This 1970 Plymouth Barracuda had certainly seen better days.
Kevin Hart is one of America’s biggest comedians, known for his blockbuster movies and most recently, his Netflix special. Hart has had a hugely successful career and regularly tours around the world with his stand up routine. It’s only natural then, that the accomplished comedian owns some cool cars and knows how to spend some of his $200 million fortune. On his 40th birthday, Hart planned to treat himself with a fully restored, customised 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, which was nicknamed ‘Menace’. It was bought new in its original condition, only to be masterfully restored by L.A based, muscle garage, SpeedKore.
After weeks of sacred restoration, the final product rolled out the garage in its most striking form, brushed with beautiful paint and sprinkled mechanical magic. It was the comedian’s dream come true, but that dream was about to become a nightmare. Only months after the Barracuda’s spawn to life, the muscle car started to live up to its nickname, when Hart’s friend drove it into a tree, seriously injuring himself and Hart. The aftermath left both occupants with back injuries and hospital bills but not everyone survived. The beautifully restored Barracuda perished in the crash in the regretful evening curse.
“This ‘Menace’ was and remains, a dangerously beautiful and distant memory.”
It is easy to remise on what could have been, the muscle car was loved and played a role in Hart’s eternal day dream. Since there is no future, all there is left is the present, so it’s better to look back than not at all, that is the bliss of reflection. This ‘Menace’ was and remains, a dangerously beautiful and distant memory.
L.A based garage, SpeedKore, is known for its passion and colourful expertise in muscle car building. The work that went behind Hart’s Menace is staggering and required countless hours of blood, sweat and tears, a prerequisite for restoring old muscle cars. There was a vision and blueprint for this car, “it had to be timeless”, Hart said. The comedian instructed the designers exactly how he wanted it.
The ‘Cuda’ had to retain its soul, blood and guts but needed innovative and unique elements under the hood to give it a reborn identity. The car was moulded with a carbon-fibre hood that the garage was known for and given HRE wheels, Baer Brakes, and custom upholstery. The entire interior was stripped down to create the custom and intimate driving experience for Kevin Hart.
The original Barracuda features a 6.4 litre Hemi V-8 engine but it was pulled out and replaced with the 6.2 litre from the Dodge Challenger Demon. This addition, with fine tuning and major upgrades all over the car, resulted in a 720 horsepower, street racing machine. Inside and out, SpeedKore outdid themselves with the glorious restoration of the 1970 Barracuda.
Plymouth originally started production of the Barracuda series back in 1964 and experienced pedestrian success but was generally perceived to be the inferior to the Ford Mustang. This prompted Plymouth to introduce the newer and improved editions to the series in 1967, as the Barracuda was reformed with more powerful engines and aggressive styling.
Subsequently, the series reached its height of popularity with the introduction of the 1970 Barracuda, the edition that inspired Hart to customise. These cars are now rarely seen as production stopped in 1974 and the manufacturer, Plymouth, ceased operations in 2001. Any mint condition edition from the 70’s range can be worth a pretty penny, as a 1971 ‘Cuda’ sold for just under $2 million in 2014. The rarity and value of the car, surely must make the death of the Menace sting that much more.