Whitby’s Robert Young was shocked when he was handed the Cruise Nationals first-place trophy at the Canadian International AutoShow.
“I was certainly surprised,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d win. I was hoping to place, but I wasn’t sure. I am ecstatic.”
Having just finished the restoration of his 1971 Plymouth Cuda in July, Young’s wife, Fiona, said the award is a fitting way to celebrate the car’s completion.
“Now he can just go out and drive it and enjoy it,” she said.
In many ways for Young, the third try is a charm — his award-winning car is the third Cuda he has owned since he was 16. He purchased a 1973 Cuda while his dad was out of town on vacation.
“I saved my money. He went away on vacation, and I was still working, so when he came home, I had the car in the driveway,” Young recalled.
“He was upset. I worked on it in my parents’ driveway. After it was painted and the motor was in it, my dad was beginning to be proud of it.”
After an accident that totalled the car a few months later, he began to save again. When he turned 18, he bought a 1974 Cuda.
His father told him he should get something more reliable, like a K-car, but he just couldn’t get the Cuda out of his mind.
“I was hooked,” he said. “With a pocketful of money, my eyes were already set on a 1974 Plymouth Cuda 340 cid with a 727 trans. And with my parents gone on vacation, and me staying home because I couldn’t get the time off work, I had my chance.”
Although his dad was angry, he began to accept his son’s love for the powerful car.
“I was 18 and I tore it all apart. I wanted to make it the fastest car on the street,” he said. “I had that for 13 years. I got married and we had our son and decided it wasn’t practical anymore, so we sold it.”
About a year later, Young spotted a 1971 Cuda for sale online, and purchased it in 2008 — his third Cuda.
“It needed restoration and body work,” he said. “A friend told me it would take a year-and-a-half and I decided I’d try it myself. So first thing I did, because the floor was smashed right out, I started the floor and realized it wasn’t that hard.”
Four-and-a-half years later, the car was completed.
The 383 engine has been brought back to life.
“It peaked at 455 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 457 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm and it got shoved through 1-3/4 headers to 2-1/2 TTI exhaust,” Young said.
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X