The Rare 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible Finally Gets the Engine It Truly Deserves

A new video from Nick Panaritis of Nick’s Garage has landed and this time the featured vehicle is a legendary classic car. It’s the rare beast known as the 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible 426.

Timeless cars like this deserve great engines and that’s what Nick is tackling here. We join him as he glides into his garage in this two-tone blue and white Plymouth that was sent in from Massachusetts. The owner had complained of noise coming from the engine and that gave Nick the excuse to do an extensive teardown.

An Unsightly Hemi Engine For This Masterpiece

Nick explains that this Plymouth Hemi Cuda 426 is in nearly pristine condition on the exterior and its white interior is in great shape. However, the engine is, in his words, “ugly and needs an overhaul.”

This Rare 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible Gets The Engine It Deserves

He shows off a magazine cover to indicate how the Hemi engine should look, and it seems he has his work cut out. It’s time to get his gloves on, have a sip of coffee, and get down to business.

He isolates the primary problem that the owner of this Plymouth Hemi Cuda 426 raised by taking out bent push rods. There are also problems with the engine leaking oil and Nick finds that the rear seal and manifold are the culprits. The owner has given him free rein to make any necessary alterations, though. With that in mind, there is a lot he must do to get this engine meets his high standards.

Restoring This Hemi Engine To Its Former Glory


The first things Nick replaces are the ugly blue spark plug wires and distributor. Then it’s on to a proper ignition coil with zinc plated bracket attached. He even gets down to the small items like proper bolts for the brackets. He also installs an original fuel pump and bolts before he really gets to work and takes this classic Plymouth Hemi Cuda engine apart.

Nick sets about correcting many years of poor changes to this engine. Bolts, pipes, heat tubes, and plugs are all on his radar to restore this engine to the way it should be. Even the brackets on the intake manifold should be color coded. These might seem like minor issues, but Nick and the owner want this Plymouth Hemi Cuda 426 to be in car show condition.

It’s such a long list of small things that add up to one big change to this classic muscle car

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