VIDEO: Rich Carpenter’s ‘Cuda on Jay Leno’s Garage

For those of you who are up in the ’60s and ’70s, probably remember the music group, The Carpenters, and composed of just two members, sibling duo, Richard and Karen Carpenter. Known for such hits as, “Close to You,” “Top of the World” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” The Carpenter’s musical success has lasted about as long as Richard’s ‘Cuda.

As he tells Jay Leno, he picked the car up with the help of his father, brand new, back in 1970. He specifically ordered the 400-6 engine option, TorqueFlite 727 transmission, body color black painted front bumper and red 440 callout reverse hockey stick stripe.

What’s even more impressive than the car itself, is that its entirely original and in 100% completely stock format. It’s never been repainted, modified or even drag raced in its nearly 37 years on Earth. With only 42,000 miles on the odometer, Richard admits that most of the mileage was accumulated by his father, since right after he purchased the car, he was constantly on the road touring with his sister.

A diehard Mopar fan, Richard elates that he has a ’65 Satellite convertible with a 4-bbl. 383 at home, which has also been in the family since new and has quite an admiration for the modern Hellcat Challenger. Another Mopar in his collection is a ’71 HEMI Road Runner, sprayed in Vitamin C Orange, though he also dabbles with late-model Porsches and his Paxton/Novi blown Honda S2000.

During the test drive, Jay can’t believe how well the car drove for its age, constantly citing that it still feels like a brand new car. Richard credits both he and his father’s love and care for the ‘Cuda and mentions that it was his father’s favorite car, despite not really being a car guy. It just goes to show that an old Mopar can make any man worth his salt a car guy at heart.


Share this post