Amazing Shriners Survivor: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible

Update 3/2/21 – This impressive Barracuda has been relisted here on eBay. The auction is getting a lot of action but is the reserve set at a realistic number this time around? We will see…

From 5/19/20 – When it comes to the rarity stakes, this 1971 Plymouth Barracuda has to rate quite well. It was part of a special order by The Shiners. Originally the order was for five cars, but only three were ever built. What makes these cars special is the paint color, which was not offered in the Barracuda range. It is believed that all of the cars still exist, but this is the only one that remains completely original and unrestored. The owner has now decided to part with his beloved Plymouth, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Laguna Beach, California, and with bidding now sitting at $69,000, the reserve has been met. The amount of interest that the vehicle has generated can best be gauged by the fact that there are currently 146 people who are watching the listing.

The owner holds all of the documentation to verify his claim, but the backstory essentially is that The Shriners ordered five identical 1971 Barracuda Convertibles to use as parade vehicles for their 1971 Children’s Hospitals Parade. Unfortunately, only three cars were delivered to the dealership, so the order was canceled. The cars then sat around at the dealership until private buyers could be found. It appears that of the three, this is the only one that remains completely original. One has now been restored, while the third vehicle is said to have deteriorated badly, and will require a full restoration. The key here is the paint color, which is Duron Butterscotch. It isn’t clear just why this color was chosen, but I have had some difficulty confirming whether or not the color was offered across any vehicles that were produced by Chrysler. I certainly can’t find any evidence of it in any of their color charts, so if one of our readers can shed some light on this, I would really appreciate it. The paint presents well for a vehicle of this age, with only a few minor chips and marks accumulated over the past 49-years. Below that paint is what is claimed to be 100% original steel. The owner states that the Barracuda has never had any accident damage or rust repairs. It still looks good, but I’m not completely convinced that it is totally rust-free. I’ve included a walk around video at the bottom of this article which may tell a slightly different story. It is worth taking a look because very early in the clip the owner films the rocker on the passenger side. There are some very minor imperfections visible, and I’m unsure whether these tiny bubbles might be the start of developing rust. All of the Shriner Plymouths were also ordered with White power tops. This one has recently been replaced, and it works exactly as it should. Beyond that, there really isn’t that much to criticize, because the chrome and trim looks nice, and there are no obvious problems with the glass.

The Barracuda is a numbers-matching car, and in this case, what we find is a 318ci V8, a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission, along with power steering and power brakes. The V8 should be good for around 230hp and will propel the Plymouth through the ¼ mile in around 17.4 seconds. That has to be a pretty rapid wind-in-the-hair experience. It probably is no surprise to learn that the Barracuda has been properly maintained and that it runs and drives perfectly. The video down below also gives us a chance to hear the engine running, and it sounds really sweet and clean. No signs of any knocks, rattles, or smoke with this one.

Finding fault with the Plymouth’s interior is nearly as difficult as with the exterior, but there is potentially one that I think that I have spotted. The cover on the dash might be designed to protect it from UV damage, but I also think that it may hide a crack or two. Once again, I am relying on what I have been able to spot in the video. The owner partially pulls the cover back on the passenger side of the vehicle, and I am pretty certain that I spotted the edge of a crack just peeking out from under the folded section of the cover. Take a look and see what you think. Beyond that, the upholstery and trim look very nice, with no appreciable wear, tears, and only some pretty acceptable levels of stretching of the vinyl on the driver’s seat to note. The carpet looks nice, while the dash itself appears to be free from any problems. Everything works as it should, right down to the AM radio and the ice-cold air conditioning.

Whether the relative rarity of the paint color that graces the flanks of this 1971 Barracuda Convertible adds to its value is something that I am sure could be argued long and hard. I’m also pretty sure that advocates from both sides of the fence could provide some compelling arguments to support their case. To be honest, I’m really not that sure about that one myself, but there’s no doubt that the unusual color would potentially attract its share of attention at a Cars & Coffee.

I think that a guide to the true worth of the Plymouth can be derived from both the bidding price to this point, and to the number of people who are monitoring the listing. Anytime that the watch number jumps into triple-figures, you can be pretty sure that you are looking at something that is perceived to be special. This is a classic that could be worth watching…or bidding on.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    What’s the color code on the fender tag? And I agree that the door jambs look like there may be rust developing, but you gotta expect that if the car is original.

    Like 8
  2. Paolo

    Yes there was a Mopar Butterscotch color option. What did I miss, why is this one special?

    Like 8
  3. Capt. Doug

    And here are the Butterscotch options in 1971 for Dodge models so it would not be a stretch to get a Barracuda painted with that color on special order.
    https://paintref.com/cgi-bin/colorcodedisplay.cgi?color=Butterscotch&tditzler=2325&rows=50

    Like 1
    • Ward William

      Yes but only 3 were.

      Like 2
  4. Paolo

    For Plymouth Code L5 is Bahama Yellow.
    For Dodge Code L5 is Butterscotch.
    The data plate on this car shows L5. There is no mystery, it’s Bahama Yellow.

    The rest of the story? Who cares? It’s a nice fairly original 71 Barracuda Convertible with a 318 and air. Sort of a Nash Bridges look. If that’s your thing.

    Like 28
  5. Rik

    No power brakes on this one…

    Like 6
  6. Paolo

    Looking closer it appears to be a repaint. There are a few clues but that’s just my opinion without an in person inspection.

    Like 1
    • Joe

      Well we know the hood had to be as that hood came on the Cuda.

      Like 5
      • Paolo

        Yes, the hinges don’t look right and the springs were never body color. The tail lights have body color where there should be black or argent, I believe.

        Like 1
      • bone

        Repainted yes, but the hinges and springs would be the body color.

        Like 2
  7. Will Fox

    Butterscotch…..yellow……I call it baby poop! because that’s what it is. What an insipid color!

    Like 19
    • GPAK

      Hahaha Yes, I concur
      here in Australia we call that colour …..
      ‘babysh!t brown’ !

      Like 6
  8. Mr William Woodburn

    Someone has retracted their bid and car now has no bids. Cheers.

    Like 4
  9. CCFisher

    https://www.dodgegarage.com/news/article/showcase/2019/03/high-impact-colors.html

    “The semi-obscure EL5 Butterscotch (also known as Bahama Yellow) presented a tamer side to Chrysler’s new color lineup while still catching the eye of consumers. Appearing docile next to the wilder side of the color chart, Butterscotch offered the perfect amount of pizzazz for economy cars and performance models alike. The color was available from 1969 to 1971 and while it hasn’t yet made a return to the Heritage Color Collection, there is no doubt the color would compliment Mopar’s modern muscle cars.”

    Like 3
  10. Troy s

    It’s a super clean 318 Barracuda in an odd color, that’s all it is. The fact it is one of three exactly like it because of the paint job will intice somebody out there but driving a 318 Barracuda is the same old song and dance….even if it was in-violet, pink, lime away green, whatever. Rarity doesn’t always mean desirable, my own dumb opinion naturally.

    Like 24
  11. Ken Jennings

    Didn’t like that color then, don’t like it now. I liked the light blue metallic, oh well. After that, very nice. Like the 318, though I would have went with manual steering and a 4 speed. Could you get a 4 sp 318 in 1971? I know you could in 1970.

    Like 4
  12. Mr. Bond

    Guessing you meant “The Shriners”? I think it would look better with a bit of trim. Seems a bit blank. Hope he gets his price!

    Like 3
    • LarryS Member

      Obviously a typo. Had they been ordered by the Shiners they would have been black and blue.

      Like 21
      • teresa m

        Ha Ha!!!

        Like 1
  13. JoeNYWF64

    Makes little sense spending ectra money tooling up 2 different instrument clusters – this one w/o provision for a tachometer that would be the size of the speedo.
    I kinda like the round dual corvette style tailites of the ’73-4 cuda, but this front end rules!
    Hopefully that is not mud inside the lower dash vent on the driver’s side.
    Would one dare try to inflate that 49 year old collapsible spare – could the tire explode?- or is the pressurized cylinder empty by now?
    I guess that’s why such spares were abandoned, replaced by space saver ones?

    Like 1
  14. ken tilly UK Member

    It’s also hardly “Totally original” if the top has been replaced.

    Like 2
  15. Mike Maly

    I had a 1971 Charger in this color (wife’s choice not mine). It was listed as a high impact paint option and cost 15 dollars and change if memory serves me correct.

    Like 3
    • RNR

      When I ordered my ’09 Challenger RT in Tor-Red, costing me $200, I told the salesman it used to be a $15 option in ’70!

      Like 5
      • Arthell64 Member

        $15 in 1970 money equals to $101 today.

        Like 2
  16. Ed Stull

    Those ‘cuda converts were awesome back in the day. A hemi is out of sight. I was surprised at this reserve. Someone is getting a sweet collector!

    Like 4
    • Ed Stull

      ….after reading some of the negative comments, my first thoughts were that the commenters were just pissed they didn’t have the $$$ to snatch this one up. Rare ‘Cuda convertibles will ALWAYS be worth the $$$.

      Like 11
      • Tom

        Ah yes, the rare combination of the least desirable color and a mediocre engine. You should rush out and buy a new Challenger that way, and when the dealer looks at you funny you can say “So that my grandkids can get more money for it”.

        What you’re seeing in these responses is a group of people who aren’t willing to pay extra for the rare combination of less show and less go.

        Like 5
  17. Snafuracer

    Oh. Shriners. I thought Shiner, as in Shiner Beer in Texas. Color even kinda matches their bottles! My 71 Satellite Sebring was this color too. Nice old Mopar convertible!

    Like 8
  18. Tom

    Don’t really know much about the origins / history of the car but this one has definitely “touched”. Looking closely at the engine compartment pictures, there are differences between the two. Does anyone else see want looks as though the heater hoses are disconnected in one pic and nicely connected with the correct brackets in the other??? Totally original???

    Like 1
    • ken tilly UK Member

      Correct Tom. The pictures have either been taken at different times or they are of two different engine bays. I can’t say that I even like yellow painted cars but I could easily be persuaded to give this one garage space.

      Like 4
  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I never heard of Duron paint, so I Googled it. It was a paint company that was bought by Sherwin Williams, and sounds like a house paint company.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/2004/05/18/paint-giant-agrees-to-buy-duron/f7b3309c-4666-4ae0-8721-98f199e75428/

    Here is Duron Butterscotch: https://encycolorpedia.com/c98932
    Here is Plymouth Bahama Yellow (Butterscotch): https://encycolorpedia.com/c8813d
    Interestingly, one is a shape of brown and the other is a shade of orange.

    So, the Shriners decided that the standard Mopar Butterscotch color was not acceptable and went with a paint-to-sample of a house paint color? Must have been someone’s absolute favorite color in the world.

    Easy to believe on a Porsche, but on a Barracuda? Seems far-fetched.

    Like 5
  20. bone

    Wow, odd story ! I guess because Chrysler couldn’t supply 5 Barracudas, the Shriners were forced to drive those little red go karts in parades after that ?

    Like 15
  21. don

    Last year I had my 73 Duster 340 at a cruise and another guy pulled up in a Bahama Yellow 71 Duster 340 . With the black stripes , twister option tape on the hood and black interior it really popped ! It wouldn’t have looked all that good with a brown interior and white roof though.

    Like 1
  22. George Mattar

    In 1963, the Shriners ordered a dozen 1963 Corvette roadsters, all Sebring Silver with red interior. Sebring Silver was an option and cost about $36 if my memory serves me correctly. A 63 Corvette is a far better looking car than this turd. By 71, Chrysler used the cheapest seat covers and rock hard door panels they could. One of 3. Big deal.

    Like 2
  23. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for that single bid of $69,000.

    Like 3
  24. Jon L Strong

    I have one in my garage my dad bought it in 74 from a friend in St. Joseph mo it was a moila parade car it still has a plaque on the dash that says ‘This car built especially for the Hays’ we were always told there were 7 built its identical to this one, butterscotch white convertable top two tone tan interior

    Like 5
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      That’s great!
      I guess if anyone wants the real story on these, they could reach out to the Moila Shriners.

      Like 1
  25. TimM

    Nice car but in my mind rare doesn’t always mean valuable!! A 318 car with an automatic for this price seems crazy in my opinion for the price it’s reached!! Now if it were a hemi with a 4 speed and a convertible to boot!!! That would be a different story!!!

    Like 5
    • Ray

      That would be a 7 figure car with those options!

  26. Geoff

    I admire its condition but between the colors and the hair dresser specs..meh. It’s got a face not even Mark Worman could love. Nice cruiser for someone with an open mind I guess. At the right price.

    Like 2
  27. Louis

    I did not see in the Ebay listing were it said that these three are the only
    Butterscotch 71 Cuda’s convertibles, I did see one this color recently. Also someone else in comments said they have one this color.

  28. DeeBee

    From the pictures I had a ’71 Mercury Cougar XR7 in that color! AND it had a white vinyl top! Too bad I was young and dumb then, or I’d still have that car.

  29. Jon Strong

    I have the same car I think there’s more than 3, got it from a friend in st Joseph mo in 1975 there were several from the same shriners club

    Like 1
  30. Steve S

    “All of the Shriner Plymouths were also ordered with White power tops.”

    Sure that wasn’t ordered by the Klan?

    Like 3
    • Phil

      Bring back the hyphen!

      “All of the Shriner Plymouths were also ordered with White power-tops.”

  31. Eddie

    I could understand $50,000 for a hemi-
    cuda but $50,000 for a 318 with 63,000 miles?

    Like 1
  32. Steve Clinton

    With 6 days left…
    Current bid:
    US $50,600.00
    Reserve not met

  33. Stephen

    I don’t get it. 318, auto (on the column), 63,000 miles and an awful color. Hard pass here at half the current bid.

    Like 1
  34. Comet

    Nice car, yeah. Untouched, not so much.

    Like 1
  35. Patrick Michael Shanahan

    Really nice car BUT crazy money.

  36. Herbie

    Am I wrong, is that a pop rivet In the lower left quarter panel. Also check out the fender tops at the hood hinges, it looks like a little work was done here. Or do you chalk it up to the
    sucky way these cars were built?

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