1-Of-255: Moulin Rouge 1970 Plymouth Barracuda

Third-generation Barracudas are popular here on Barn Finds. And for good reason, because they were well-liked during and after their time in the sun and aren’t as commonplace today as Mustangs or Camaros. This one is particularly rare because it was the least chosen of all the colors for 1970. Just 255 cars were painted in Moulin Rouge, paint code FM3, just a fraction of one percent of all Barracuda production. We wish we could say this is a diamond in the rough, but there is a bunch of rust to contend with. The car can be found in Blairsville, Pennsylvania and offered here on eBay where the no reserve auction sits at $8,300.

The 1970-74 Barracudas lost their connection to the Valiant, with whom they shared their platform for six years. Styling-wise, the new shape was a huge improvement over the previous cars, and the public responded by buying more Barracudas, at least for a while. The pony car market was getting saturated and the demographic buying them had ample cars to choose from. Plymouth assembled just under 49,000 Barracudas for 1970, a near 50% jump from the year before. The seller’s car is one of those ponies where half of one percent were painted Moulin Rouge (in the Dodge world, it was known as Panther Pink). But these ‘high-impact” colors usually were found on Cudas and the other muscular cars, not so much as the rather pedestrian hardtop coupe. Thanks, Mopar1, for the production stats.

Paint rarity is sadly the best thing to be said of this car, as it has rust throughout. Both rear quarter panels are shot, with not enough meat to hang Bondo on. The trunk floor has flow-through ventilation as there is nothing left for the groceries to sit on. The floor pans and frame walls are also toasted. The fender tag is still there and intact. One thing that troubles me about the car, and it may be an optical illusion. But the hood and front of the car almost look like they’ve been extended as the hood seems like it’s half the car. Perhaps the lack of front fenders may be causing this look, and there is no mention if they’re still around to go with the car.

The interior of the car appears to have held up somewhat better. Sure, the front seats will need new covers and the carpeting is a mess, but perhaps a good cleaning will do a decent job of salvaging the rest. The odometer almost made it to 50,000 miles before the car went into storage. And we’re wondering if it was indoors in a humid environment because the Pepto-Bismol-on-steroids paint job still looks shiny in many places.

When I first saw pics of these cars, I was expecting a Cuda to be lurking inside or at least a 383 engine. Nope, this is a standard coupe with an original 318 cubic inch V-8. It has a floor-shifted manual transmission, with the number of gears not divulged. If it’s a 3-speed, only 1,599 were made this way, but it’s a 4-speed the number was only 705. All adding up to more rarity for this rusty machine.

If this car was in very presentable condition, it might bring somewhere in the thirties because of the basic engine. However, the manual tranny and rare color scheme should fetch more. But how much do you have to deduct for all the sheet metal that needs replacing? I suspect the Moulin Rouge paint and some decent parts to be harvested are what’s keeping this one from the crusher.

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    She’s rough but will make a nice restoration project 👍

    Like 6
  2. Connecticut Mark

    Has a locking gas cap.

    Like 1
  3. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Worth saving, plenty of meat left. The FM3 helps the resale but being a base Barracuda with 318 and a 3 speed don’t expect high dollars. Question is do you just restore it, Cuda clone it, or restomod?!?

    Like 1
  4. DON

    Actually, the high impact colors were just as common on the non muscle cars . I’ve had two base Dusters , both 198 with a stick , one was Sassy Grass green and the other In Violet. I recently sold a Lemon Twist 225 Swinger , and there is the very battered remains of a Moulin Rouge 6 Duster in the woods near our town. A lot of these cars were dealership ordered to attract customers , and the power trains weren’t as important.

    Like 1
    • XMA0891

      If this website is any barometer, if I were you, I would be looking into securing legal title on that pink Duster and trying my luck on the open market.

      • DON

        You’re right ; if it wasn’t in such terrible condition it would probably be worth it . As it sits , it has a poorly applied brown paint job , is missing parts , and has been likely sitting in the woods here in CT. for nearly 40 years , so its heavily rusted. All the glass has been smashed out, and the body has been so beat by people over the years it looks like it was rolled off a cliff ! Sad end for a car, but I guess you cant save them all.

    • Bill McCoskey

      DON,

      Chrysler was well known for suggesting their dealer base order low priced [no options] cars so they could advertise in the local papers that you could own [for example] a Barracuda for as low as $1995.

      The Arlington, VA. Chrysler Plymouth dealership [Al’s Motors] was notorious for advertising cars like a 1967 Town & Country, ultra cheap. I use this as an example because the Al’s Motors advertisement in the Washington Post had a great price [I don’t remember what it was], encouraged my father to come down and check it out, as he was going to buy a new wagon.

      He was so disgusted at the car he was shown for that price, that he told our family to get back into our 1960 Olds 98 sedan, and we went elsewhere. Dad bought a new 1967 Fury III wagon later that afternoon at a different dealer. [Well-optioned with 383 4-barrel, dual exhaust, Torqueflite]

      I remember that Newport Town & Country. Silver Blue with blue vinyl interior. Base 318 V8. Not only did it not have power steering or power brakes, it had a delete radio and delete clock, delete roof rack as well. It was an automatic trans, but that was the only “option”. I remember well that it had small hub caps with the MoPaR Pentastar in the center. I’ve never seen them since.

      Like 1
      • DON

        Thats probably the reason the two ultra base Dusters I had were painted in “high impact” colors – to attract customers . If they were brown no one would have looked twice at them !

  5. Mainlymuscle

    I have one,I thought there was only 170 FM3 cars,but could be wrong .
    Mine has white interior and strobe stripe,was a 318,now 440 stroked to “500”.My daughters will be driving it to shows next season .

    Like 3
  6. Ron

    I just hate to see cars like this in this condition. That said, why not just advertise it for what it is a VIN tag, fender tag and a title for what will probably be 15G.

    Like 1
  7. Kev

    In 1980, I had a grassy green 1970 ‘cuda (Ohio car). One evening my new wife and I went to the grocery and I put the sacks in the trunk. When we got home, the groceries had disappeared through the large holes that had opened up in the trunk, which looked similar to the holes in the trunk of this car. I was instructed to get rid of the car – to my regret I did.

    Like 1
  8. Mark

    Wonder if the makers of Pepto ever considered referring to their product of the same color as “high impact”?

    Like 1
  9. John Q Public

    That is a three speed. A four speed would have the pistol grip. The three speeds were straight short bars like that. The 4 speed 318s were a pretty nice combo, esp with the standard 3.23 rear end. I drove one once that a buddy had. I loved it. Handled great, reliable, good on gas. More then enough oomph for me, that is for sure.

    Like 2
  10. DavidL

    The lack of front end, fenders, bumper, grill, etc. + seller statement regarding frame rails lead me to suspect it’s been wrecked. Anyone else? Given the rust issues and just everything wondering if its value will be as a parts car. Pity because the color is great. Would be better if it had a front end.

  11. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $8,300.

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