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Kitbash the 'Cuda of your dreams

Project ideas for the Revell 1970 AAR ’Cuda and Hemi ’Cuda model kits
With the Revell Plymouth 1970 AAR ’Cuda and Hemi ’Cuda kits, modelers now have two state-of-the-art ’Cuda kits to work from when developing kitbashed model projects.  

The most obvious project would be to combine parts from the Hemi ’Cuda with the 340 V8 from the AAR kit to model what many consider to be the most desirable all-around ’Cuda of all: the 1970 ’Cuda 340. But don’t be afraid to try other options, like a ’Cuda 383 (using the 383 V8 from the Revell 1968 or 1969 Dart GTS kits), a ’Cuda 440 four-barrel (via the engine in the AMT 1971 Charger R/T kit), or a ’Cuda 440-6 using any of the Plymouth and Dodge 440 six-barrel parts.  

Another option is to turn the AAR ’Cuda to a convertible, or you could try to replicate the luxury Gran Coupe trim level with a leather interior and ceiling-mounted instrument pod. If you want to stretch out to a “Day Two” or “Day Three” theme, a wide variety of wheel and tire options await, not to mention engine upgrades, side pipes, and alternative graphic treatments. How about a mid-1970s, period-correct, high-riding “Street Freak” model?  

The ideas that follow are just the tip of the iceberg. Set your creativity to HIGH and let’s see what toothsome 1970 ’Cuda-based model projects you come up with!

The standard hood for all 1970 ’Cudas (except the Hemi) was a twin scoop design; the Hemi engine required the Shaker hood as standard equipment. Regardless, Revell included the double scoop hood as a build option in its Hemi ’Cuda kit, but it incorporated an unrealistic bulge at the rear between the two scoops (probably to clear the Hemi engine in scale). If you’re building a stock ’Cuda without the Air Grabber, file down the shaded area on the hood at left to get as close as possible to eliminating the bulge, as shown on the hood at right.

For a factory-stock ’Cuda 340, use the Revell AAR engine and substitute the four-barrel carb intake manifold and air cleaner from the AMT 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 kit. You can use the Duster’s Carter Thermoquad carb, but, to be accurate, you should source a scale replica of the Carter AVS carb that was factory spec’d for the 1970 version of the 340 V8. Fireball Modelworks ( has exactly the carb you need, and it’s highly detailed to boot.

For the ’Cuda 340 conversion, or any of the other various ’Cuda models for the matter, there are several aftermarket decal choices available. Typical offerings may include the rear quarter panel graphics, engine callouts for the sides of the double scoop hood, engine displacement decals for the air cleaner, and so forth. Shown here is the set from Ray’s Decals (

Back in the day, most AAR owners quickly upgraded to more aggressive tires and aftermarket wheels. A great scale choice for your model would be the “big ‘n’ bigger” Goodyear Blue Streak tires and American five spoke wheels from Revell’s timeless 1932 Ford three-window and Speedwagon street rod kits.  Other period-correct choices would be the Minilite wheels that were often seen in the Trans-Am racing circuit and the classic American 200-S “daisy” mags. Check your spares box, and if that fails you, head off the internet and aftermarket manufacturers.

Here’s a peak at my own in-progress kitbashing project, using the AAR body with corrected wheel openings and fender flares (as detailed in the FSM’s Building Muscle Cars, Restomods, and Pro Touring). This factory-stock ’Cuda 340 replica is the car I would have ordered new if had I been slightly older back then. Based mostly on the AAR kit, it will use the rear half of the exhaust system from the Hemi ’Cuda kit and the kitbashed 340 four-barrel V8. I haven’t decided which hood to use, but the paint will be MCW blue fire metallic (No. EB5) or rallye red (No. FE5) because the Shaker hood scoop was color-matched only to these two exterior paints toward the end of the 1970 model year. (All other body colors received either astrotone silver or organsol (matte) black on the Shaker hood scoops.) I’ll finish with the color-keyed Elastomeric bumpers, bright wheel-well trim, and the fish-gill rockers. Inside, I’ll paint a late model-year code H6EW (white with red) or H68W (white with blue) interior.       
That’s my current project. What’s yours?

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