Cookin’ ‘Cuda


SHANE KELLY’S ’71 ’CUDA is a true international export
matching numbers B5 340 4-speed ‘Cuda. Shane did the
full ground-up build himself—body, paint, mechanicals
and assembly. He also upgraded the motor, suspension,
wheels and brakes—all bolt-on items so the car could go
back to original with minimal work. The 340 is pushing
right at 400 hp backed up by a Centerforce dual-friction
clutch. TTI headers, full exhaust and finished off with
their stainless cast tips. Rear is an 8¾-inch running a
3.91 Sure-Grip and heavy duty axles. Lots of Hotchkis
suspension upgrades. Brakes are large Wilwood 6-piston
calipers on the front and factory 11-inch drums out back.
Wheels are Year One aluminum 17×8 front and 17×9
rear wrapped with BF Goodrich rubber—245/45-17 and
275/40-17. Cockpit appointments include leather seats,
rim-blow wheel, rally dash and a pistol-grip shifter.
The ’Cuda was ordered new by a guy in the military. He lived in Florida,
and three years later he sold it to his brother in 1973. The brother
drove it until 1978 until he wrecked it. From then it sat in a garage until
2000 when a guy in Arizona bought it on the internet. He fixed it and
flipped it to a classic car dealer in the Northeast. That’s where Shane
purchased it. It had a slick paint job but the beauty was only skin deep.
After chasing constant problems and seeing lots of poor repair work he
made the decision to just take it all the way down for a full resto. After
3½ years it finally came together at the end of June 2017. It won the
Good Guys Homebuilt award in Columbus Ohio this year. Fit and finish
is top shelf, but I built it to drive and enjoy. I run it pretty hard and usually
drive it to work a couple times a week, when the weather is nice
here in Ewing, IL, and quite a bit on weekends.

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