A Street Version of Dan Gurney's Trans Am Cars For a time, Plymouth enjoyed a racing program that cross-town rival Chevrolet didn't, due to anti-racing edicts GM enacted earlier in the 1960's. As the third and smallest of the Big Three, Plymouth had lost out to Pontiac for third spot in sales, but offered competitive vehicles with good durability and performance such as the Slant Six Valiants, and smart marketing like the Road Runner. Come 1970, Plymouth's stock was going to increase some more.
The optional Barracuda had started out as a fastback model of the Valiant, but within weeks the Mustang came out and created a segment that the Barracuda couldn't play in. A redesign in 1967 leveled the playing field. Then, with the advent of the 1970 'E-body' Barracuda (and Dodge Challenger). Plymouth trumped the industry with the ultimate ponycar. The Performance 'Cuda version had its own Trans-Am version called the AAR, which stood for Dan Gurney's All American Racers. It came with the legendary 'Six Pack', a 3x2-barrel carbed version of the 340, a unique fiberglass 'shaker' hood and strobe stripes, all at a base price of $3,966.
A total of 2,724 AAR 'Cudas were produced within a six-week time frame. Of those, it is not known how many were ordered without radios, but this is one of two existing so equipped, according to the AAR Registry.
V8 Cuda Series Hardtop Coupe Chassis Num: BS23R0B236224 Engine Num: MN426 F
Sold for $330,000 at 2006 RM Auctions. Sold for $150,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company. For 1970, Plymouth introduced its restyled Barracuda. It was six inches shorter, a few inches lower, and five inches wider. It had the same wheelbase length as its immediate predecessor, yet now it had the muscular proportions that appealed to a ve [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
For 1970, the E-body platform became longer, lower and wider and quickly distinguished themselves from their GM and Ford rivals. The redesign was done, in part, to make room under the bonnet for Chrysler's Raise Block engines, both the 440 cubic inc [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Sold for $57,750 at 2009 RM Auctions. In 1970, 2,724 examples of the Plymouth 'Cuda AAR were sold. The 'Cuda AAR package included a six-barrel, 340 cubic-inch small block V8 that was vastly underrated at 290 horsepower, with either a four-speed or an optional TorqueFlite transmission, fr [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009
V8 Cuda Series Hardtop Coupe
For 1970, the Plymouth Barracuda lost the first two syllables of its name and became simply the 'Cuda.' There were three body styles and nine engine options offered, with the most potent being the Hemi 'Cuda powered by Chrysler's 425 horsepower, 426 [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Plymouth's muscle car was their long hood/short deck version of the Valiant, dubbed the Barracuda. In 1970, the dramatically restyled Barracuda and its high-performance brother, known simply as the 'Cuda, would become some of the most desirable muscl [Read More...]
Sold for $70,000 at 2007 Bonhams. This 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda Convertible clone that was originally a 318 cubic-inch Barracuda convertible that was constructed in Plymouth's Hamtramck assembly plant in 1970. The modifications were done by Ultimate Rides in El Paso, Texas in the early 2 [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Sold for $61,600 at 2012 Barrett-Jackson. This 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda AAR 2-door Hardtop has 76,048 original miles. It is powered by a 340/290HP six-pack and it features power steering and an axle ratio of 3.55. There are front and rear rubber bumpers and is listed in Galen Govier's registry as [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
Two of the most prized options on the 1970 E-Body Plymouth Cuda was the 440 cubic-inch engine and the Shaker hood. The 440 cubic-inch V8 had 3 x 2-barrel carburetors and produced just under 400 horsepower. The E-body configuration was a two-door co [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006
This car (AAR chassis #50211) is the first of three Plymouth 'Cudas constructed by Dan Gurney's All American Racers (AAR) for competition in the 1970 Trans Am Championship. It was driven by Dan Gurney and Swede Savage during pre-season testing and us [Read More...]
Six Cylinder Hardtop Coupe
This is a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda 2-Door Hardtop. It is seen here at the 2007 Eastern Concours of the United States. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007
Sold for $170,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company. This Plymouth Hemi Cuda was constructed in 1970 at the Hamtramck assembly plant and was originally equipped with Plymouth's top-of-the-line 'R'-code 426 Hemi V8 and a four-speed manual gearbox, making it one of only 284 examples specified with this c [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
This rare race car is fully documented to be one of the four Hemi 'Cudas exported to France at the request of Henri Chemin, the Director of Chrysler's Racing Department at the time and somewhat of a legend to French motorsports enthusiasts. Chemin ha [Read More...]
This Plymouth Gran Coupe Convertible is finished in deep burnt orange metaling with matching interior. It is one of sixty-six with a 383 cubic-inch 4-barrel 335 horsepower engine with HD 727 Torqueflite transmission. It has a rare Y-13 VIN code and w [Read More...]
V8 Cuda Series Hardtop Coupe
This Plymouth Cuda is one of 14 known EK2 ('vitamin C') with H6XW (black/white) vinyl interior, optional 'sure-grip' 3.91 rear axle ratio / N95 evaporative emission system. It has a A53 (Trans Am Package) with front power disc brakes and 11-inch rear [Read More...]
V8 Cuda Series Hardtop Coupe
In 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang, leaving the competition in the dust. With some creative shuffling, Plymouth took their similarly sized Valiant, added a curved rear window and some sporty trim, and created the Barracuda. Although it didn't enjoy [Read More...]
V8 HardTop Coupe
There is no doubt that when it comes to outrageous in-your-face colors for the 1960s and 1970s Muscle Cars, Dodge and Plymouth were at the head of the pack. In mid-1969, they started by offering several special spring time colors such as Bahama Yello [Read More...]
The first series of the Barracuda was produced from 1964 through 1969, distinguished by its A-body construction. From 1970 through 1974 the second series was produced using an E-body construction.
In 1964, Plymouth offered the Barracuda as an option of the Valiant model line, meaning it wore both the Valiant and Barracuda emblems. The base offering was a 225 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine that produced with 180 horsepower. An optional Commando 273 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine was available with a four-barrel carburetor, high-compression heads and revised cams. The vehicle was outfitted with a live rear axle and semi-elliptic springs. Unfortunately, the Barracuda was introduced at the same time, separated by only two weeks, as the Ford Mustang. The Mustang proved to be the more popular car outselling the Valiant Barracuda by a ratio of 8 to 1.
The interior was given a floor-shifter, vinyl semi-bucket seats, and rear seating. The rear seats folded down allowing ample space for cargo.
By 1967, Plymouth redesigned the Barracuda and added a coupe and convertible to the model line-up. To accommodate larger engines, the engine bay was enlarged. There were multiple engine offerings that ranged in configuration and horsepower ratings. The 225 cubic-inch six-cylinder was the base engine while the 383 cubic-inch 8-cylinder was the top-of-the-line producing 280 horsepower. That was impressive, especially considering the horsepower to weight ratio. Many chose the 340 cubic-inch eight-cylinder because the 383 and Hemi were reported to make the Barracuda nose-heavy while the 340 offered optimal handling.
In 1968 Plymouth offered a Super Stock 426 Hemi package. The lightweight body and race-tuned Hemi were perfect for the drag racing circuit. Glass was replaced with lexan, non-essential items were removed, and lightweight seats with aluminum brackets replaced the factory bench, and were given a sticker that indicated the car was not to be driven on public highways but for supervised acceleration trials. The result was a car that could run the quarter mile in the ten-second range.
For 1969 a limited number of 440 Barracudas were produced, giving the vehicle a zero-to-sixty time of around 5.6 seconds.
In 1970 the Barracuda were restyled but shared similarities to the 1967 through 1969 models. The Barracuda was available in convertible and hardtop configuration; the fastback was no longer offered. Sales were strong in 1970 but declined in the years that followed. The muscle car era was coming to a close due to the rising government safety and emission regulations and insurance premiums. Manufacturers were forced to detune their engines. The market segment was slowly shifting from muscle-cars to luxury automobiles. 1974 was the final year Plymouth offered the Barracuda. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010