Looking for a Halloween treat? How about a peek at a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge and a 1971 Chrysler Cuda Convertible, all decked out in orange and black? Classic Auto and Rick Drewry recently talk with Ken Mosier of Danville, Indiana-based The Finer Details, Inc., known for world class muscle car restorations like these. Sweet.
’69 Pontiac GTO aka The Judge
Jay Webb, body shop manager at The Finer Details, owns this Pontiac GTO Judge. When they start the restoration, it is in rough shape with dry-rotted interior and a flaking exterior. Over the course of four years, they restore it to its true glory inside and out. “It’s an original Arizona car. It is a real Judge, it’s all optioned the way it came from the factory,” Ken tells us. “It’s got 100 percent original sheet metal on this car, all numbers-matching.” The paint job now sparkles with the rich color and lines of a collector’s dream. And Jeff doesn’t keep it cooped up in the garage either. He drives it frequently, showing off the original four-speed transmission.
One of 12 Ever Produced
Ken introduces us to this 1971 Chrysler Cuda, one of only 12 ever produced and now back to its original condition. He says, “The original owner worked at Chrysler when he ordered the car. He still owns it to this day, and it worth in excess of $1 million.” This Mopar convertible has a 426 Hemi engine, and of course, Mopar refers to original parts manufactured for Chrysler Motor Company (aka Chrysler Group LLC, now FCA US LLC). Mopar is something called a portmanteau, a word that combines the meaning of two words – in this case, “MOtor” and “PARts.” Anyway, the restoration is a complete overhaul from front to back, with careful attention to detail, although the car had been kept in good condition. While the owner has indeed received million-dollar offers for the car, he turns them down every time.
If you’re considering an end-to-end car restoration, prepare yourself: It takes time. Finer Details typically spends 12 to 18 months on a restoration and certainly does so on the GTO and the Cuda. Timing sometimes depends on the availability of parts. Chryslers, for example, have limited parts availability due to lower production of muscle cars than Pontiac and GM. In terms of price, restoration varies wildly based on model, manufacturer, age and condition. A bumper-to-bumper restoration of a specialty vehicle can easily cost $150,000. Most collector car enthusiasts would agree, though – it is all worth it.
World of Wheels
World of Wheels (WOW) is one of America’s premiere custom car events. Also known as Autorama, it’s more than a car show. It’s a community of car lovers that comes together to continually rethink and reinvent vehicles, while honoring the classic cars of yesterday and today. WOW is a series with 20 annual events in the U.S. and Canada. The series focuses on hot rods, and also includes competition cars, specialty models, concept vehicles and fresh manufacturers’ models of many stripes. More than a million people attend WOW events over the course of a year.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
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