All photos by Clive Branson
Sergio Palumbo grew up in Montreal where muscle cars were abundant. His dream had always been to own a Plymouth ‘Cuda after growing up with a friend whose father owned one the colour of a purple popsicle. In 2012, his dream finally came true.
Since the car’s debut in 1964, the Barracuda was supposed to be Plymouth’s answer to Ford’s Mustang, but it missed the “pony” market. It was then placed onto John E. Herlitz to redesign it, and what emerged six years later was a car pumped with steroid thrust and envious implants. It was no longer a Barracuda, it was a ‘Cuda, and it redefined muscle cars.
Not only did the ‘Cuda become the definitive Plymouth muscle car, it is one of the most sought after muscle cars in automotive history. “The car was fully restored, but since purchasing it, I’ve spent countless hours trying to find correct parts,” says Sergio of his newly acquired ‘Cuda. For a car that is 35 years old, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. “Keeping the paint as perfect as possible can be a challenge sometimes, mainly due to bugs, but other than that, this car is easy to maintain. It was built in a simpler time where luxury gadgets were unnecessary.”
Coming from humble beginnings, acquiring a car like this was more a dream than a reality for Sergio. “Growing up in Montreal, muscle cars were everywhere. Street racing was a common occurrence. Seeing the Hemi ‘Cuda for the first time, well, let’s just say it was love at first sight,” he recalls. But it took decades before he could actually find an affordable one. In 2012, his dream finally came true when he found his ‘Cuda in a private collection in Florida.
“To me, there is a correlation between Plymouth and myself that anything is possible. Through persistence, we both achieved our goals. And yes, it brings back my days as a youth; a simpler time, and driving it, I feel a surge of pure freedom.”