383/4-Speed: 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

Once upon a time a few, sadly, drivers sometimes ventured onto the streets cruising with monster tires out back and skinnies up front, with nothing to back it up besides a stock motor and raunchy exhaust. In contrast, this 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda in Madison, Tennessee looks like it rarely wanted for horsepower. Now, however, the empty engine bay, partially removed safety equipment, and lack of stock parts in general render it ready for the monster motor of your choice, or a blank slate for anything other than a stock restoration. Raise your hand if you’d put a $250 junkyard 318 in this baby and hit the road. Hopefully, this car’s in-your-face persona can be preserved and augmented with the power to match. The No Reserve auction here on eBay has attracted at least 20 bidders and achieved a market value above $12,000, which seems like a win for the seller of this no fender-tag, heavily-modified, out-of-state-title roller.

Shiny red paint covers what appears to be solid metal, the latter clearly visible thanks to the missing engine. Reportedly converted to a drag racer in the ’80s, this potent E-body appears to have enjoyed a long life of indoor storage. There are easier ways to get a clean ‘Cuda body than to take one that’s been hacked and welded up for drag-racing, but if that’s your plan anyway, this could be a good starting point. Sleep with a clear conscience after doing it your way; the Smithsonian Museum will not be tracking you down with a big offer for this rolling piece of history.

Dig that upholstery! Plus One for anyone who builds this car without changing the seats. Artifacts like this are going the way of the Passenger Pigeon. Showing up with these seats and that steering wheel is the automotive equivalent of walking into a bar with a full neck tattoo.

Muscled and angry from every angle, this old-school ‘Cuda demands respect like a feral Pit Bull. Don’t bid on this potent pony car if you’re not willing to fabricate a shoebox hood scoop from an old filing cabinet and pop-rivet it to a rectangular hole your angle grinder made in the hood.

More solid metal bodes well for the car’s overall condition. How would you build this chiseled, stripped-down Plymouth?


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    My god, those seats are priceless.

    Like 13
    • Mike

      Who needs beaded seat covers when you have these seats?

      Like 3
  2. Troy s

    A very potential quarter mile thrill ride, from any angle it begs for serious horsepower, being expelled through open headers at full ear ringing volume. Hopefully the car sees action again.

    Like 6
  3. David Sawdey

    Right out of the 70s. I love it !!!

    Like 6
  4. Steve R

    It would be more interesting restored to racing condition, unfortunately, that won’t happen. Due to its overall lack of severe rust there is a good chance it winds up as a restomod since the original drivetrain and fender tag a long gone.

    Steve R

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      Sold with a high bid of $20,150.

      Steve R

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        I think that was a pretty good buy and I’m sure the seller made out pretty well.

  5. ed casala

    My buddy just picked up a Hellcat drivetrain for less than 12k out of a wrecked new one. He is putting it in something like this. Looks like the start of a great project.

    Like 5
  6. Edward t Thron

    I’ve been seeing a lot of cars like this for sale lately and think there should be a new category of collector cars ” High School S – Boxes of the 80’s ” . I can see this car at my high school In 1980 , It would have fit right in . 318 with single glasspack , lift shackles & ladder bars . Pioneer round dial SuperTuner and Kraco 6×9 s cranking out AC/DC .

    Like 16
    • Don Eladio

      Sounds perfect but, I would say some cheap Cyclone Headers and a set of header mufflers. Maybe a tunnel ram and a cam in the, otherwise, stock 318.

      Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      My first car resembles that comment! It was even a Barracuda with a 318.

  7. Ron

    Put a bad LS in it and roll…

    Like 3
    • Don Eladio

      No, please…no.

      Like 5
  8. Shawn Fox Firth

    Fit a triple turbo 6BT Cummins and have fun

  9. Pnix

    Don’t see the 383 or 4-Speed that is in the title.

    Like 1
  10. DON

    Why would anyone put a 318 in this car ? The vin breaks down to a 383 , the K frame is for a big block , so why not put a big block in it ? The car has been modified , but it is very solid – it has good floors, the trunk area is solid. . Considering what completely trashed Cudas are going for , this one could be the deal of the year . As for the interior , its a 50 year old car, most interior are ratty by this time and would be replaced anyway , so that’s no big deal, and you would replace a lot that’s missing from the car for a restoration. It wont be numbers matching, but the car could be restored with a date correct 383 and you could go blasting down the boulevards again !

    Like 8
  11. jerry z

    I would make it like the red/white version. Have a nice street/strip car.

    Like 2
  12. Todd Fitch Staff

    Hey Jason. You’re right of course for a street machine. I made that comment and the “Raise your hand… 318” comment with tongue firmly in cheek. After you’ve seen so many perfect factory E-bodies I just think it would be more interesting to see one that’s rough around the edges with a monster motor and some DIY fabrication. I would NOT hack up a shaker hood either. :)

    Like 4
  13. mgreene

    I’m thinking a Grumpy lump would be the best choice for the tunnel ram 440/clutchflite.

  14. 87 Ragtop

    Drag car with no safety cage or evidence that it had one hummmmmmmmmmm just saying
    This car would have needed traction bars and a drive shaft safety loop ????

    • Steve R

      The seller specify states that he removed the 6pt cage, that’s all it would have needed to run Stock Eliminator, E stock specifically, which is clearly shown in the pictures in the eBay ad. Mopars typically run pinion snubbers, not traction bars, and a drive shaft loop can be unbolted in a few minutes. There is no doubt this was a race car, there are signs every, unlike the yellow 55 featured today, which is a show car painted to look like a race car.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  15. John Oliveri

    If glue it all back together as stock as possible, 383 or 440, there’s a lot worse starting points than this car is, it’s not rusty, it would need an interior and a motor refresh, so it’s not worth a gazillion dollars, it’s gonna be fun

    Like 3
  16. Kevin

    440,727,shaker scoop and let the fun begin.

  17. David Bailey

    1970 ‘Cudas…Best looking Muscle Car in history(in my opinion)!

    Like 1

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