1972 Plymouth Barracuda: Drive It Home

1972 Barracuda 340

Rarely do we feature a barn find that is ready for the next owner to actually drive home, but this ’72 Barracuda is just that, ready to drive! The seller claims it was recently discovered in a barn, but is now back on the road. It still needs work to be a nice driver, as you can see the interior looks a bit rough. With a good cleaning and some new seat covers, it could actually be a nice daily driver. The seller claims they just completed a 3 hour drive without any issues. It isn’t a big block car, but the 340 is actually a good little motor with plenty of potential. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind having a 340 Barracuda like this one! The reduced weight of the smaller engine should help with handling, but still offer enough torque for smokey burnouts when necessary! If this car were closer, I would at least take it out for a test drive. Holland Patent, New York is a bit too far away for me, but if you are nearby or just been looking for a great Barracuda project to drive while you fix up, you can find this one here on eBay with bidding up to $14k and just a day left to bidding.

1972 Barracuda 340 Engine

1972 Barracuda 340 Interior

1972 Plymouth Barracuda 340

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Comments

  1. SoCal Car Guy

    Josh, I can only assume from your rather condescending, “…but the 340 is actually a good little motor with plenty of potential,” comment that you’ve never planted your butt behind the steering wheel of a 340-powered ’68-73 or so MOPAR. The only Chrysler engine that put out better and/or had more potential that the 340 was the Hemi. The 340 was potent enough that it quickly earned the nickname “Mini-Hemi.” My first new car, right out of high school, was a ’69 340S Barracuda fastback with a four-speed, and it was (for the time period) an animal. Street Hemis and 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs were the only then-late-models on the streets of SoCal that could whup a 340. A 340 Cuda could handle with a Boss 302 or Z-28 and out accelerate either. My ’69 Cuda was a quality-control disaster (i.e., it was a piece of shit) but the engine, drivetrain and chassis were fantastic.I got rid of it after about four years (all warranty coverage was close to ending and I didn’t want to keep replacing parts of the car on my dime), and I’ve owned at least six-dozen cars since, but I still have more warm-fuzzies for that Cuda than damn near anything I’ve owned since.

    • Josh Staff

      I didn’t mean to sound condescending about the 340, just compared to one of the big blocks, it isn’t as powerful. Personally, I’d be more than happy with the 340. I haven’t experienced one in a Barracuda, but I have experienced it in a Duster. It had the Six Pack installed and that thing was nutty. It was a ’73, so I assume it didn’t have as high of compression ratio, I’d guess around 8 or 9:1. The Six Pack more than made up for it though, so I can imagine this engine is pretty wicked in the Barracuda. I also imagine with a Six Pack installed, it would be even more potent! Thanks for sharing your memories and sorry if I sounded condescending towards the 340, I know they are great engines!

      • SoCal Car Guy

        Thanks Josh, we’re cool.

  2. John h

    I agree with advantages of 340, but too bad it’s a 72. To restore it original traslates to anemic performance. I would seriously consider a mild restomod: brakes, suspension, cam,manifold, pistons and either bigger carb or injection. Would probably come out equal in value to a stock restoration with a much more drivable car.

  3. blindmarc

    I owned a 68′ dart GTS 4 speed in the late 70’s. I bought it out of billings Montana for 500 dollars and there was a six pack sitting in the trunk. When I got it back to Albuquerque I put the six pack on it, and headers. It had 3:91 gears in it and after wasting a few 396’s at the local street races on a Friday night, I sat at the start on Saturday night for over 20 minutes before anyone would pull up beside me. 340’s, and a built 360 will walk all over a lot of big blocks. This is a cheap price if the current engine is a 340.

  4. Rocco Member

    What is the difference between the ‘Cuda and a Barracuda? I thought in ’72 the 340 was a ‘Cuda hence 340 ‘Cuda. They even said Cuda on the quarter panel where this one say’s 340. Will you Mopar guys please set me straight?
    BTW, I used to be very careful back in the day racing my Fords against a 340 ‘Cuda, Duster,Dart, especially when the 340 had a 323 rear gear 727TF. The 340’s had so much torque they would always want to go from the roll at 20mph. My Ford was used up at the roll. But then we would go from the hole and it was my turn to win. We had mutual respect.

    Oh, BTW, if I was Mopar guy, I’d change the seats(frt.&back) to black to match the rest of the interior
    and run the hell out of it. It already has headers, and the 727 trans is killer with a shift kit.

    • The Walrus

      All are Barracudas. ‘Cuda is the performance oriented model designation of the Barracuda (like SE or R/T at Dodge) starting in 1969. It’s hard to say what this one is supposed to be because there is no VIN listed in the ad. It’s the only way to tell what it was originally, since it’s just a package on the car. In ’72 the standard engine in all Barracudas (including the ‘Cuda package) was the 318. The 340 was the only upgrade available (Slant 6 was available as a downgrade credit), and could be added as an upgrade on the Barracuda and within the ‘Cuda package. In ’72 the 340 was pretty tame compared to earlier versions.

      • Rocco Member

        Thanks for the info. My buddies brother bought one new in ’72. Had the dealer install a 430 gear. Then had a mech shop mills the heads .030.
        Then about 6 months later traded it for a ’67GTX factory backed drag car with a 440, 4-speed, 486 geared 83/4 diff. He drove it on the street with slicks. It was the most powerful car I had remember riding in back in the days.

  5. Doug Towsley

    One of those cars I always wanted. Hard to find any of them for affordable prices.
    As to the Motors, not a dang thing wrong with the 340/360, Get yourself a copy of Waddel Wilsons engine building book, “Racing engine preparation”. Lots of good period publications by Direct connection as well. We raced against a lot of mopars back in the day, and on small circle tracks the Mopars took home all the trophys. Admittedly, it was mostly the torsion bar front suspension that helped them win but it was rare for street stock that it was anything buy Mopar #1,#2,#3 in each race. Big blocks have a lot of torque and for a Mopar collector or investment car thats what brings the bucks. But for a hot street car the small block 340-360 is king. Huge weight and handling penalty for the big blocks. I would love to have this car. Too many other projects and time and money. but thats one sweet ride. (Id paint it Orange w/ Black rally stripes or Plum Purple though and Black interior)

  6. Brian

    There is red overspray on the hose in the engine shot. This car has been repainted at some point long ago. Could be hiding some serious rust based on that and the bad holes shown in some of the picks. Need to look in person, but may be a bondo buggy.

  7. Keith Matheny

    ’70’s Mopar, check the rockers, and no fender liners folks. PPI is a must on these!
    But, after Dad blew up the 318 truck engine in the motorhome he had, a D300 chassis, we put in a low mileage 360 block w/340 HiPo top end on it. That 28 ft. box would move out.
    Ever drive a square box at 100+? A double pumper sounds sweet when your sitting on top of it and “punch it grandpa”! LoL! (and, no, the kids weren’t with me when I “tested it”).
    I’d rather have this small block in this body also.

  8. randy

    Back to the quality control issues, my dad bought a new Coronet 500 convertible with the 383 magnum and the drag pack, it would bury the speedo, but he could not keep it out of the shop. He traded it for a 71 olds conv. that he still has. We both wish he’d kept the Coronet.

  9. Blindmarc

    Sold for $14,500.

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