'58 Dodge | Challenger | Sketchpad | BMW StreetCarver
Kelly was watching "Rides" on TLC the other day, and it featured Chip Foose's take on the Eleanor Mustang featured in the movie "Gone in Sixty Seconds" starring Nicholas Cage, and that beautiful 1967 Shelby GT500, "Eleanor".
On "Rides" Chip Foose takes a new Mustang, and makes a modernized Eleanor. That got Kelly's mind going. Why not take an old muscle car and inject that type of attitude? Give it large wheels, fender flares, a splashy paint job and make it run with the best of today's cars. Not really a completely new idea, but it was enough for Kelly's mind to start running.
The only thing that is known about the movie GT500's engine was that it was a V-8. So what would be a great power plant for the Hot Tuna? The 6.1 new hemi? The 4.7 Small block? That is a very feasible source of motorvation, but Kelly wanted something more unique...
Since the hemi, or an eight cylinder is a cliche in the Plymouth E-body, why not a slant six? Not really known for power, but with some tuning, it could be a contender against modern day Hondas. Start with an early-sixties ALUMINUM slant-six, increase the displacement from 3.7 to 4 litres. Take a four barrel manifold and slap not a big honkin' holley or carter, but a modified fuel injection setup! Run a computer from the glovebox and adapt a modern engine management system to it. That way, any competent wrench could plug a lap-top in to it and tune it! It doesn't stop there. Throw in a twin turbo, Greddy, Garrets, KKK, the wallets the limit here.
To harness all that power, take out the Barracuda's original three speed gear box, and throw in a T56 Six-Speed! Take the suspension (big torsion bars, 8-3/4 rear, fast ratio box) out of a big-block car along with some frame connectors, and the Tuna will make even a big-block car run with it's tail between its legs!
As far as the body goes, the turn signals, door handles, drip rails, and window trim are deleted. The car has custom fender-flares, side exit (passenger's side) exhaust out of the rocker panels, modified '72-74 Cuda tailpanel (inner lights are off of a '71-'72 Chevelle-Can you say "Skyline"??), and oh yeah. Carbon fiber. Everywhere! The hood, the grille (with air-inlet ducts that mimic the turn-signals above it). The hood is based on the original flat-hood, not an AAR hood. The NACA duct does not rise above the hood at all. The horizontal surfaces of the car are painted matte black, like the original AARs did, while the hood is carbon.
The car is either a tangerine metallic or a honey gold/yellow color (preferably Porsche's Zanzibar red, code 1A8, found on 2001, 986/996 models). The stipes are a combination of the V4X and AAR stipes, painted a pearly golden white (the originals are a vinyl decal).
A NACA duct is cut into the roof to give air to the cabin, which is a light yellow metallic or white pearl leather. The interior will not have a back seat, but will have a roll cage.
The last thing are the 18/19 inch wheel combo. They are 3-piece BBS type wheels with Pirelli P-zero tires. The brakes are massive 15" rotors that are clamped with larger Brembos.
This tuna is made to go!