Big Block Upgrade! 1971 Plymouth Barracuda

Check out this gold 1971 Plymouth Barracuda! This is a Copart auction, submitted by Barn Finds Reader Jamestown Mike, and the condition is just “normal wear”!  Normal wear? I wish that normal wear on my cars looked this good!  If you’ve been around Barn Finds for a while, or are a Mopar enthusiast, you know that the early Barracudas and Challengers go for a lot more money than the later ones do.  But Copart estimates the retail value of this car at $68,700! Why?  Let’s go figure it out.  See this Barracuda here on Copart.

This car is beautiful, if you like gold! It has been repainted and probably restored.  Those hood vents are a giveaway that maybe something special is under the hood. 340 perhaps?  If you check the VIN from the Copart page this comes up as a 318 V8 powered Barracuda. Well, so why is it currently bid up to $30,750?

Ah ha! That explains it!  See that distributor tilted over to the passenger side of the engine? Is that a 426 Hemi stuffed under this hood? There is gold paint on the springs for the hood latch and the hinges so obviously this car has been repainted and isn’t original.

With the gold paint, black vinyl top and big block under the hood, this is a great sleeper! The body looks good and the chrome is mostly shiny.  There is some residue in the plastic for the speedometer so maybe this car was in a flood?  I can’t think of another reason that it is in a Copart auction. Can you?


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  1. Bmac Bmac Member

    Looks like a 440 to me, or a 383, or maybe my superbee is a Hemi $$$$$

    • mike

      Definitely not a HemI

  2. Bmac Bmac Member

    The 71’s are definitely the most menacing looking Cudas, after having one that was swapped with a big block when I got it, I went back to a nicely built 340. What a difference it no longer drives like snowplow.

  3. Chuck Simons

    Still looks good!

  4. Jack M.

    Aaron if this is a 426 Hemi, then the builder did a great job of hiding the spark plugs and narrowing the valve covers!!! I would agree with Bmac, 440 or 383.

    • Anthony

      Could it be a 426 Wedge?

      • TriPowerVette

        @Anthony – No.

    • Aaron Crabtree Member

      Ah, my mistake! I don’t understand the pricing if this isn’t a 426!

  5. Bill

    That’s not a hemi. 383 or 440.


    Nope, not a hemi 383 or 440, witch makes it a bad ass vs the 318, 68k not,maybe 40k it’s not original

    • Jay C Calk

      Not a 318

  7. stan l.

    Agreed with the rest of the comments that is indeed a 383 or a440

  8. Madmatt

    Can’t believe it is bid up that high!Maybe
    if it was an R/T..,or AAR…or something special,
    but its not.It looks to need bumpers rechromed,
    some interior work,and possibly some body/paint work.-
    minor rust?Nice,but at least double what it should go for..!

    • Steve R

      So far the high bid is $2,650. The $68,000 is what Copart assigned as an estimated value, which won’t be reached either.

      Steve R

    • SRT8

      As it is a Plymouth it would not be an R/T, that was/is a Dodge thing.

  9. Jason

    I have a 66 charger with a 440 in it and it looks like my 440. Hemi spark plugs go down the center of the valve covers hence the name Hemi ( hemispheric heads) what i was always told

    • DonC

      Oh man Jason. My dad had a 66 Charger. On the night drives back from grandparents, I’d lay in the back with that monster window and just stare at the stars. If you ever want to sell, please let me know!

    • thomas j schweikert

      you would never fit hemi heads under those skinny valve covers

  10. Pat

    Not a hemi and certainly not worth half that.
    Why is it there? Flood car?
    Nope, no thank you.

    • JamestownMike

      It ISN’T a flood car! Has a clean VA title (pending). It appears to be a consignment from a dealer or private party. They have a $43,500 BUY IT NOW or “make an offer” option. Current bid is $10,100, seller reserve not yet met.

  11. Vizio81

    Were did you see a bid on this Car ?? It does not go on the Block till Friday 1-12-2018 at 9:00am Cst. Followed link to sight provided.

    • JamestownMike

      It’s under pre-bidding at the moment, which closes sale day at 9am. Auction then starts with the high pre-bid on 1-12-18 at 10am EST but will be the 57th car in the sale. They typically do a car a minute, so expect to see it auctioned around 11am EST.

  12. Jerry Long

    By the looks of the rust in the speedometer, part of the 40K miles were under water.

    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Noticed that too. Funny it would have rust in there if it hadn’t been under water or had water enter it somehow.

    • dr fine

      Almost the only thing that went bad on my ’66 Coronet is the speedo, and I got one from a junkyard. Maybe it’s from a yard, and the pickin’s are slim now?

  13. edh

    C’mon man! Obviously that is not a 426 Hemi.

  14. Blindmarc

    It’s at 43.5k now. Another example of having more cash than brains…..

    • Vizio81

      That’s the Buy It Now Price !!!!!!

  15. Dusty Stalz

    I sincerely hope the author was trying to be funny about the engine, but I’m not so certain…

  16. Matt G

    The way I read it is that the BIN is $43,500, and the “retail value” that they somehow came up with is $68,700, but that no one has bid on it yet, which is obviously not surprising.

    • Vizio81

      There are NO bids because the Auction is on Friday 1-12-2018 at 9:00 am Cst With a Reserve Price and the Buy It Now Price is $43,500.

      • JamestownMike

        NOT true, current high pre-bid is $10,100.

  17. TriPowerVette

    One of the many reasons that Mopars seem to have such strong valuation on the collector car market is because Chrysler was almost German-like in their scrupulous documentation and codification of every car and every part. From the serial number, you can tell the body style, the engine, etc…

    Further, their drivelines were legendary for their strength and power. They were always at the forefront of the muscle car wars. Yet, their production numbers demonstrated painfully that they were #3 of the the so-called ‘Big 3’ American car makers. Production of some of the rarest Mopar street fighters were sometimes in the single digits.

    Chevrolet, on the other hand, is among the worst. In order to document muscle-car-era high performance offerings, you MUST have the original paperwork, yet, Chevrolet presumably had a ‘fire’ in the 1970’s that seems to have destroyed factory records for these cars.

    Corvette collectors especially value the so-called ‘Tank Sticker’. But even this made no reference to the specific car on which it was delivered. It is therefore, just another ‘clue’. The aftermarket reproduces tank stickers, and there is an entire underground that specializes in ‘aging’ the reproductions, to make them look old. It is a fact that there are far more 430 and 435 Horse Corvettes in circulation than were ever built.

    Mopars are not subject to faking anywhere nearly as easily. The cars’ serial numbers contain much of the important options information, and the rest of the detail may be found on the ‘Fender Tags’. If the VIN and Fender Tags are present and intact, most paperwork is redundant (still desirable, but far less necessary).

    Chevrolet (to use them as an example, again) was the most prolific manufacturer during this period. I owned a (very rare) 396 Corvette. It was a 1/2 year only model. and 2157 were produced. I have had 2 427 400 Horse 3X2 4-speed Corvette convertibles. Both had factory air! 1932 were produced in 1968 and 2072 in 1969. But there is no way to cross reference how many were convertibles, and how many of those had A/C and manual transmissions. It is obvious that the combos were VERY rare, but who knows?

    The above is a picture of my brother’s and my 1971 HemiCuda convertible. We owned it in the early-to-mid 1970’s. It was one of 5 Hemi, Automatic, ‘Cuda convertibles. It was also possibly the only one with leather interior, and fog lamps. Everything was fully documented by the car itself.

    Only Mopar makes documenting the car that easy. All others are, to one degree or another, a pig in a poke.

    Like 1
    • DR Member


      Is that BS23R1B269588 ?

      • TriPowerVette

        @DR – I am afraid that that period was one of youthful exuberance, plenteous cheap muscle cars and it had yet to dawn on my brother and me, that such things as ‘originality’ and ‘documentation’ might have future value.

        It might be possible to research that item, given enough time, but at this moment, I have some yellowed pictures of it in various states of repair, and disrepair, and tons of stories about it and the many others which have passed through our garage doors.

        I do know its history from day 1, until the present (more-or-less). Why do you ask?

    • Crazyhawk

      TriPowerVette, that is a great comment. I appreciate you taking the time to write it. I agree 100%.

      • TriPowerVette

        @Crazyhawk – Thank you.

    • DR Member


      I’ve made a hobby of following the droptop hemi e-bodies. Pretty sure that car is with Wade Ogle now in the San Francisco area. I saw it in person in 2015 in Chicago at the Musclecar and Corvette Nationals. Were you the one that advertised it in the mid-70s in the Arizona Republic newspaper?

      • DR Member

        Another pic , added rubber bumpers. Not original to car.

      • DR Member

        Modified in the 70s

      • TriPowerVette

        @DR – Yep. That’s my ad, and my old phone number. My brother will be responding further.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        What a hookup – amazing the brother/sisterhood here at Barn Finds!

    • DR Member

      Have you or your brother spoken with Wade Ogle? I know he was working to establish the ownership chain.

      • TriPowerVette

        @DR – Never have. You are welcome to forward my number to him.

    • DR Member

      @TriPower Could you email me at please?

      • TriPowerVette

        @DR – I sent you my phone number by email.


      TriPower, I notice that you did not mention Ford in your comments. Documenting a Ford, at least of the 60s 70s era, is quite easy too. The Ford VIN will tell you what year the car is, where it was manufactured, the body style and the original engine size. Taking it one step farther if the door data plate is still with the car that will tell more about the body style, the exterior paint color(s), the interior style and color, what part of the country the car was originally sold in, when it was built, the transmission and the rear axle ratio and whether it was a posi or open rear.Want to go even farther? Then just send the VIN and some money to Marti Auto Works and you will receive a full report back telling everything but the original buyers name.

      Like 1
      • TriPowerVette

        @CATHOUSE – No sleight intended. I just chose Mopar and GM for the examples because I am strongest in those areas. Even though my brother and I appear in the very first Shelby Registry ever printed, for our 1967 GT500, and we have had several more very rare and important Fords over the years, I admit that I am weakest in knowledge where Ford is concerned. Thank you for your reply. I gave you a thumbs up.

  18. John D

    I just opened that CoParts page and on my computer it was showing -0- bids and a BIN of $43,500 with the actual auction in 2 days if nobody chooses the BIN. It could be that it may be listed by an individual, as CoParts offers that service, to avoid any title issues. The listing does show it has an unbranded title. The listing also shows that it ‘Runs and Drives’, so I would think that eliminates flood damage. CoParts also disposes of vehicles donated to charities.

    • redwagon

      actually if i am reading the copart ad correctly someone (copart?) has applied for a certificate of title without brands and this is pending within 30 days. at this point that is possibly as far out as 27 days post auction close. am i reading that correctly?

      allow me to be nefarious for a moment here. could someone donate a car to copart for the tax write off? could they donate a vehicle to copart without a title bc it was a) stolen or b) submerged and unable to collect a claim because it cannot be fixed due to a)?

      the advert says it was started and drove forward under its own power when it arrived but there is no guarantee as to how well it will start, drive or stop when you inspect it or pick it up. this one requires an inspection by a knowledgeable person.

      • JamestownMike

        Has a clean/regular, NON salvage Virginia title that is pending (which I’m sure Copart has seen and verified). Title IS NOT at Copart at the moment. IF your the high bidder, seller reserve price is met OR once approved, you have 3 days (from sale date OR bid approval date) to pay for the vehicle and 5 days (from sale date OR bid approval date) to pickup the vehicle. Owner has 30 days to provide title and doesn’t get paid until they deliver the title to Copart.

    • JamestownMike

      It’s Copart (NOT CoParts). Is ISN’T a donation, it would say donation if it was.

  19. Phillip Haramia

    Nice car, but get real. It’s a 318 car. The scooped hood was optional and could have been original or added by a subsequent owner. A 318 car with someone adding an obvious big block 383 – 440 (not a hemi) would not support 68.7 K in ultimate value. The car has the incorrect wheel center caps and interior was replaced with a newer interior. Copart is a salvage company. At best it is worth barely 30k, especially if it is shill bidded up. A real big block CUDA with the fender louvers, dual exhaust coming out the back, and all original parts and interior would get to the the 68K or better. Not this car.

    • JamestownMike

      Yes, it WAS a 318 car, obviously has a 383 or 440 in it at the moment. Being it WAS originally a 318 car effects it’s value…….big time! It’ll ALWAYS show it was a 318 car originally. Agreed, not worth 68k!…….or even close in my opinion.

  20. Keith

    Its no 426 Hemi and you can thank the B. Jakson Auction for driving the price of all the three to five grand cars off the chart ,

  21. Larry Q

    Yep barrette jackson…and mecum got people going crazy! They been watching too much tv

  22. Dt1

    Its amazing the prices on cars from the mid sixties to the early seventies on eBay a sky rocket to the roof

  23. Crazyhawk

    Ever since I was a little kid, anytime any E-body Mopar drove by, I was mesmerized by their aggressive yet beautiful lines. No other car looked as good jacked up with fat tires out back. I still stop and stare when I see one. Don’t know about what the fair value is(especially this one), but man, I definitely understand the attraction!

  24. Troy s

    Plymouth Cuda, an American icon. Like the big block conversion here, and no, that’s not a 426 hemi by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, a worked 340 or even a more modern fuel friendly tweaked 360 would make a better all around performer on today’s pump gas. The price, well, these have been priced way out of site for quite a while now. Too bad, as that kinda ruins the fun factor of driving them.

  25. Beatnik Bedouin

    Judging by the price, can I have whatever the seller is smoking?

    Seriously, it’s had a Chrysler B engine (383 or 440, as the others have said) dropped into it, a repaint, etc. and certainly not worth the sort of cash the seller expects.

    I agree with Troy s, it’s better with something like a 340. I had a buddy who got a new ’70 ‘Cuda 340 and it was a damned nice car, a lot better balanced than the 383 Challenger I was tooling around L.A. in, at the time. Quicker, too, especially after we put a set of headers on it and got John Geraghty to tune it on his dyno.

  26. MorganW Morgan Winter

    I didn’t see any mention of a 426 in the Copart ad…

  27. Mitch Ross Member

    One reason that people list cars on Copart is that it is easy for bidders overseas to bid on the car, pay for it and arrange shipping. Most of these are not salvage, they just want a wide buyer base.

  28. jw454

    As I write, the current bid is $2650.00 USD. The BIN is $43500.00 and Copart’s estimated value is $68700.00.
    In addition to 383, and 440, this could also be a later 400 mill.

  29. Bill McCoskey

    For years I specialized in Flood damaged cars, and have put cars like a Volvo P1800 and Rolls-Royce Silver Spur back on the road after river floods. This is no flood car. The yellow stuff in the speedo may well be some insulating die-cut sheet foam placed around the gauge cluster to prevent rattles, and the foam has disintegrated over the years. Flood residue is always a very fine light tan dust, adhering to all the surfaces that were “pointed down” as the water drained out. [If the car was upside down, the dust will be on the upper underside of surfaces.]

    Another possibility is this is a consignment car from law enforcement, after having been seized from a criminal owner who will be behind bars for decades. This is very common because criminals with lots of cash buy expensive cars from private individuals, to launder cash. Law enforcement wants money, not vehicles, so they contract with places like Copart to handle the sale. It also makes it impossible to find out the actual history of the vehicle before purchasing.

    Many years ago a friend bought a 1964 Studebaker Hawk, and only after pulling the interior out to paint the car did I discover all the places the authorities had cut open to take out the packs of drugs. And the reason the carpets didn’t fit well was also apparent on removing the carpets, there was a false floor. The owner never knew the history, just that it had been sold thru the local county salvage lot.

    We decided to ask the local police drug task force to bring a drug sniffing dog to check out the car, and of course the dog hit on traces of drugs. So a thorough pressure washing of the body was done.

    • Mr. Bond

      I think you might be pretty lucky the dog didn’t find more. I asked a neighbor cop to do do just that to my car, and he point blank said that I didn’t want him to do that. If he found anything, I was going to jail.

      • Bill McCoskey

        I used to be a member of the Military Police, so I could ask a “Professional courtesy” to have the car inspected. Besides, it turned out they knew the car from their own “non-public” information, and were familiar with far more than we were ever told!

  30. Herman

    VIN decode


    Make. B Plymouth Barracuda
    Price class. H High
    Body type. 23 2 door hardtop
    Engine. G 318-230hp 1-2bbl 8cyl
    Model year. 1 1971
    Assembly plant. B Dodge Main Hamtramck MI USA
    Sequence No. 257231=157231th vehicle

    Info from

    • SRT8

      Well the H at least makes it a ‘Cuda as opposed to a Barracuda which will push the value a little but a $43500 BIN is just crazy.

  31. ArtSpeed

    I’m with Beatnik Bedouin, Copart is smokin’ something good (did VA just legalize it??) if they think this beast is worth $68K+. But I think that’s their m.o., post a stupid “value” (that would be after throwing another $25K into a full resto) and then ask top dollar in their BIN. Pretty amusing to watch, I must say…

    • JamestownMike

      Copart will sometimes ask the seller/consignor what the value is, especially on a classic car like this. Typically they list the “total loss payoff” as the value. Most cars listed thru Copart are salvage, this one isn’t.

  32. Charles D Woosley

    Well has any of you wondered if the engine could be a 413, haven’t gone to eBay yet to look at the sale add, but the first look, the right exhaust manifold is fatter than ones I’ve seen on 383s and 440s. I had a friend put a 413 onto a 1973 Dart two door, red and white, 4 speed. The 413 came out of a motorhome with two 4 barrels, never knew that motorhomes came out stock in this way, I seen the engine before he pulled it. The first time I ever heard of a 413. Since then I’ve read some about the 413, they were pigs with power, some liked them. To me, I just looked at this picture and remembered that 413s have way fatter exhaust manifolds,like what this one looks like, this one even looks like it sits higher on the head than normal. Just saying.

    • thomas j schweikert

      kinda hard to believe…dual quad motorhome

  33. J Holt

    how can u not know its a hemi? never seen one? hmmmm

    • thomas j schweikert

      a hemi has much wider heads with spark plugs in the center

  34. Mike

    It’s a 72-or 73 the date sticker says 12/72

    Not a cuda’ either. Barracuda.

  35. DR Member

    NO that is 12 – 70 . Mopar put a diagonal stroke through their zeros on those dates on their door stickers. And the ‘1’ in the sixth position of the VIN designates 1971.

    • mike

      Yes I do see the / after closer
      Inspection. I do recall this with Mopar.

      Which makes it a 71 .. cuda its not though.

      • Brad

        I agree with you that it isn’t a ‘cuda (VIN doesn’t start with BS) I am assuming the tail-light panel was taken from another car? Weren’t the ‘cudas the ones with the blacked out panel?

  36. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Bid is up to $30,750 at the moment. It might go higher, but I think that is all the money for a car sitting in a Copart lot.

  37. Glen

    The Hemi has to be the most recognizable engine out there, and this ain’t it! Unless it’s a Hemi, that’s been de-Hemified! How stupid would that be?

  38. Classic Steel

    I was thinking of taking the gas guzzler engine out and replacing with a slant six cylinder. I am pretty sure it will fit with little modifications. I am thinking if I take out the back seat and other non essential items like inner fender wells it will reduce weight too.

    I wonder what gears I would have to put in the rear end to get the mpg? :-0

  39. mark

    Does no one notice the electrical tape that’s holding the door VIN tag????? YIKES!!!!!!

  40. r spreeman

    For future reference… THIS is a street hemi. BTW I think they all came with dual 4 bbl carbs. It’s not easy to confuse a hemi with a wedge (383, 400, 440).

    • TriPowerVette

      @r spreeman – Thank you for the pic. It is amazing how many people treat ‘Hemi’ as though it is just a trim level on a base car or something.

      I was showing my first TriPower Corvette at the Phoenix, AZ World of Wheels (and my friend had his 1970 HemiCuda there as well). Someone in the crowd came up to me, and bursting with pride, exclaimed to me that his brother had had a ‘Cuda with a 383 Hemi as well!

      Where do you go from there?

      The fact is, that the more special your car, the fewer people who have any idea at what they are looking. It is incumbent upon us, as the cognoscenti, to patiently and gently educate them. (I’m getting better at that. Sometimes it is really challenging.)

      That’s one tenet of RC’s Law.

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