Backyard Find: 1973 Plymouth ‘Cuda 340

1973 would be the swan song for the 340 engine in any Chrysler product. Over six years, the motor would see nearly 217,000 installations and 37,000 of those would be in Plymouth Barracudas (17%). We assume the seller’s ’73 edition is an original ‘Cuda 340, but that’s just an assumption. It’s not a roller, so a forklift will be used to load it onto the buyer’s flatbed. This Plymouth is in Wauseon, Ohio, and available here on eBay where the starting bid of $1,900 is waiting for the first taker. Thanks, Larry D, for another Mopar find!

The Plymouth Barracuda would get a serious makeover for 1970 and shared a new platform with the Dodge Challenger. Both would sell well initially, due largely to the popularity of muscle cars. But that demand was falling quickly by 1973 and Barracuda production was down to 19,281 units versus the 48,857 copies three years earlier. About half of ’73 production was for the ‘Cuda model and 4,576 would be the ‘Cuda 340 with an automatic, as the seller’s car proposes to be.

There is no cowl tag or VIN plate shown to verify the set-up of the car when new. The engine does roll over when a ratchet is used to apply pressure, plus there is no mention of the TorqueFlite’s status. The left shock tower is broken, and the brakes are seized, so it will not roll from its current position. It will have to be dragged out by a tow motor. Unfortunately, the car will not come with a title, so check with your local DMV on how the process works before committing.

The body and sheet metal will be a big challenge. There are dents and dings almost everywhere including a nice bump it must have taken in the front to set that area all askew. The floorboards and trunk floor are going to need replacing, so factor those in the cost of bringing this one back from the dead. If the car doesn’t find a buyer, the seller will consider parting it out, but that’s not his preference.

Although the ’73s had been detuned from their peak to run on unleaded fuel and emit fewer bad things into the atmosphere, a top-notch ‘Cuda can still fetch more than $50,000. But since most everything on this car is going to need replacing or refurbishing, the total investment is likely to exceed that. This is a car to restore and keep, not to restore and flip.


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  1. Moparman Member

    This Barracuda was a 318 car, the ‘cuda would be the 340 car, so this wouldn’t be an original. As it sits, (IMO) it is only a parts car. With so much of the sheet metal rusted away, I’d be concerned that even using a forklift would twist what remained of the unibody. With all of the rust that can be seen, there might be $1,900 worth of usable parts here, including the engine. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 5
    • Stanley

      Wow Moparman I with you. This was mostlikely born as a 318 or a /6 car. For what is left all you are buying is a questionable engine and that seems a bit weird. Look under the hood and there are two ignition boxes. I will be surprised if anyone bids on it. But he knows what he got as “6500” is written on the window which was to much for this 10 years ago before he let it get this bad. Hopefully he lets the daytona go before it gets that bad.

      Like 3
  2. Steve Clinton

    “I can load the barracuda with my forklift onto your trailer.”
    What, it doesn’t come with a trailer?

    Like 2
  3. Steve Clinton

    It will be interesting to see how many Barracuda fans are willing to buy this money pit.

    Like 2
  4. George

    Money pit is an apt description of this one! I’ll take it if he pays me to haul it away.

    Like 1
  5. sparkster

    This should be listed on BRING A TRAILER

    Like 1
  6. Sam Shive

    (M)ostly (O)ld (P)arts (A)nd (R)ust …..Crush what’s left.

    Like 1
  7. George Louis

    Are you sure Fred Flintstone did not drive this car? I do not believe that the only body part not dented, dinged, hit, or missing is the roof panel. Could it be a 318 V8 with a thermo quad carb set up on it ? I would be hard-pressed to give more than $65.00 for this masterpiece.

    Like 1

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