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Speedkore’s latest ‘What If’ gives us serious ‘WHY CAN’T WE HAVE ONE?’ vibes

this custom cuda concept is an ode to imsa’s glory days
this custom cuda concept is an ode to imsa’s glory days
this custom cuda concept is an ode to imsa’s glory days

If your memory eclipses ours, you might remember the last time SpeedKore had a ‘What if?’ moment. And if you didn’t, the fruits of said moment resulted in a gloriously unhinged (and genuinely photorealistic) render of a mid-engined Dodge Charger Daytona, based on Speedkore’s somehow very real mid-engined Charger.

Clearly, Abimelec Design and Speedkore thought that those fruits of the last go-round were tasty enough to serve up a second helping… and now, looking at it, we’re of the opinion that it makes the first course feel like an entrée. And not in the American sense, either.

Also taking its cues from historic racing, the Cuda concept looks to IMSA’s early days – particularly its ‘run what you brung’ mentality and the incredible machinery that turned up as a result. Like the 1974 Dodge Challenger, largely home-built by Glenn Bunch, which is an entire story in itself.

Speedkore’s homage to IMSA’s origins captures that grassroots, DIY, no-holds barred zeitgeist, a largely pre-corporate era where every advantage on track was one you found, you exploited and you got away with. And, had Dodge’s supercharged 6.2-litre V8 (and decently priced dry carbon-fibre) existed back in the Seventies, we’re sure at least one enterprising competitor would have wound up creating something along these lines. Y’know, if they had access to a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. And the deeply impressive design skills of Abimelec Arellano.

Speedkore reckons the Cuda you see here would have been a proper rival for Greenwood Corvettes and DeKon Monzas that ran in IMSA in the late Seventies. The… um, what?

Now, if you’re from that part of the world (or indeed part of that world), we don’t have to explain Greenwood Corvettes or DeKon Monzas. For the rest of us, Greenwood Corvettes are a series of C3 Corvette-based race cars, and the road cars that benefitted from that racing expertise. They are, in a word, outlandish, but good grief did they work – apparently, the #75 Corvette hit more than 230mph during qualifying at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with John Greenwood at the wheel.

As for the DeKon Monza… imagine if you had a top-tier national racing series, which Porsche then turned up to and started dominating. You’re proud of where you’re from, but your country’s currently building absolute piles of bolts and naming it after famous racetracks you’re sure no one on the development team has even been to. Then a smallish engineering outfit gets a bit of money from your local car manufacturer and builds… well, basically space-frame silhouette cars with 600bhp V8s. You then win the national racing series three times on the trot.

And these, like the 1974 Challenger that inspired this magnificent homage, really do feel like the forgotten gems of a glittering moment in racing history. Unless your memory eclipses ours, of course.

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