Following up is always a good idea: AAR Cuda in the Barn... Part One

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This past weekend had been in the planning stages for months. I had met Al at the Spring Green car show in the fall of 2010 and I had always wanted to shoot better pictures of his incredible 1965 Coronet 500, 426 wedge auto on the floor. Mostly original, supposedly a Mr. Norm's car. First thing first though, I had to get up there. And of course I find a cool old Mopar on the way!

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I passed on the wagon, even though I do love a good wagon, the price just wasn't right for me. The next day I headed to meet up with Al at his shop outside of Wisconsin Dells.

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I get out there after going well past the right exit. I met up with Al and his father at the shop. They showed me some of the projects they had lying around just in this one area. A nice 65 Satellite project, a 57 Chevy and a few others. But we didn't stay long, we actually hopped in the Coronet and headed off to shoot some pictures.

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At one of the shooting locations, there was a cool old barn, with an abandoned old AMC Rambler on the inside. So sad, it was a really nice car at one time. It still isn't in terrible shape body wise, but kids have really trashed the interior and broken all the glass. Probably won't move til the barn falls down around it or the scrap dealer gets called in.

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After shooting the car, we headed back to Al's personal collection of cars. His father at one time had a Mopar Junkyard full of all sorts of Mopars. He got out of the business many years ago, but kept a few of them. Most of them had engines still in them, and might even one day be saved. The craziest part was we drove Dave's Hemi Dodge Ram through the wheat they planted to keep the weeds out of the sandy soil. And the wheat was higher then the truck almost!

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Then we moved onto the finished projects. The old shop where he ran his business out of for years is now his home workshop. Has some of his nicer cars sitting in it, including a 69 Road Runner convertible, a old Dodge station wagon with a 426 Max Wedge in the engine bay, and probably the first “Drag Pack Challenger” barn find. He bought it to build one day to drag race, but right now it is covered in dust and dirt... so it is the first!

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Before we headed up to the Father's house, they showed me some of the literature they had from the 60's and 70's. Some stuff I had never seen before! It was incredible to see it in such good shape.

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Then we moved onto the cherry on top of the cake. Al's Hemi Cars... a 1970 Hemi Charger 4-speed car and a 69 Hemi GTX. The funny thing is though that the Charger hasn't been driven in years, and the GTX gets out sparingly. I understand that they are uber valuable, but I don't know if I could let them hang around without driving the snot out of them. But he does have a few cars to choose from! Including a nearly all original 68 Sport Satellite.

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I think his plate says it all.

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We left the house and headed to another barn nearby that he stores a few other long term projects at.... these would be some of the more exciting barn finds of the day. There was a nice 65 Coronet sitting in there, a near twin in setup to the one we were driving, first in the back row was a 73 340 4-speed 'Cuda, still in it's “Day 2” setup with Ansen Sprint rims and larger tires out back with the rear end jacked up real high. Second up was Al's brothers car, a real 1970 440 Six Barrel Road Runner with a 4-speed. The 6-bbl setup isn't on there, but will one day. It is also an original air grabber hood car, which it still retains.

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The last in the back row is the most special for me, being the first AAR 'Cuda I have ever found in a barn. It is a 340 Six Pack car (of course) with a 4-speed, red with a red interior. The funny thing is the rear spoiler is a different spoiler then stock. The original spoiler was damaged during shipping, so the dealer swapped it with another one they had. Even put it on the sales form. The holes for the original spoiler are there, but since day 1 it hasn't had it on there. The car is in rough shape, but the boxes on top of it are parts to eventually one day restore it.

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After this we headed to lunch, we were going to hit up probably the biggest junkyard in the state, unfortunately I had no idea before that we were doing that. My camera battery only lasted for about a 1/3 of the yard, but that's enough that you will get an idea of what this place is about. But that is for next time.

To view all the pictures thus far, take a look at

www.flickr.com/hemipwr70

Ryan Brutt
HemiPwr70@aol.com
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