440 V8 Transplant: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda

This 1970 Barracuda was from the first year the car received its new E-body platform, distancing itself from the compact roots it had before. Sales were quite brisk compared to the year before and this car left the factory with a 318 V8 and automatic, as did about 25% of Barracuda production that year. Along the way, that motor has been ejected in favor of a 440 big block, which should make a huge difference in how the car performs. Located in Glendale, Arizona, this Barracuda should be up to snuff mechanically, but the body is going to need some work. Offered here on eBay, the bidding has reached $16,200 but the reserve is still looming.

The ‘70s would mark a new era for the Plymouth Barracuda, which had been an offshoot of the Valiant since its introduction in 1964. It was technically the first “pony car,” beating the Ford Mustang to market by 17 days. But it never sold in the same kinds of numbers. Its best year was 1970 at just under 49,000 cars, compared to the 607,000 ‘Stangs delivered in 1966. The seller’s car began as a rather ordinary Barracuda, with a small-block V8 that accounted for some 13,000 units with the 318/TorqueFlite combination. If it had left the factory with a 440 and automatic like what it has now, it would have been only one of 646 coupes built that year.

Performance upgrades are plentiful with this Barracuda. The 440 that was installed later is from the same model year as the car and has been rebuilt. The redone 727 TF has a mild shift kit with a 2200 stall and an 8 ¾ rear end with Sure Grip. That motor has 40-over forged pistons, Edelbrock intake, and a Holley carburetor at 760 cfm. Add to that an aluminum radiator, dual Flowmaster exhaust, and new tires and rims with dog dish hubcaps. It has power steering but no power brakes, which likely makes stopping this beast a handful (or foot!)

The blue and white (or could it be primer?) paint have seen better days and the hood is likely not original. Nor is the passenger side front fender which is made of fiberglass. There are some dimples in the sheet metal on the passenger side and the driver’s side floor pans and truck floor may need attention. The blue interior looks to be original and in overall good condition except for the typical cracked dashboard and droopy headliner. We’re told that this is a complete car awaiting a cosmetic restoration and everything is said to work, including all the electrical pieces. The odometer reading is likely a placeholder unless this Plymouth has traveled 550,000 miles in five decades!


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  1. Moparman Member

    Bidding @ $22K, with 7 days remaining in the auction. Reserve has been met, so this car is going to its next owner. With the costs of a cosmetic restoration included with the final bid price, this will likely wind up to be an underwater project (IMO). GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 10
  2. Curt Lemay

    A 318 car is going to have a smaller K Frame, need suspension beefing, stuff like that. I hope that was done. Why not upgrade to power disc brakes? Not that difficult to do.. I have driven big blocks and small blocks. Give me a 318 any day. More then enough power and safer too.

    Like 1
    • JB

      Well in order to install the big block they would have had to change the K member anyway which means all that was OBVIOUSLY done!

      Like 5
    • Don Eladio


  3. JB

    Well in order to install the big block they would have had to change the K member anyway which means all that was OBVIOUSLY done!

    Like 1
  4. martinsane

    Nice looking car. Ive owned a few big blocks and usually got more out of the small blocks as thr bb are so freakin heavy they eat up front end parts.

    Of note, the car has Washington State plates but is selling from Arizona. Just saying.

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