1973 'Cuda - American Muscle Car Owner Honors Big Brother

1973 Cuda Chris Figdore leadAutomotive enthusiast Chris Figdore has an older brother named Steve. From 1969 to 1970, Steve served in the Marines in the Vietnam War. When Steve returned home from the service in the fall of 1972, he ordered a brand new 1973 Plymouth 'Cuda.

Later in 1973, the Figdore family moved. Chris was terrified at having to change schools after just starting the 2nd grade. Steve drove Chris every morning to his new school in his 'Cuda. He never forgot how cool it was to be riding in Steve's American muscle car and to be hanging out with him. The school week morning routine of riding with his brother in the 'Cuda helped ease his anxiety about going to a new school, making new friends, and all the childhood challenges of growing up in a new environment. The weekly ritual might have also boosted his confidence level, knowing that he was cruising the streets of York, Pennsylvania with his brother the former U.S. Marine in a most righteous American muscle machine.

1973 Cuda engine Chris Figdore

Above: When Chris purchased the 'Cuda, it had a 6-pack topped 340 small block V8 supplied from a 1968 Barracuda Formula S. Chris replaced the poor running 6-pack (three, two-barrel carburetor) topped engine with a Holley Sniper EFI system and four-barrel intake manifold. He also replaced the poor engaging clutch with a McLeod clutch and placed a Speed Dawg four-speed Hurst shifter-licensed knob atop the Hurst shifter arm. The Hurst shifter and four-speed transmission were rebuilt in 2023. These improvements eliminated the poor running aspects of the engine and enhanced drivability completely with smooth, swift, and stylish shifting, thanks to the new clutch and renewed shifting components. The Speed Dawg shifter knob brightened up the brown wood grain over black vinyl Mopar cockpit and gave the interior a cool, street, strip, and road course cred appeal. The brakes, steering, and fuel systems all had to be redone as well.

1973 Plymouth 340 'Cuda

Three years ago, at the age of 67, Steve started to have some major medical issues. It was a few months later that Chris came across this ’73 'Cuda in the back of a friend's garage. His plan was to buy the car and get it running so that nearly 50 years later he could surprise his big brother by picking him up and taking him for a ride.

1973 Cuda Chris Figdore interior

Above: Items that the owner purchased from Classic Industries include the interior door panels, the steering wheel, the door latches, the dome light and some exterior emblems.

1973 Cuda Chris Figdore new shifter knob

Above: In addition to owning this sweet 1973 340 'Cuda, Chris Figdore owns Speed Dawg Shift Knobs, in Dallastown, PA. The shift knobs in the car are Mopar officially licensed products that are produced by Speed Dawg Shift Knobs. The shift knob color is custom mixed Plymouth Limelight Green to match the exterior paint. Redline Goods handcrafted the leather shift boot and trimmed the boot with green stitching to match the 'Cuda's exterior.

Chris wanted to have the car finished in six months, but it ended up being an 18-month project. Though the body and paint had already been done, there were many little mechanical and even a few minor body fitment issues that Chris fixed. Unfortunately, Steve passed away just two months prior to the 'Cuda being completed. Fortunately, Steve was able to see progress photos of the project before his passing. He told his little brother that he loved it. 

1973 Cuda Chris Figdore hero shot

The 'Cuda was ready for the open road in May of 2022 just prior to Memorial Day. Chris was able to take it to two different car shows that benefitted military families that weekend. The 'Cuda won awards at both events.

1973 Cuda Chris Figdore rear

If you thought the story about Chris Figdore's 1973 'Cuda was interesting, you will also likely be captivated to learn how he started his company Speed Dawg Shift Knobs. Here's a YouTube video on the Two Guys and a Ride channel where Chris tells the whole tale. Check it out!


Classic Industries Sells Mopar Parts

Whether you have a 1973 'Cuda like Chris, or you are the proud caretaker of another Mopar car or Dodge truck, you can shop for Chrysler vehicles by going here. If you have a Dodge automobile, you can start here. Should your Mopar brand be a Plymouth, you can start here. If you have a Dodge truck, your starting place is here. You can also supplement your Mopar automobile shopping experience by asking the team at Classic Industries to mail you a printed Mopar Parts and Accessories Catalog by clicking the button below and filling out the short form.