PAUL'S SHOP and videotape analyzing the car and authenticating it. We got
several hours of footage. MARK came down from OTTAWA to BUFFALO, and flew
down with DICK for this technical session.
We had a special event FRIDAY night for GEORGE'S Dirt Track racing group,
an awards banquet. I had dropped MARK and DICK off at the hotel, and we went
back at 630 in a LIMO owned and driven by DANIEL to pick them up. DANIEL and
GEORGE had spent the last month restoring the LIMO especially to use for this
event. On the way to the hotel, I called DICK to ask if they were ready. He
said yeah, and I told him "I will have my car pick ya'll up". He said OK,
but I'm sure he didn't have a clue, until the LIMO pulled up at the hotel.
At the banquet, I prepared an announcement with several minutes of history
about DICK for the MC to read that there was a PRO STOCK racing legend in the
audience, and DICK got a huge round of applause. Dick told me "You just had
to do that, didn't ya?". Later, DICK said that was the first time he ever
rode in a LIMO ! ! !
GEORGE had washed the car and cleaned all the crud from underneath, and
it actually looked pretty good, DICK was impressed. Saturday morning we all
went to breakfast together and then to the shop where we spent a couple hours
going over details of the car, noting what was original and things that had
been changed since 1972.
After the session with the CUDA on SATURDAY afternoon, we spent several
hours on GEORGE'S three 4-wheelers racing through all the trails on GEORGE'S
70 acres, taking turns leading the group . . . chase the leader. Our lap
times increased with each pass . . . GEORGE unleashed 3 kids (DICK, MARK and
ME) without supervision . . . serious trouble ! ! !
After we did the CUDA analysis and 4-wheeling on Saturday, we went home
to GEORGES to view a CD that DAN CHOCKLEY had sent me (friend I met on-line
buying SHELBY restoration parts . . . CHOCKOSTANG is his company). Dan, who
is from ILLINOIS was passing through STAR several weeks earlier in his
motorhome on a SUNDAY (finishing up a parts hunting trip through the South)
and he saw GEORGE'S garage door open. He stopped in, and found only me there
working on my BMW. I showed him the CUDA and he got excited. He said he
thought he had an old reel to reel in storage somewhere that he shot at TULSA
back in 1972, and would look for it. He found it, got it transferred to CD,
and sent me a copy. Old film usually deteriorates, especially 40 years old,
but the storage conditions must have been just right, because the film was
perfect. This would be the first time for me to watch it.
That CD has clear shots of about 45 minutes of drag racing at TULSA 1972,
including several passes of the 'CUDA. On the last pass, the CUDA is up on
two wheels in first, shifts to second without coming down, and lifts again in
third . . . winning the race. DICK was there in 1972, and while watching the
film was naming all the cars and drivers. There was about a 10 minute pan of
the parking lot, and DICK was naming the trailers and motor homes. We
watched the video twice, and it was just a special night.
That 1972 TULSA video will be a feature "never before seen footage" part
of the video biography of RESTORATION OF THE MOTOWN MISSILE BARRACUDA.
DICK flew out from JACKSON on Sunday and went to CALIFORNIA. He was
flying out there from MISSISSIPPI to consult on the WIRE CAR, and said he
would be there a few weeks. MARK headed out the same time on his way back to
It was an adventure packed nonstop weekend we'll long remember, and a
super boost to the start of this historic restoration.
No work will be done on the CUDA until FEBRUARY, when we setup time lapse
photography, then start taking it apart and cataloging all parts. I'll send
pictures as they happen. No rush here, it's gonna be done right.
Be looking for the APRIL issue of MOPAR ACTION, which hit the newsstands
mid DEC. Look for a feature story on the CUDA inside under "BARN FINDS". Got
another article coming out in CLASSIC AND THOROUGHBRED CARS too, look for the
MARCH ISSUE and the feature article in the "DISCOVERED" section . . .