You don’t have to talk cars with Greg Antone very long to understand that he loves his ’66 Plymouth ‘Cuda. To him, it’s much more than just a car, or something cool to own and show off. It’s very much a part of who he is, and how he looks at his journey through life.
When he was only 12 years old, Greg suffered an erupted cerebral aneurysm that paralyzed the right side of his body. Luckily, the paralysis only lasted several weeks, but the after effects had left him partially disabled. Rather than throw in the towel, Greg channeled his energy into his music, art and his passion for cars. The results are impressive.
Now, after a super persistent 24 year restoration project, Greg is the proud owner of an awesome “Plum Crazy” 1966 Plymouth ‘Cuda that was a longstanding labor of love. He’s running a stroker 406ci V8 with aluminum heads that is putting out 365 hp and around 402 lb-ft. of torque. As Greg shares, ”Not to brag, but my ‘Cuda is exquisite, only because throughout my life, I’ve always had to go the extra mile to prove myself, and it shows in the restoration of my ‘Cuda.”
BoldRide: How did you acquire your car?
Greg: I found it, thanks to a friend who remembered the ’65 ‘Cuda I had in 1978. He stopped by my house and told me he knew where there was another one just like it. It was in a line of 15 other cars, destined for the boneyard. $100 was my initial investment, and $25 for the guy to tow it to my yard. This was in 1988. I had searched for 10 years looking for one worthy of a restoration.
What do you love about it?
Everything. Aside from the personal rush I get, what I love about the ‘Cuda is that it makes people feel good. Everyone has a story about a ‘Cuda they had or someone they knew that had one. Making people feel good is what I love most about the ‘Cuda.
Does it have a name?
No name per-se, but my baby knows who she is.
Dream modification you’d love to add to it and why?
A parachute? No, just kidding. I’ve got an 8-3/4 rear end for it, but I think my dream modification would be to have the ‘Cuda tubbed in order to fit at least a 60-series tire under the fender well.
What do you feel like when you drive it?
I feel like I’ve “pounded the dragon”, and now control all the power from within. To me, ”pounded the dragon” means I’ve accepted all the challenges and adversity that go along with trying to restore an classic auto, and came out on top. Now that I’ve “pounded the dragon,” driving my ‘Cuda feels like riding the back of a now-tamed dragon.
What’s your favorite memory of your car?
My favorite memory of my ‘Cuda is when we fired the engine for the first time. That signified the beginning of a new life, both for me AND the ‘Cuda. It meant a new life for me by giving my life some credibility. When I go to car shows these days, I’m not just a disabled onlooker. One more mountain I had to climb in order to be actively involved in something I really enjoy. I’m now accepted as a part of the car show community. I can’t put in words what a great feeling that is for me.
My other favorite memories are when she won her first trophy in the “unfinished class” at the All Wheels Nationals here on Cape Cod. My next objective was to win the “1964-69 modified class”. Lo and behold, I did it! My objection achieved. Mission:Accomplished!
408ci V8 built off of a 1975 block – bored .030 over
Edelbrock R.P.M. aluminum heads
Holley 670 Street Avenger Dual-feed Carb
Rebuilt Hi-Performance 904 3-speed auto tranny
Mopar electronic ignition system
TTi thermal-coated polished ceramic headers
A mild street cam from Crane Cams
Power output: 365 hp with approximately 402 lb-ft. of torque
Mission: Accomplished indeed! Thanks Greg for letting us share your story and the great pics of your ride.
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