1-Of-430: 1974 Plymouth Cuda Project

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The Plymouth Barracuda launched in 1964, just 17 days before the Ford Mustang. Just as the Mustang was born from the compact Falcon, the Barracuda was a bi-product of the Valiant. It didn’t sell as well by comparison, but sales perked up in 1970 when it gained the all-new E-body platform. With the pony and muscle car markets in decline, 1974 would be the last year for the Barracuda. This fact may make it a bit more desirable because the production numbers are low. Located in League City, Texas (after being in a Michigan barn for 20 years), this ‘Cuda edition is available here on eBay where the bidding currently sits at $9,000.

By 1973, Barracuda sales had trickled off so the handwriting must have been on the wall. The cars were little changed for 1974 and resulted in the production of just 11,734 units (less than a quarter of the 1970 models). While the ‘Cuda had always been the performance model, it was watered down by ’74 and could even be ordered with a 318 V8. The little hot-shot 340 engine was gone, replaced by a 360 that hasn’t been as popular with collectors. 4,990 ‘Cuda models were built in ’74 and just 430 had the 360/4-speed combination.

According to the seller, this car found itself in a barn for two decades because of an unsettled debt. Apparently, those issues got resolved as the car comes with a clean title now.  Its long-term storage didn’t ruin the engine as the seller says it starts and runs with a battery and gas poured into the carburetor. It’s said to even sound good with a set of Hooker Headers. At some point, the 360 was jettisoned in favor of what the seller thinks is a 440. And an automatic transmission replaced the manual, although the seller says the clutch pedal was never removed.

As you would expect after all these years in captivity, there are some rust issues now. There are holes in the trunk and the driver’s side floor pan along with the passenger side rocker panel and the driver’s side quarter just before the wheel well. But it looks to be far from a rust bucket, although we don’t know what the undercarriage looks like. The interior is hit or miss, with the driver’s seat torn and the dash pad cracked. But the passenger bucket and the back seat might benefit from just a thorough cleaning.

The VIN declares the car to have been built in Plymouth’s Hamtramck, Michigan factory, and – given the 1989 Michigan license plate – it may never have ventured too far away until recently. It’s a well-used car at just under 90,000 miles but waiting patiently for restoration to begin. A detuned ’74 ‘Cuda may not be worth as much as a ’70 with any Hi-Perf engine, but it does now have a 440 engine, although not period correct. Hagerty pegs one of these cars at $40,000 completely restored.

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  1. Arthell64

    Seller doesn’t mention anything about rust in the frame rails and no pics of the undercarriage.

    Like 3
  2. Sam Shive

    1 of 430…..LMAO. The engine and transmission are NOT Original…… It Is Now One Of MANY another (M)ostly (O)ld (P)arts (A)nd (R)ust.

    Like 14
    • Chris M.

      Such deftly applied wit! You sir are a keen individual!

      Like 5
    • Mike

      Heyyy Sam Shive that Mopar acronym is pretty good even though I’m a Mopar Fan .

      Like 1
  3. Connecticut Mark

    Something wrong with rear axle too it seems.

    Like 1
  4. Maverick

    I also noticed that rear end does not look right. I would like to see the underneath.

    Like 0
  5. irocrobb

    My eyes are not that good anymore but I do not see the reverse light indicator under the dash near the ashtray. The 4 speed manual cars had them but the 3 speed manual did not, The car is just plain rough

    Like 0
  6. Chuck

    From the picture of the engine, it looks like it’s a B engine, 383 or 400.

    Like 1
  7. John W. Lattie

    It appears to be a 400 engine.

    Like 0
  8. piston poney

    its a 440 you can tell by the datapad casted on the front of the block only 440’s had that, you can barely see it in the pic

    Like 1

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