Build It Your Way: 1974 Plymouth Barracuda

On the surface, it doesn’t look like much. It’s a roller and it’s a bit rough but it is intact. And since it’s partially dissembled, there’s one task the new owner won’t have to undertake. And being a 1974 model, it’s one of the last produced. So, what do we have? It’s a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda roller, located in Houston, Ohio, and available here on eBay for a current bid of $10,000, reserve not yet met.

Make no mistake, this is a Barracuda and not the more desirable performance-oriented ‘Cuda. The VIN verifies this Plymouth as being initially powered by a 318 CI V8 engine. Well, there’s no engine or transmission, and thus the opportunity for a fresh start and one part of a process that won’t require disassembly.

From what can be gleaned by the accompanying images, the body of this Barracuda looks fair. The seller makes no mention of body specifics,  so we’re on our visual own based on the eight images. There could be drive’s side rocker panel rot and the quarter looks like it has been introduced to some Bondo. Beyond that, there is no noticeable invasive corrosion or crash damage evidence. The seller does claim that he has all of the trim and the hood scoop insets.

The interior is an interesting exercise in color-clash, it started out in blue but is now rockin’ some avocado green seats. It doesn’t matter as it will need a complete redo. Things like torn, mismatched seats and split dash pads are expendable. The rest of the interior appears to be there, however, as in the instrument panel, steering wheel, center console, and shifter. The interior image isn’t real clear but the floors look a bit shakey from a rust perspective but it may just be surface-rust covered with other detritus that is visible.

So, what’s this Barracuda’s calling card? Well, it’s not so much what it is, but what it can be. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to review a colleague’s ’70 Barracuda that has undergone a complete makeover, and it is impressive! The owner told me that it was his daily driver for twenty years until he decided to build what he considered the ultimate, streetable Plymouth. The ’70 body is straight and in great condition (don’t know if that was always the case) and underneath is an aftermarket, steel frame chassis. For power, there is a NASCAR spec Dodge engine in place with a massive turbocharger. The engine has an intricate belt drive system that has been initially designed in wood and will serve as the template for aluminum milling. Specific pulley brackets have been created in plastic from a 3D printer, they too will serve as prototypes for later milling. For brakes, there are 14″, ceramic, slotted rotors with four-piston Brembo calipers. The differential is a Ford nine-inch unit that will house a 3.21 ratio as the owner will want to road-race this Barracuda, not drag race it. Interesting inclusions are the parking brake system from a Dodge Viper and an A/C system snagged from a Grand Caravan, minivan. And through all of this transition, this Barracuda will remain streetable.

You can see where I’m going, what can this ’74 Barracuda be? Granted, the owner of the ’70 that I reviewed yesterday has been both a Mopar mechanic and a trainer for years. His mechanical, steel fabrication and welding skills are top-notch. But his extensive undertaking is way beyond what one would have to do with this ’74 example to design a really unique, fun car. The world is your oyster! The initial question here is the price. There is one day to go with the auction and twenty-six bids have been tendered. No idea what the reserve on this Barracuda is but this may be a bit rich for a project-based car. And I’m not suggesting investment and potential return, just straight-up financial outlay. What do you think, worth taking the plunge, or too much for the effort necessary?

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Comments

  1. Stevieg

    A guy I met in high school had one shortly after we graduated. I think his was a 1973, but same basic car.
    It too had the 318, buckets & floor shift automatic. It too was B5 blue with matching vinyl interior. His had the vinyl top though.
    It ran great! But it was an old beater by the time he got it.
    We took it out to see a friend about 35 miles away, and when we got back to Milwaukee he had a flat tire. We stopped @ a gas station to air it up & it blew out while I was filling it. Threw me a good 10 feet.
    I walked home, never rode in that car again lol.

    Like 2
  2. Walker

    Drivers floorpan looks shot.

    Like 3
    • Robert Davis

      Its A Ohio Rust bucket , I am sure it needs more then just floors LOL

      Like 8
  3. Robert Davis

    About this vehicle
    This 1974 Plymouth Barracuda is an original. The owner has had it for 5+ years. The vehicle needs work.
    Seller’s Notes
    Ohio barn car, no motor or transmission, all trim, hood scoops included, 150mph speedometer and tach, bucket seats, center console, some extra parts left in trunk. Open to road worthy Mopar muscle car trades.

    WOW guy doesn’t say much about the condition at all, 10k for a rusted out Mopar Unbelievable !!

    Like 2
  4. brianashe

    I’ve wanted a yellow ’70 AAR ‘Cuda for *sigh* 30-odd years now. This would do nicely. Add a new hood, non-rubber bumpers, some paint, a 340 4-bbl*, 4-speed, side exhausts, strobe decals, the right wheels, and I’d be happy.

    Unlike so many other muscle cars, the Barracuda didn’t pork up from 1970-1974. To my untrained eye (and I’m happy to keep it that way) this looks almost identical to a ’70. Good enough for me.

    That said, $10k for a rusted heap of a starting point means I’ll likely have to keep dreaming.

    * Yes, AARs came with 3x2s, but if it’s fake, I don’t mind having a system that’s easier to adjust. An engine with a modern fuel system and good heads would make more power than the original did.

    Like 4
  5. TimM

    Ohio+car=rust

    10 grand for a rusted roller!! I hope the bottom does drop out of the classic car market just so we don’t have to see crazy prices for rusted cars!!!

    Like 1
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Reserve Not met at $10,000.
    You’ve got to be kidding!

  7. Ward William

    I see a lot of nopes for 10k (if you can get it for that) but it really is a blank palette if the rust is not too extensive. You could put 20 into that, keeping the original color and external originality and have yourself a very sweet muscle car DD for 30k that still turns heads. It would not be a high value resto but if you source a good used modern donk and box and just update suspension and brakes, it’s doable for 20k. Run the numbers and prove me wrong.

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