1-of-66: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible

Plymouth sold 566 examples of the Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible in 1970, but only sixty-six of those featured the drivetrain we find hiding in this survivor. It is an honest car that the new owner could drive untouched, although some may see some minor panel work and a fresh coat of paint as the next logical step in the ownership experience. It is listed here on eBay in Jonesboro, Indiana. Two bids have lifted the price to $50,100, although that figure is short of the reserve.

Plymouth introduced its Third Generation Barracuda in 1970, and our feature car hails from that first year of production. The seller indicates that apart from a repaint on the passenger-side rear quarter panel, its Yellow Gold paint is original. The panels and paint sport the marks and blemishes you might expect for any fifty-two-year-old classic, but there’s no evidence of abuse or neglect. There is also no rust, which is a victory for any car from this era. The originality extends to the Black power top and its boot. The chrome luggage rack is an aftermarket addition, but that appears to be the only modification. The Convertible rolls on its original wheels and full hubcaps, and like the remaining trim, the condition is difficult to fault. The original owner ordered the car with chrome racing mirrors, adding a subtle touch of class to the exterior.

The original owner ordered this Barracuda trimmed in the Code PRT5 combination of Saddle Tan leather and vinyl. They elected to dispense with luxuries like a console, although they added the Rallye gauge cluster with a factory tachometer, woodgrain trim, variable-speed wipers, and an AM radio. As with the rest of the car, this Convertible’s interior presents well for a survivor-grade vehicle. The leather has wrinkles but no signs of wear or abuse. The dash and pad are perfect, and there’s no crumbling plastic. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect because there are carpet marks and scuffs on the door trims. Nothing requires immediate replacement, and if the buyer selects the preservation path, they could leave it untouched. In what could be viewed as a minor victory for a car of this type and age, there are no aftermarket additions or modifications.

With Plymouth only producing 566 examples of the Gran Coupe Convertible in 1970, any drivetrain combination is undoubtedly rare. However, this Convertible is 1-of-66 featuring the 383ci V8, backed by an A-727 TorqueFlite transmission. The original owner added power steering but didn’t select power assistance for the brakes. With 290hp on tap, this classic could storm the ¼-mile in 15.5 seconds. Considering its mild-mannered appearance, that makes it a genuine sleeper with a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality. The seller indicates that not only is this Plymouth numbers-matching, but nobody has ever pulled the engine or transmission. Its originality extends to the spare tire and inflator bottle, and they include the Window Sticker and other documentation. It runs and drives well, ready to provide a new owner with classic motoring pleasure.

Although Mopar products from this era developed a reputation for rust issues, this 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible has avoided those problems. Its overall condition makes preservation as a survivor viable, although lifting its presentation to a higher level would not be difficult. Its rare drivetrain combination makes it a genuine sleeper that would demand respect when the driver depresses the “loud” pedal. Would you leave it untouched, or would returning it to as-new condition be impossible to resist?


  1. Moparman Member

    UGH! Luggage racks (IMO) one of the more useless additions to modern cars(T-topped Corvettes excepted, although I STILL don’t car for them!) Not fond of the color, but I’d live with it, but those horrid wheel covers would have to go; I think I’d just lavish TLC on it, a set of Magnums and cruise!
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 8
    • AnnasBigBananas

      Change one thing on this ‘survivor’ and anyone who buys it might as well resto-mod it!

      Like 2
      • Jim

        Not that many original paint,fifty two year old cars left,would be a crime to do anything to this Barracuda.

    • Stinger

      This does not look like an aftermarket luggage rack at all. It could be a factory install as not all the luggage rack optioned cars show on the inner fender tag (M91). If the broadcast sheet could be found, it might be there.

      With everything else being fairly original, it’s likely the luggage rack is too.

      Like 4
    • Jim

      The luggage rack,hubcaps and uncommon light yellow paint are what I like about this one. I’ve owned two ’70 ‘Cudas and four ’70-71 Challengers. One of them with the above hubcaps and one with a factory luggage rack.

      Like 1
  2. Poppy

    I like it just as it is! Question for you Mopar guys: Were they several 383s available because 290hp seems low for 1970. If this was a 2bbl and/or low compression engine then that rating would seem accurate, but a high compression 4bbl Olds engine with 33 less cubes was pumping out 310hp in ’70.

    Like 3
    • Big_Fun Member

      A little research shows this has a 383 4bbl with dual exhaust, rated at 330 hp. The 383 4bbl rated at 335 hp is standard in the ‘Cuda (only – not available on the Barracuda). The camshaft grind is a little more aggressive on the 335 hp engine.

      Like 8
      • DRV

        Going to high school in this identical trim and train daily was always fun. Orange over white/white top was hot for a gran coupe. The 383 was blueprinted from the factory and had a plaque stating so. It was high school fun .

        Like 1
    • Jim

      Two barrel 383 would be 290 hp for 1970.

  3. Mike Stephens Staff

    Oh my gosh, I love it!! Wouldn’t change a thing, just drive and preserve, and hoping the next owner will do just that very thing.

    Like 9
    • AnnasBigBananas

      Wonder if any of the previous owners ever searched for one of its broadcast sheets? Would love to see one from this rarity. Probably was a factory ‘dealer-prepped’ car. Or maybe ‘fleet delivery’ for a rental company. A lot of the mild 383 2-bbl e-body ragtops were originally destined as rentals. One give-a-way is the purposely-packaged column-shift with bucket seats. Collumn-shift cars without a bench seat was usually given to both coupe and convertible rental fleet ordered units

      Like 1
      • jeff51 Member

        Yeah. I also noticed the production date was 9-1969, but the delivery date was 11-70. Must been in a rental fleet or sitting around the dealers lot a while or a demo.

        Like 1
      • Jimbosidecar

        When I took driver’s ed, back in 1970 the school’s car was a Cuda (or Barracuda) with the column shift, no console, and no options as I remember except a brake on the passenger’s side.

        Like 1
    • Jim

      Yes, too few of these original paint survivors left, I wouldn’t touch a thing on this one.

      • Ron

        I see signs of mismatched paint on both sides of the vehicle. Appears both quarters have been painted? The passenger door isn’t aligned correctly either.

  4. Will Fox

    Sorry, but in recent times just saying the words, “E body” INSTANTLY brings the price of such to a stratospheric level. I was not proven wrong here either, as current bids sit at $50K, and the ‘reserve not met’?!! And it’s not even a Hemi!

    Like 4
    • AnnasBigBananas

      Actually, the ‘e-body’ convertibles were popular even when new. I lived in Hawaii in the early 70s and the e-body ragtops were always the top choices of customers at rental agencies. Even more so than open jeeps. When fleet units were eventually sold-off by any of the rental agencies(at least on Oahu), the e-bodies always sold off within the first day or two for top dollar. Back then rental agencies would sell off their ‘expired’ fleet cars usually along the back row, on the same lot as the current stock of rentals.

      Like 1
  5. PaulG

    As if Gran “Coupe” Convertible isn’t confusing enough, how about that +50k price!?

    Like 7
    • Jim

      Just sold a 1970 ‘Cuda hardtop 340,auto on the column in January for 50k,convertibles always bring a lot more.

      Like 1
  6. bone

    Please , please , please ,Adam ,stop assuming ALL your listed cars were special ordered by the original owner ! The window sticker shows this car was ordered by the dealership , not for a specific customer. Unless a seller has documentation, there is no way one can tell whether it was a special order, a dealership order, or a car shipped to the dealer automatically. While rare, at one time this low optioned car wasn’t really anything special and was likely ordered by the dealership to draw customers in .

    Like 10
    • MOPAR Joe

      The dealer ordered this vehicle as a sold unit per the window sticker. The vehicle sat around for a year before it was actually sold. So…did the original customer back out of the deal or did the dealer hit the “sold” box on the order form to get preferred scheduling? We’ll never know.

      Like 2
    • AnnasBigBananas

      I lived in Hawaii during the early 70s and the e-body ragtops were always available at rental agencies. They were ordered as fleet units and were technically ‘special-ordered’. But by the factory designated(broadcast callout), as ‘dealer-prepped’ cars.
      What caught my eye on this car was the combination of column shift with bucket seats. If it had been special ordered, even if by a dealership, the odds would have been high that column shift cars came as a combo with a bench seat.
      Back in the day, we even took delivery of a couple column shift, bench seat e-body coupes. Delivered, as well, with the new ragtop rentals. One, a 383 4bbl ’71 Barracuda coupe and a none-R/T 440-4bbl Challenger coupe. I even recall being struck at the time that both had standard ‘flat’ hoods, too.

      Like 2
  7. Patrick

    Regardless of the wheel covers the 71 covers were worse, the 383 was a 2 bbl. single exhaust car, we had a gold coupe with black buckets without the motor combo and it had 323 gears so freeway driving was a breeze.

    The standard brakes stopped it fine. we had A/C
    Standard dash, I got my license in it fall of 70.

    Like 2
  8. Jay

    Beautiful Barracuda and I wouldn’t change a thing. Drive it and enjoy.

    Like 5
  9. Scooter

    I would start with a color change, convert to a 4 speed, put the 2 barrel and intake in the dumpster! Party on!

    • Jim


      Like 2
  10. Howie

    Has anyone ever put luggage on the luggage rack? Yes a poor color for me.

    Like 1
  11. jack

    No sign of dual exhaust that I can see.

  12. Pete

    A tour of Duty in Vietnam was one year. Order the car before you leave, pick it up when your tour was done. If you lived to do that.

    Like 4
  13. John Oliveri

    I’d add Magnums, dual exhaust, and a 4barrel intake, store all original parts and enjoy it

  14. Raymond Bailey

    sad! simple car ! any car at that age is rare.

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