Joe Teuton: A look inside one of the fastest Hemi teams in the country
Joe and Jeff Teuton have been campaigning rare Hemi-Powered Cudas, Darts and some early A990 Dodges and Plymouths since they came out. In 1970 he was selected by Chrysler to be a factory car. He started his campaign nationally at the 1970 U.S Nationals running a ’68 Hemi Cuda with a 4-speed. With other racers like McCandless, Sox & Martin, Ostrich, Landy and others it was the beginning of a love-affair for all of those great racers with the Hemi and what it meant to drag racing.
MM: How many of the original Hemi-Cudas, Hemi-Darts and earlier A990 Belvederes and Coronets have you owned?
Joe Teuton: Our family has owned nine original Hemi cars. We have had five A990 cars (three Plymouths and two Dodges), two Hemi Cudas and two Hemi Darts. Currently we have two original A990 cars, one Dodge and one Plymouth.
MM: It took a long time for NHRA to finally recognize the SS/AA cars as a very unique group of cars and owners. How did you feel when NHRA decided to make the Hemi Cars a class of their own, SS/AH?
JOE T: I guess I am OK with it. I support the idea that we (the Hemi Dart and Cuda owners) are a little “different” and so are the cars.
MM: If I understand this correctly the SS/AH class runs automatics against stick shift cars. Is this right? Does that work in heads-up racing?
JOE T: So far it is OK. But when somebody puts the time and effort into a stick car it will be 3 mph faster and a little quicker in ET as well. The problem right now is the engines are so powerful it is almost impossible to get the clutch right when you cannot use a clutchless transmission. There will be somebody that gets it to work, but we’ll deal with that when it happens.
MM: When it comes time to unload the “Cajun Flyer” and the “Southland Flyer” Hemi cars at a race is it pride or performance that still keeps you interested?
JOE T: It is both pride and performance and I think they are equally as important to me. It isn’t about the Super Stock elimination race or an event title. I have plenty of those. It is about having the “baddest Hemi” at the race, period.