs
Fabrication: Ken Feber
Decals/Signage: Hightech Signs/Phoenix Graphix
Interior: Interiors by Thomas/Big Hemi
Gauges/Dash: Classic Dash/Big Hemi
A/C-Heater: Classic Auto Air
Stereo: Alpine
Polishing: Lee Scott
Extras: LED Taillights, H4 Hella Headlights, Custom Shaker Hood, Custom Upholstered Trunk, Painless, Hushmat
Special thanks to all our sponsor’s: Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, Bouchillon Performance, Year One, Classic Industries, Classic Auto Air, Vans Auto, Reilly Motorsports, TTI Exhaust, Mark 7 Machine, HighTech Signs.
Write up:

Meet the 1970 NST Hemi ‘Cuda! It isn’t just Mopar fans chasing their dream. You’ll get few arguments, even from Chevy and Ford fans, that Mopar wasn’t hitting on all eight cylinders during the height of the muscle car era. Their engines dominated the tracks, their styling was stunning on the street, and in the case of the pony car twins, ‘Cuda and Challenger, the combination was insanely appealing. Today, top-flight Mopar muscle remains in demand for all these reasons, but if you seek to go beyond the factory’s abilities—because, admittedly, they drive like 45-year-old cars—you have to do something special. Enter Jason Bair and the experts at Bair Customs, home of the Big Hemi garage. Perhaps you’re familiar with their work, since they’ve appeared in many big magazines, on automotive TV shows, and even as featured cars at SEMA and the Barrett-Jackson auctions. The concept on this SEMA ‘Cuda build was to stay with a factory flavor, while adding some subtle updated hardware not found in an original 70’s muscle car. The NST stands for New School Technology. The guys have had many requests for the modern power train, so this “Cuda is getting the full treatment.
They started with a clean 70 ‘Cuda, tore it down to a bare shell and rebuilt it from the molecular level on up. The result is a car that looks fairly stock aside from the rolling stock, but because of the NST upgraded hardware, it moves like a modern supercar with all the creature comforts. In short, it’s the pure essence of pro-touring, Mopar style. With the help of Wade Yost and the guys at The Candy Shop Customs, that ‘Cuda body was stripped naked, they fixed every bump and bruise it had ever suffered. If the panel was too far gone to be salvaged, it was replaced and invisibly stitched into the existing shell. It was primed, sanded, blocked, sanded some more, until it was totally straight. On the rotisserie, even the floors were sanded, filled, and smoothed to act as the perfect background for some very modern hardware (we’ll get to that stuff in a moment, don’t worry). Once those parts were done, they sprayed it with a few coats of Custom Purple Haze from Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. This is a custom color created by Wade and Sherwin Williams just for this project. At first glance it looks black, until you move in for a closer look. When the Plum Crazy Purple flake hits the light just so, then it really starts to glow. You have to see this color in person to really appreciate it. The custom flat/satin Shaker hood treatment is a nice hint to what is lurking under the hood. Trick flat/satin black front grille and chin spoilers, rear tail panel and duck tail spoiler, and the custom hockey stripes set off a good contrast to the glossy body and painted bumpers. Completing the factory look with a slight twist, although nothing rolling out of a Chrysler plant in 1970 ever looked this good. Yes, we’ve all seen straight cars, but after you see the exacting gaps and distortion-free surfaces on this ‘Cuda, you’re going to have to recalibrate your ruler, because it’s simply astounding. Aside from the larger Boze Clutch wheels, this beauty’s got a very stock look and that’s just the way they wanted it. Respecting the original design was paramount on this build, so while it does everything better than a stock car, it doesn’t color too far outside the lines.
That’s why inside you’ll find a set of custom buckets reupholstered to look like stock ‘Cuda seats, complete with horizontal pleats. Sure, the bolsters are aggressive and the headrests are cool, but they don’t jump out at you like with some builds. The stock center console remains in place and the back seat was reupholstered with restoration-grade seat covers for a totally original look. New carpets, fresh door panels, and several hundred feet of HushMat underneath give it a factory-fresh look and a new car feel. There’s a Flaming River Steering wheel and tilt column that blends into the background with a the full complement of Classic Dash gauges custom fit in the dash. The upgraded AM/FM/CD/iPod stereo system sounds great, and the original A/C controls still manage the Classic Auto Air system, which blows ice cold today. Carbon fiber accents on the dash, console, and pistol-grip shifter give it a slightly modern look. OK, we’re getting to the good stuff, don’t worry.
The engine is a 392 cubic inch GEN III Hemi by Bouchillon Performance, noted Hemi builders with a serious reputation. With 525+ horsepower on pump gas, this ‘Cuda humiliates any original Hemi ‘Cuda and once you find out how well it works you won’t go back to stock again. It idles nicely, it pulls like a freight train, and thanks to a complete multi port fuel injection system with engine management computer, it can be driven daily without complaints. There’s a true multi port fuel injection set up on top, living under a custom Shaker hood assembly. A factory accessory drive with serpentine belt controls all the modern conveniences and dresses up the front of the engine, and a giant Mark 7 aluminum radiator keeps it cool.

You can see Jason Bair’s attention to detail everywhere you look as there’s simply no part that was simply installed; everything was either polished, painted, or plated and when it went on, it was aligned and straightened to look right. Maybe that’s a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but when you get results like this, a little crazy is probably OK. It’s backed by a Bouchillon 545RFE Chrysler 5-speed automatic overdrive transmission that doesn’t seem to mind the massive torque moving through it. One engine/transmission management computer controls everything, to give this car a true turn key and drive experience. A custom driveshaft was fabricated to withstand the force and feeds a Scott’s Driveline Dana 60 rear end filled with 3.55 gears on a Sure Grip limited slip. The original suspension is long gone (would you trust it at this point?) and replaced with a tubular subframe and a full Reilly Motorsports front suspension with tubular A-arms, coil-over shocks, and a fat sway bar. There’s also power rack-and-pinion steering, so even with the fat tires it steers so nice your grandmother could manage it, and a Wilwood brake system with 6-piston calipers in front and 4-pistons in back, drilled and slotted rotors, all supported by a Hydro-Boost power assist.

In back, that bulletproof Dana 60 is bolted to a Reilly Street Lynx rear suspension with a set of trick coil overs and adjustable shocks. Subframe connectors reinforce the tub and obviously the floors and underside of the car are every bit as nice as the top side. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the gorgeous fabricated 3.0-inch exhaust system from TTI Exhaust, which features polished ceramic-coated long-tube headers, a TTI X-pipe, and mufflers big enough to make the Hemi a reasonable choice for long-distance cruising. Custom Boze Clutch wheels measuring 18×8 up front and 19×10 in back were fitted with Mickey Thompson street performance tires that do their best to hook it up. This incredible car is fully sorted and ready to rock. The combination of build quality, performance, and the subtlety of the package make for an insanely appealing ‘Cuda. It’s a big kid’s toy, but there are no disappointments at any level with this incredible ‘Cuda.

About the owner John Stetson:

My passion goes deep into my childhood in Southern California when my cousin and I played slot cars, collected Hot Wheels and wrenched on go carts. My first car was a ’76 Camaro which I paid for myself when I was 17. I always had an affinity for muscle cars and related to them since that was my era. Even today, when I am at the cars shows, I gravitate to them. I had a lot of great cars growing up including, a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 4 speed car, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am and a 1972 Chevy Super Deluxe short bed 396 show truck, etc…

But the Mopar gene was hidden inside of me when I got my first 1970 Challenger and now the NST Cuda project. Now, I own a Sublime green Hellcat and am in all the way with Chrysler products. The Cuda was perfect to start with and won many car shows, but I wasn’t completely satisfied. The 2014 Mopar Spring Fling was the best one, winning the Modified E- Body class. Now its on to win more awards when the New School Technology ( NST) is unleashed. This is where this industry is going, guys my age are gravitating to and appreciate the next level of car building. Jason Bair at Bair Customs is the perfect guy to do this with as we share the same vision. I liked him from the beginning and gives me a total sense of trust and honesty. His past projects speak for themselves and open willingness to listen and learn has made it a natural, easy decision for me to do this with him.

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