572 Crate Motor: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible

I’ll let you in on a little secret. This 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible no longer looks like it did in this photo. This shot was taken the day that the owner drove the car into his workshop, but a decade has passed since then. The Plymouth has been stripped down to the last nut and bolt, and the process has commenced to transform this classic into a complete animal. Changed circumstances mean that the owner is forced to part with this classic when the finish line is in sight. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder rex m for referring the Convertible to us. It is located in Boise, Idaho, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. If you feel up to the challenge, you can take the Barracuda home for $85,000.

This is how the Plymouth looks now. The owner has completed all of the heavy lifting when it comes to this classic’s body. Once stripped, it was shipped off to what the owner describes as a well-known shop on the east coast. Their specialists massaged the metal, and the Barracuda is entirely rust-free. It has been reassembled to this point but will need to be finished. Purists will be happy to learn that there have been no modifications made to the body, so if they decide not to proceed down the path that the seller has chosen, returning the vehicle to its original specifications would be possible. There is still some minor panel preparation to be completed before a fresh coat of paint is applied. To assist in this task, the owner includes a Whirly Jig rotisserie as part of the deal. He intended to create a triple-black Hemi ‘Cuda clone, and it would look pretty stunning once complete. All of the parts are included to complete the car, except for the interior trim and the convertible top. The owner says that all pieces are either NOS items or have been professionally restored. He also makes life more bearable because all of the components have been cataloged and labeled. That leaves little room for mistakes and has to count as a blessing.

A ‘Cuda Convertible with a 426 Hemi under the hood is a potent piece of equipment. This Barracuda Convertible would not have been in that sort of league, but it did feature a small block V8 and a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The owner is including the original V8 in the sale, although the transmission is now MIA. He also has the original Build Sheets and other documentation if the buyer wishes to complete a faithful restoration. However, the package that he offers is quite mouth-watering. What you see here is a brand new 572ci Hemi Crate Engine, and that is included in the sale. This is the path that the seller was following, as he planned to produce a Hemi ‘Cuda tribute with a touch of Tabasco. Where the 426 will produce 425hp, this monster has been on the dyno, and to improve its manners on the road, it has been “detuned” to pump out 650hp and 650 ft/lbs of torque. That’s some serious power, and it should allow this Convertible to blitz the ‘Cuda’s 13.2-second ¼ mile ET.

There’s no point having mountains of power if there is no way to get it to the road. With this in mind, the Plymouth comes equipped with a Legend Gear SS700 5-speed manual transmission. This should handle all of that mumbo with ease and channel it to the Strange Dana 60 rear end. As far as drivetrains are concerned, that’s about as tough as they come. It also makes the car’s original specifications pale by comparison. The only potential issue that I could see here would be getting the power actually to hit the road. The buyer would need a light touch with their right foot, or they could convert a good set of tires to smoke in no time flat.

I’m not going to beat about the bush here because this 1970 Barracuda Gran Coupe Convertible is not a cheap car. If this were a straight restoration project, I would say that it is seriously over-priced. However, there is no reason why the buyer couldn’t perform a straight restoration and remain financially viable. That Crate Motor will have cost well over $20,000. The transmission and rear end add a further significant amount, so selling these components would justify a faithful restoration. Personally, I’d complete the project as the seller intended. It might not be original, but it would certainly be fun. Isn’t enjoyment what the classic car ownership experience is supposed to be all about?


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  1. Bultaco

    I’d sell the crate motor and go with a modern Chrysler V8 and 5-speed. Much more practical than the carbed 572, lighter, and with plenty of power. 650 ponies from that 572 (and likely 500 ft. lbs of torque) might be a little much for a 50 year old unibody convertible.

    Like 16
    • J_Paul Member

      I was thinking similarly. While I will always love an original 426 car, I think the advantages of a modern engine really shine when creating a new, modified build. Lighter weight, better handling, better mileage, better for the environment (if you choose) — seems like a win/win, especially if you want your car to be driven more frequently.

      Like 1
  2. MH

    I would only buy it for the motor. The car don’t do anything for me.

    Like 3
  3. Chris M.

    Agreed that’s alot of motor for a driver type car. Odd choice of wheels IMO.

    Like 3
    • Dusty Rider

      I think those Turbin wheels are on the ten year old pic.

      Like 4
  4. Jeffo

    Meh…..needs a SBC in it. Maybe a Cummins. Lol. Yeah, I’m that guy.

    Like 5
    • MDW66

      Better yet an LS swap!

  5. Jeff

    I volunteer to break the motor in with a severe beating, no extra charge for the thrashing.

    Like 7
    • Jeffo

      I’ll ride along and help with rear tire replacement

      Like 6
  6. Brian R.

    This is one of only 381 gran coupe convertible 318 auto. Very desirable car and has started bringing big money as they only made these one year only. Better off selling the hemi stuff and putting it back original. Just my opinion.

    Like 21
  7. Troy s

    I actually like the way it looked before, turbines and all.
    The 572, If it can grab at all, should be good for 13.2 in third gear using granny shift tactics.

    Like 4
  8. Arthur

    Given that this car has a 572 Hemi and is a convertible, I would give this car a custom chassis from either Art Morrison or Roadster Shop, along with Year One Chrysler Rallye wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.

    As for the engine, I would simply give it an EFI system that would incorporate the Shaker hood scoop, which would be functional.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      The ad says it already has EFI.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • Arthur

        Really? Well, that’s good to know. :)

        Like 1
  9. William

    These things had too much body twist with a 318 (the converts), this motor is just plain silly overkill. Buy the car, sell the 572 to some gray haired over eager teenager who never grew up. Then rebuild the 318, pop in a nice 4 speed with a modest rear end, maybe the standard 3.23 and go cruising. Life is far to short for us aging Boomers, why waste it fighting an unruly engine?

    Like 13
  10. Frank

    LOL, that overkill will kill ya

    Like 3
  11. doug adams

    open ebay find one already done buy it and enjoy your time that you would spend finishing that car

    Like 2
  12. Woody

    Plymouth tops my bucket-list.I like muscle cars of the sixties and seventies of many makes/models.My first car was a rare ‘69 Cuda 440 Mcode fastback. Would love to have the cars today,my next purchase ‘69 Barracuda fastback,318ci. I’m old-school original so this 1970 convertible looks good from the start.

    Like 3
  13. John

    A damn shame the guy had to abandon his project. Anyone going full tilt like that you know he loved what he was building.
    I’d like to see something happen for this guy, like Jay Leno buying it, building it to the guys vision – and then giving it back to him.
    It would make a great episode!

    Like 4
  14. Rick Rothermel

    That thing is a burnout waiting to happen.
    I recvently binged the Mannix TV series. His hero car one year was a ’70 Cuda Convertible. If he’d’;ve sprung for the Hemi all those villains in the black Dodges would’ve never caught him.

    Like 2
  15. Rudy Samsel

    $85,000 Large for an unfinished “Tribute” car? LMAO! Hagerty AND the Collector Car Marketplace list their #1 Values at $63,6400 and $64,400, respectively for the 318 Gran version this car really is. Those are values for a concours-perfect car ready to show, not a still-unfinished project car. When will people learn you can’t add up the parts you purchased and expect the next person to bail you out of a project you can’t finish. He would be lucky to get $35K in it’s current form.

    Like 4
  16. CarCrazyTroy

    $85k is absolutely cray cray for this “thing”
    I would definitely look elsewhere!

  17. Quicko

    I agree you never seem to get all that you put in or at least that’s been my experience

    Like 1
  18. Mikey P

    Put a Toyota 20R in it and call it good!!

    • Jcs

      I think that you meant Put a Toyota 20R in it and call it POS.

      Like 3
  19. G Lo

    $85k will purchase a lot of already-put-together cars:no thanks! Never buy anyone else’s incomplete project, and certainly never at a premium.

    Like 1

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