Rob Zahabi and the crew at Rides by Kam are known for their top-tier builds. Trent Carter came to Zahabi and wanted him to work his magic on his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. The pair sat down and came up with a plan, Zahabi was turned loose on the ‘Cuda, and the result is a car that lives up to its name of “Notorious”.
The story behind Carter’s ‘Cuda and how the car came together is an interesting one. According to Zahabi, the ‘Cuda made its way to Australia after residing in the state of Nevada for most of its life. When Carter purchased the car it was nearly complete. After he dropped the car off at Rides By Kam, it was promptly torn down so they could build the car based on the plan developed by Carter and Zahabi.
You don’t see many Barracudas in Australia, but the engine and transmission Carter decided to use in his car is pretty interesting.
“Trent had an old NASCAR Mopar engine he wanted to use for this build. It’s one of the 358 cubic-inch R5P7 engines that makes around 900 horsepower, and can be spun to 9,000 rpm. Since Trent has a drag racing background, he wanted to pair that engine with a Richmond Super T10 four-speed manual transmission. It makes for an interesting combination that you don’t see very often, if ever,” Zahabi says.
A build like Notorious is a big undertaking, so a lot of planning has to go into every detail. Zahabi sat down with Carter to line out everything that would be going into the car. This wasn’t a build that snowballed into a monster, the goal was to build an extravagant vehicle from the start.
Rides by Kam is basically a one stop shop, they do everything but physically build the engine. Zahabi and his sons combine old-school and new-school techniques when working on projects. The interior and under-the-hood areas of Notorious highlight how they make this happen.
“We have a trim shop in-house so we can do full interiors. I’ve been trying to challenge myself for the last few years with these steel interiors that don’t have much carpet. There’s nowhere to hide what you’ve done, so it has to look good when you make it by hand. The centerpiece under the hood and valve covers were made by one of my sons on the CNC machine. My other son takes care of the design work for stuff like this in CAD,” Zahabi explains.
Obviously, the work that Zahabi and his team put into the interior and under the hood of Notorious is exquisite, but let’s not forget all the work they put into the ‘Cuda’s body. It can be easy to forget how much effort went into the Plymouth’s shell when it’s been executed to perfection.
“When you look at the car with the hood and trunk down, it still has the classic Barracuda body lines. We did tuck the bumpers to make the car look smooth. The ducktail spoiler on the back was something we also added, but we didn’t want it to look too over-the-top. We also flush-fit all the glass to help smooth the car out as well. The body panel gaps were all precisely aligned so you could never tell the car was even modified,” Zahabi states.
The ride height of the car is very important to Zahabi, he wants it to be perfect for each build. To make Notorious sit right, Zahabi created a custom chassis that uses a narrowed C6 front suspension and a custom 9-inch rearend in the rear. RideTech ShockWave shocks were also implemented in the suspension. Finally, a massive set of Billet Specialties Extreme Concave Turbine wheels were bolted onto Notorious to complete its look.
Trent Carter made a smart decision to let Rob Zahabi and the team at Rides by Kam build Notorious. This 1970 Barracuda looks super aggressive, and the engine that Carter added to the mix backs up the car’s appearance perfectly. There’s nothing better than seeing unconventional elements blended together to create a unique car.