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Restoring The Long Lost French Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda

By Tyler Heatley Apr 13, 2019
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By Tyler Heatley Apr 13, 2019
Thought lost to the sands of time, this American muscle car is a French racing hero.

The Plymouth Barracuda is well known as an iconic American muscle car, particularly when fitted with its mighty HEMI engine. However, most of its fame comes from its history stateside, making the model a relative stranger in Europe. That is except for one very special ‘Cuda that made its name racing in France. The excellent VINwiki YouTube channel documents the story of this lost car’s discovery and restoration.

Colton Amster is the owner of Redline Restorations, a company that specialises in returning once forgotten machines into factory fresh examples once again. After a curious phonecall from a contact in Europe about a barn find Barracuda, he and his team went to investigate. What they found was a white 1970 vehicle in what he calls a ‘gypsy occupied location.’ This iconic muscle cr was very far from home, and after some research and verification, it turned out to be far more than just another classic barn find.

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As the first layers of white paint were removed in preparation for restoration, an iconic French racing livery revealed itself. This was in fact the French racing ‘Cuda of the 1970s that came to Europe as part of Chrysler’s racing program. It was long thought lost or destroyed,

Imported into France in 1970 for service in the Chrysler France team, this motorsport machine spent three years campaigning in Group 1 racing. It has over 60 verified victories to its name at tracks including French Grand Prix venues Montlhéry, Paul Ricard, Dijon, and Mangy-Cours.

Colton managed to track down Henri Chemin, ex-director of Chrysler France’s racing efforts and pilot of this very car. He was responsible for ordering the batch of ‘Cudas in 1970, and is more than familiar with the machine in question. Reunited post restoration, he later took the American beauty out on track. For his age, he was really going for it!

It’s a great story and one that is well worth listening to in full via the embedded video.

Source: YouTube


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