Plum Crazy Barn Find: 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440!

Hmm, a Plymouth ‘Cuda barn find. That’s never a bad thing and is something that is virtually guaranteed to spark some interest with enthusiasts. That is precisely what we have here, with an incredible 167 people watching the listing for this 1970 example here on eBay. Now that it has now emerged from hiding, it is looking for a new home. If a ‘Cuda is what your heart desires, then you will find this one located in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The owner has set a BIN of $32,900 for the ‘Cuda, but the option is available to make an offer.

This is a car with plenty of factors in its favor. The first is that it wears Plum Crazy paint, probably the most popular and desirable shade in the ‘Cuda palette at that point in time. The second is that in spite of being stored away at some point in the 1980s, this is a car that is remarkably free of rust issues. How solid? The floors, frame rails, and trunk pan are all said to be good. There is some rust bubbling in the lower quarter panels, but it doesn’t look to be extensive enough to justify full panel replacement. There are also some very minor spots in the rockers, but that really does appear to be all that needs to be fixed. It looks like all of the external trim and chrome is present, but the heavy layer of dust makes it difficult to determine its condition.

The biggest unknown with the ‘Cuda surrounds what is happening in the engine bay. The car started life packing a 440ci V8, and that is what is present there today. What isn’t known is whether this is the original, or whether a transplant has occurred at some point. Anyway, behind that engine is a 4-speed manual transmission (possibly original), while the Dana rear end is definitely original. When it rolled off the production line, this was a car that packed some serious punch. That 440 produced 375hp, propelling the ‘Cuda from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, and through the ¼ mile in 13.8 seconds. The health of the engine isn’t crystal clear, but the owner gives the impression that a bit of tweaking and tuning, along with a fuel system clean, should see the car up and running once again. If this is accurate, then that’s more good news for the next owner.

The owner admits that the interior of the ‘Cuda will need a freshen up, but it is, apparently, original. It isn’t clear what is hiding under those aftermarket seat covers, but for me, the starting point would be to give everything a good clean. There are some items such as the door trims that look like they could be discolored, but they also might not be beyond restoration. The condition of the seats is an open question, but like so many classics of this era, replacement covers are readily available. The rest of the interior would appear to be complete and even features that awesome pistol grip shifter.

The owner of this 1970 ‘Cuda is unsure whether it is a numbers-matching car and says that he has priced the car accordingly. As he rightly points out, if it is numbers-matching, then that could potentially be a real win for the new owner. On face value, this looks like a fairly straightforward restoration project, and if this is correct, then it could be a pretty good buy at the asking price.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Someday medical science will identify the gene that makes men collect cars thinking that they will someday get them restored.

    Hell, I’m sure that someday, during Jeopardy, there will be a commercial advertising a drug that can treat the condition, (other than beer). How about “Cudacin”, or “Mustangulair”, or “ChevelleNO”.

    Like 31
    • Classic Steel

      I will avoid the medical scripts should it occur or get made😜

      I believe in the Jay Leno quote that roughly states collect as many cars that fit in the garage plus one 😜

      Owner of a 67 mustang convertible, 64 chevelle convertible and the 63 split 340 hp 4 spd at 80% restoration 😉

      Now the wife could try to slip it the coffee ☕️ as the garage stores classics year round with her car outside 🤔👀😏

      Like 6
    • Ike Onick

      “CorV-iagra”

      Like 4
  2. JohnfromSC

    Given the ease of determining numbers matching in Mopars and the additional value it brings, either this seller is being purposely vague or is really dumb.
    Given that the buy it now price is in the ballpark, I vote for purposely vague, i.e. it is highly likely a non-matching #s car. Just be an informed buyer and pay accordingly.

    Like 16
    • Dave

      From my experience, in that era standard versions of engines were painted blue, hi-po versions red. My 1971 Fury had a red U-code 440. Don’t know if they built a T-code Cuda or not.

      Like 3
      • Angrymike

        I think engine color is dependent on the factory it was built, my father’s 69 Road Runner had a blue engine, but many were also hemi orange, I inquired and was told it was where they were built. It was Musclecar Review that told me, and I think they know their crap.

        Like 2
      • Chris M.

        It certainly wasn’t red from the factory. A U code was correct for a 440 hi perf in the E and B body line in 1970. They were Hemi Orange. A 1970 T code 440 was blue as no 375 horse 440s were installed in a C body with exception of the very rare 440 six pack ( barrel) Fury GTs. For ’71 a T code C body 440 would’ve been orange.

        Like 4
  3. PaulG

    Geez, WTF is wrong with a really good cleaning? Are people serious about selling a car when a Saturday of work would show what they have for sale…yet they can’t even remove some ancient seat covers.
    Makes me wonder!

    Like 24
    • Ghostburner

      I see both sides of it,,there are some that want/like the “state of being” and would not have it any other way .They(the owner) gets to be the one that brings it back to life from A-Z.
      Others it’s jus a head start and a better way to gauge all things metal/glass ect.

      Like 3
    • JoeNYWF64

      You may not wana see what’s under the seat covers!
      I believe this is the rare duster special version. lol

  4. Ike Onick

    The owner admits that the interior of the ‘Cuda will need a freshen up.

    Top Five BF Understatements Of The Year contender.

    Like 18
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Paul and Ike Onick LOL! For a non matching numbers car that has bubbling (!!!) in the quarters, for 32 large, he says its priced accordingly. Wait till you hit those bubbling quarters with a grinder. me thinks this could be a mud queen. No comprehensive pics of the underbelly. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you think that a couple hours of cleaning would make the car a little more appealing to a prospective buyer! Like the rest of you guys, I wonder what makes these clowns tick. Could be the BJ or Me-cum syndrome.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 10
  6. Retired Stig

    Uhmm. The tow strap that was used once then thrown on the front seats is a clue as to the condition of the drivetrain. Lot of money for a car that will have to be entirely rebuilt/refreshed to ensure dependable operation. You expect $33,000 for a car and you can’t be bothered to fill the tires and push it outside and rinse it off?

    Like 12
  7. Little_Cars

    Is that a tow strap? The color of the interior photo is so poor I thought it was part of those CSI DNA-covered seats. That interior speaks well of the life this car led before being parked. Looks like a lot of vomit, smoke and ash “colored” the cabin before those cheesy fur seat covers lost their color. I’m a bit of a pessimist too when it comes to obvious barn cars surrounded by other similar barn cars. RARELY are cars grouped like this and forgotten by the owners. Hoarded, yes, but “found” in a barn to me means something different.

    Like 6
  8. Terry Bowman

    Don’t see many options, but it looks like a good car to start a project with. As seller states, number matching, who knows. Can’t see the block Hump, if it is a 383 or 440. Does have other “GOODIES”.

  9. Chris M.

    Dave, the standard 440 in 1970 was painted Chrysler blue and all high performance versions would’ve been Hemi Orange as well as your ’71. There wasn’t a T code in the Cuda line which references the engine code. A U code would indicate a 440 in a 70 Cuda. No factory red engine paint after ’68 I believe.

    Like 1
    • Angrymike

      They must have changed from 69, it was depending on which factory (in Roadrunner’s) what color the engine received. I asked the mag Musclecar Review why my father’s 69 Road Runner was blue, and others were orange, that’s what they told me, correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Terry Bowman

        Angrymike, 69′ to 70′ was the transition year. Could be depending on the date of manufacturing, the color may have changed to blue earlier at the end of the year. I have heard of prior year parts being use up the following year.

  10. Will Fox

    (Yawn…….) Another `70 E-body “barn find” that will bring some ludicrous price no doubt. I’m more interested in what I see in the background though. I spot a `64-`65 cvt. of some sort, plus the green `64 Dodge. I wonder what else is in there…

    Like 1
  11. chillywind

    Ahh, doesn’t know??
    Yeah right. look at the other molars in the background. The guy knows exactly what it is. You don’t collect or keep your car in a collection for years without knowing what you have.
    When are sellers going to get over this “Dust makes it look better” mentally?
    I understand one pic of a car in a dusty barn but thats all I need. Clean it up, remove the seat covers and show us what ya got!
    Super cool car though. It does check the boxes

    Like 8
  12. Comet

    I know it means everything to potential collectors, and I respect that, and I know I’m in the minority, but I wonder if our hobby will ever get past the “numbers matching” thing.

    Like 4
  13. Terry Bowman

    Christ you are mostly correct. The red motors were 65′ – 68′, but were all small blocks not the others. Turquoise or blue were for the R and RB blocks through those years unless it was the HP line, which was Hemi orange 69′ – 71′. 72′ and up they were all blue. The Hemi were all Hemi orange. Note: I have a 69′ 340 dart 4 – speed that is orange and not blue. My research is the 4 – speeds were orange and the automatics were blue. I have a Factory brochure showing the 4 – speed orange.

    • Ike Onick

      “Christ you are mostly correct” I am so tempted, but it is probably best to let this opportunity pass.

      Like 1
  14. 433jeff

    As much as i like this color, i rode up on a pink 440 cuda this week, and I honestly would take the pink black over this, i know that sounds strange but the pink moved me,it just looked better to me , aside from that i would still kill to get my grubby mits on this one.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      My last MG came from the factory in Aconite (purple) with a saddle interior. When it came time to repaint it on the cheap, I found a matte pink/purple combo off the shelf which succeeded in making the car jump out in traffic. Which was the whole point. Although, I will say MG also produced a Dark Tulip for Bs and Midgets that is a very striking almost purple shade.

      Like 1
  15. Little_Cars

    The worst side of my “purple rat.”

    Like 2
  16. Del

    I have to call BS on not knowing if engine is the original or not.

    He be asking 10 grand more if it was.

    Lots of potential here. love that 4 spd Dana.

    Just buy it.

    Like 8
  17. Superdessucke

    Hell, I want to know what’s hiding ON those seat covers! Is that an algae of some kind?

    Like 1
  18. Colonel Kelly

    I had a 70 Challenger R/T 440 convertible and the engine was Hemi Red.
    Chrysler Corp cars with the 350hp 440 were painted blue in 70. I had a 72 Charger Rallye 440 and the engine was blue, it was a 440 in name only by then.

    My Challenger suffered from the missing second gear syndrome that many 1970 TorqueFlite 727 transmissions suffered from when backed up to a 440
    Magnum. Before second gear vanished, it got decent rubber in second.
    It cost $285 to have the trans rebuilt and in the process they found second gear.

    Like 3
    • Chris M.

      Great story, but I think you meant Hemi Orange

  19. Skorzeny

    I could be mistaken, but, where’s the brake pedal? I see parking brake pedal, clutch pedal, a space, and then a peek of the accelerator?

    • Terry Bowman

      Small brake pedals on the standard shift and a larger one for the auto. The extra room is needed on the standard.

  20. Camaro Joe

    chillywind, you’re 100% correct. There are enough collectible Mopars in the background to make me believe that the seller knows what he’s doing and if the motor is correct. If I was a buyer I’d have to see the cowl tag and motor stamp in person, otherwise pay for it like it’s a mid 1970’s 440 that was transplanted.

    Camaro Joe

    (also have a 65 Belvedere 383/TF)

    Like 1
  21. TimM

    Looks like 1970 was a year of drugs and damn ugly colored seat covers!! When you go to buy them do you ask for the ugliest puke green seat covers with fur on them????

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      We’re hoping it is fur.

  22. Ort

    Or you could just buy whatever you want, but make sure you take your Fukitol.

  23. Terry Bowman

    I believe back in the day Chrysler sold cars on being different, much as they do today. All their senior citizens autos were much the same as the others, but the sport cars all had a gimmick, rather it be the color or the name, sometimes both.

  24. Gaspumpchas

    Good post terry. I had a customer, an elderly doctors’ wife, she drove a 71 cuda, plum crazy color, slant six and 3 speed on the floor. She loved that cuda!!
    Takes all kinds to make the world go round!
    Happy Thanksgiving
    GPC

    Like 1

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