1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440 4-Speed Convertible Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 2022 MCACN

1971 Plymouth ‘cudas are scarce, even more so are the 17 440 convertibles built that year, and this one is one of the hottest! This 1971 ‘cuda convertible features a 440 six-pack V8 engine breathing through a shaker hood, and is coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. The list of options is long on this car, including front and rear body-colored bumpers, front and rear spoilers, dual color-matched side racing mirrors, leather bucket seats, a Dana rear axle, and much more. We caught up with owner Bob Bartosiewicz after unveiling the freshly restored 1971 440 ‘cuda convertible at the 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show where he shared some of the cool stories behind this amazing muscle car. Would you believe it was ordered new by an FBI agent? Who specified every option except power windows? Bob tells us all about it in this special episode of Muscle Car Of The Week from the 2022 MCACN show!


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1971 Pontiac GTO Judge Pilot Car Muscle Car Of The Week

1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 455 4-Speed Pilot Car Restored at MCACN Muscle Car Of The Week

We originally featured this great-looking 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge Pilot car on episode 338 of Muscle Car Of The Week, and now it has just been unveiled at the Continue reading “1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 455 4-Speed Pilot Car Restored at MCACN Muscle Car Of The Week”


1969 Dodge Charger Daytona 440 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 2022 MCACN Muscle Car Of The Week

The 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals featured an unbelievable display called “Wings Over America”, and it consisted of dozens of “Wing Cars”, also known as 1969 Dodge Charger Daytonas and 1970 Plymouth Superbirds. Continue reading “1969 Dodge Charger Daytona 440 at Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 2022 MCACN”

V8 Radio Podcast

Mike “Q-Ball” Clarke and Kevin Oeste recap the 2022 SEMA Show and look forward to the new developments to come next year.   A highlight for Kevin was hosting the SEMA Central Stage and interviewing people from all aspects of the automotive world, but perhaps the most memorable was surprising SEMA CEO Mike Spagnola with a Mikey Thompson streamliner model kit… just like the one Mike built as a kid that got him enthused about cars!   Tears were shed, for sure.  Other notables included Top Fuel racer Antron Brown, Hoonigan rally driver Ken Block, and more. Of course, you’ll find Automotive Trivia and much more on the latest V8 Radio Podcast!

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2022 SEMA Moments, MCACN Preview, Automotive Trivia, and More on the V8 Radio Podcast!
1960 Ford Starliner Barn Find at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals

1960 Ford Starliner Barn Find Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Muscle Car Of The Week MCACN

This 1960 Ford Starliner High Performance was bought new by Mike Falco’s father, and the car is still in his family. However, the Starliner was parked back Continue reading “1960 Ford Starliner Barn Find Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Muscle Car Of The Week MCACN”

1951 Mercury Hirohata Kustom 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals MCACN 2021 V8TV

When it comes to kustom cars, the 1951 Mercury built by George and Sam Barris for Bob Hirohata is about as legendary as it gets. The car innovated kustom design elements, and remains Continue reading “1951 Mercury Hirohata Kustom 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals MCACN 2021 V8TV”

1971 Ford Torino GT Convertible 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals MCACN 2021 V8TV

This is super clean 1971 Ford Torino GT convertible might look like a show car, but in reality, owner Frank and Terry Szymkowski drive this car to shows and events whenever they Continue reading “1971 Ford Torino GT Convertible 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals MCACN 2021 V8TV”

This 1961 Ford Starliner owned by George Poteet was a huge hit at the 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals MCACN Show in Chicago. Here, restorer Zach Straits is interviewed by Kevin Oeste of V8TV.


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Here’s the complete restoration story as told by interviewee Zach Straits:

“The Poteet Starliner – A Restoration Story.

This 1961 Starliner Z code FE 390/300 3 speed overdrive started life in California then to North Dakota and for the last 15 years in Mississippi as a part of the George Poteet collection. With only 61k miles this rust free Starliner was a real pleasure to restore for George. The intent was to over restore beyond factory original concentrating panel gaps, flat panels and a high-end finish but maintaining the stock appearance void of a few trim pieces. The chrome, aluminum and stainless trim re-installed on the original Cambridge Blue metallic paint begged to be perfect. That’s where the restoration started. All pieces except for a few stainless trim pieces was taken to Jon Wright’s Custom Chrome in Grafton, Ohio for a show chrome finish even on the aluminum parts. The car was completely disassembled bagged and tagged and after the undercarriage was dustless blasted the body and suspension parts were taken locally to Devils Bowl Autobody.

All agree Starliners have great lines but the eight-foot quarter panels, huge hood and trunk and all the sheet metal came from the factory a little wavy. Brad at Devil’s Bowl spent over 1,089 hours hand sanding and flattening every panel inside and out. Hours were spent on the panel gaps and getting the signature tail light surrounds and fin caps to fit perfectly. Axalta finishes were applied and wet sanded and buffed then after complete assembly Max from MX Autocare completed a final paint correction getting the surfaces perfect.

The original 390 FE engine was sent to Jeff Burns Racing Engines in Tupelo where with the help of Alan Hutcheson “Hutch”, the caretaker of the Poteet Car Farm Collection, did a complete rebuilt dyno-ed exactly at 300HP. The original 4 barrel carb was sent to ford expert and historian Don Brown for a complete factor finish and working order restoration. The original 3 speed overdrive was rebuilt by transmission experts Earl McCary and Richard Miller of Staunton, Va. Alan Completed the rebuild of the original 3:50 gear 3rd member. Hutch also sourced the many crates of restoration parts.

The frame was powder coated by Power Coating Solutions and all the suspension parts were body worked and shot with industrial single stage paint by Devil’s Bowl. 1957 Ford body mounts were lightly modified and the body was set back on the frame with the help of John and Kay at Classic Motorsports.

The interior seat insert fabric on any blue Galaxie is tough to get a good match to the SMS door panels so we used door panel vinyl on the get the correct match. George Folks of Waynesboro Upholstery did an excellent job making and installing the seat covers and installing the headliner before the glass installation. The original back package tray was taken to “Hemi” Eddie Strzelecki Jr. for the first fiberglass reproduction for a 1961 Starliner.

All new glass was purchased from Auto City Classic and installed by Augusta Glass. The stainless trim down the side and around the glass was polished by local professional polisher Stewart Peters.

This restoration would not have been possible without the help of a lot of friends. Especially Scott Balsley who partnered with me for a combined 1,217 hours of restoration time.”

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The 2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show is happening on November 20 and 21st at the Donald E Stevens convention Center in Rosemont Illinois near Chicago. This year marks the triumphant return of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals and we are all excited Continue reading “2021 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Preview Video – Muscle Car Of The Week MCACN”

Hirohata Mercury at Mecum Auction

JANUARY 15, 2022 – The Hirohata Mercury sold for a hammer price of $1.95 Million Dollars at the Mecum auction! It remains the highest price paid for any kustom car, and we were excited to see it happen.


When it comes to kustom cars, the 1951 Mercury built by George and Sam Barris for Bob Hirohata is about as legendary is it gets. The car innovated kustom design elements, and remains true to form today, even through an extensive restoration. Oh yeah, it also looks awesome! It’s long, low, chopped, clean, with Buick side trim, tuck & roll interior, Caddy Sombrero hubcaps, and a real Von Dutch stripe on the dash, and it’s boss. And now, it can be yours!

The spring, 2022 Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, Florida is where this amazing ride will change hands to the highest bidder.


  • The Hirohata Mercury, arguably the most famous custom car of the classic era
  • Named for the car’s original owner, Bob Hirohata of Los Angeles, California
  • Iconic custom car built by Sam and George Barris
  • Featured in Hot Rod Magazine in March 1953
  • Cover car for Hop Up magazine in March 1953
  • Class Winner at the 1952 Petersen Motorama
  • Featured in Rod & Custom in October 1953
  • Appeared in the film “Running Wild” in 1955 starring Mamie Van Doren
  • In the care of the McNiel family since 1959, when Jim McNiel purchased the car for $500 at the age of 16
  • Restoration completed in 1996 to exact 1952 Motorama specifications
  • Restoration detailed by Pat Ganahl in several issues of Rod & Custom magazine
  • Colors matched using spectrography and new paint was applied by Junior’s House of Color using PPG materials
  • Displayed at the “Hot Rods and Customs (The Men and Machines of California’s Car Culture)” exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California upon completion
  • Restored again by the original builders, including Herschel “Junior” Conway and Frank Sonzogni, in 2015 for Pebble Beach
  • First in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2015
  • Added to the National Historical Vehicle Register in 2017 and displayed on the national mall in Washington, DC
  • Previously displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum
  • 1953 Cadillac 331 CI OHV V-8 engine with three Stromberg carburetors
  • The B-pillars were removed and the roof was reshaped to create a hardtop
  • V-butted windshield
  • Top chopped 4 inches in the front and 7 inches in the rear
  • Front fenders extended 4 inches, incorporating frenched 1952 Ford headlights
  • Rear fenders extended and fitted with frenched 1952 Lincoln Capri tail lights
  • Trunk corners were rounded
  • Hood was filled, peaked and extended into the grille
  • Custom grille made from three 1952 Ford grilles
  • Factory dips on the doors were filled and the surrounding sheet metal was reshaped to flow with 1952 Buick Riviera trim spears
  • Functional brake cooling scoops on rear panels
  • Flush fit, flared fender skirts
  • Chopped front coils in front and the frame was kicked up in the rear
  • Springs were de-arched using two sets of 1.5-inch lowering blocks
  • Finished in two-tone Seafoam Green and Organic Green
  • Pinstriping originally applied by Von Dutch
  • Custom upholstery by The Carson Top Shop
  • Trunk upholstered by Gaylord’s Kustom Shop
  • 1953 Cadillac “Sombrero” wheel covers
  • Twin Appleton S-552 spotlights

Head over to https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0122-487726/1951-bob-hirohata-mercury-custom/ to see more, and for your chance to register to bid on a true kustom legend. And if you win, please take us for a spin!