2020 PPG Street Machine of the Year Finalist – Kent Matranga’s 1971 Cuda
Most hot rod shops can tell you about projects that stall when a customer loses interest or runs out of funds. Sometimes you get lucky and another customer takes over, as Kent Matranga did with this ’71 Cuda crafted by Andy Leach and the CAL Automotive Creations team.
“We decided to build around the Hellcat,” Andy says, which meant designing a one-off front suspension and four-bar rear integrated into the modified unibody structure and utilizing RideTech coil-overs and Baer brakes to slow the 18×8- and 20×10-inch EVOD wheels. The custom chassis allowed a good fit for the 707hp Hellcat engine, which is backed by a Bowler T56 six-speed.
The body retains its original character but has been subtly tweaked with dropped rockers, reshaped quarters, one-off front and rear valences and exhaust tips, front and rear belly pans, custom-machined door handles, and countless other tricks. Charley Hutton’s Color Studio sprayed the PPG Bronze Fire Metallic finish.
The cabin also retains its original flavor, though nearly everything is custom, from the one-off seats upholstered by Recovery Room, to the Dakota Digital gauges and custom wheel whittled by Atomic Machine.
With more than 1,000 miles logged before it was painted, this Cuda is a proven performer that’s sure to see many more road miles in the future.