Today, the pony and muscle car worlds are squeezed tight into a little spot composed of just a few nameplates – Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge’s Charger plus Challenger. ‘Yesterday,’ during the golden age of muscle cars, there were many more options. Luckily, we can sometimes revive some of them.
From the 2024 model year on, the sector will get even narrower than before, as the 2024 Ford Mustang S650 will take care of the ICE-powered niche and the series production version of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept will carve a Banshee EV path (with nine levels of power) across the novel EV lifestyle. Meanwhile, the Chevy Camaro will pause after the sixth generation, and the fate of the Challenger is also in limbo for the time being.
But in the past, the pony and muscle car realms were riddled with an abundance of options. Here, let us take just one example out of a myriad because it serves our dreamy purpose. The Chrysler Corporation created the two-door Plymouth Barracuda pony and muscle car to answer the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Pontiac Firebird menace in 1964. It only survived until the end of the 1974 model year but, throughout just three iterations, managed to amass a significant cult following that persists to the present day.
As such, no one should be surprised that many vintage muscle car fans seek the transformation of the classic ‘Cuda into a restomod wonder. One of them is also Daniel Benavides (aka beastmode_d on social media), a fitness entrepreneur passionate about cars, weights, and family – including the Mopar variety. He also wholeheartedly embraces the process of transforming a derelict car into a fine example of modern prowess combined with vintage design flair. And we noticed that this is not the first Mopar rollercoaster he’s dealing with – also with some help from the imaginative realm of digital car content creators.
In the past, he enlisted the assistance of Emmanuel Brito, the virtual artist better known as personalizatuauto on social media, for the virtual-to-reality transformation of a 1968 Dodge Charger dubbed ‘Huslr.’ Now, though, the pixel master takes us on a fresh journey of rendering-to-reality Mopar discovery with a different kind of beast – a third-gen 1971 Plymouth Barracuda. Because the owner is from Texas, and that’s how they roll there, it too has a cool nickname – ‘Hell RZR.’ Naturally, most people would think the slammed ‘Cuda that’s dressed in gray and black on chromed Boze Alloys forged wheels to protect the Wilwood brakes is packing a bit of 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 Hellcat love under the hood.
Well, as it turns out, they may be wrong. Note the subtly menacing Plymouth’s sides. No, not the gills, the decal of an angry elephant. As such, this hint makes us wonder if this Barracuda is going to be a vintage muscle car that could go toe-to-toe with Dodge’s Last Call 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 if it wanted to, thanks to the 1,000-hp Hellephant 7.0-liter crate engine treatment. That would be cool, right? Hopefully, this ambitious setup will not cause too many delays from the technical standpoint, and the project will come to life soon enough to do a quarter-mile dragstrip battle, or two, with the modern Mopar peers and their rivals – no matter if they’re ICE-powered or EVs.
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