California Gold: 1969 Plymouth Barracuda

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Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

I have just recently returned from my first extended visit to the West Coast, and the sheer number of vintage vehicles I spotted still being used for daily transportation was impressive. Obviously, the climate is a major factor for the high survival rate of cars that would otherwise be a pile of rust fragments in my neck of the woods, and survivors like this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda here on eBay located in Palmdale, CA are a textbook example of what I encountered daily.

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The best part was they were just being used like any other pre-loved vehicle: dented, missing a hubcap or two and certainly not wearing concours paint, but running along happily and still providing reliable transport decades after rolling out of a showroom. This Barracuda has dents all over and a sun-bleached roof, but still looks to be just a Dr. Dent visit away from looking almost as good as new. The hubcaps and other chrome touches are impressively shiny.

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The motor is a plain-jane 318, but at least it’s complete and still running. The car supposedly has under 52,000 original miles, and while it’s hard to verify on older vehicles, the body and interior look straight and clean enough to possibly validate the limited use. It could also be argued that these lower horsepower models enjoyed a higher survival rate since they didn’t offer nearly as much temptation to drag race and modify.

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The backseat looks practically unused, which is may well be since the ‘Cuda wasn’t exactly a go-to family conveyance. Overall, this example is what I found in multiple forms, from old FJ Landcruisers and Chevy Malibus to Datsun pickups and Suzuki Samurais. California is a goldmine for gearheads looking to spot their favorite vehicles still rumbling down the road, and this Barracuda looks good enough to join the legions of classic drivers serving dutifully in daily capacity.

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Comments

  1. Rhett True

    Well, I know Bob Riggle is looking for one….

    too soon?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff
      • Blindmarc

        Ya,.. That’s a sad deal…….

      • boxdin

        Bob turned the wheel at precisely the wrong time as the car was bouncing up into the air. It was just a freak thing but Bob definately caused it.

      • PRA4SNW Member

        They should have been doing it at a drag strip, not the infield of a race track.

  2. sir mike

    DR.Dent?? Does the passenger door even open?? Bad hit right on the B pillar.Does the trunk close properly?? Can be saved by a really good bodyman…and deserves to be saved.

  3. Blindmarc

    I had the same color car but with black interior, and in the same vicinity. I believe this is a “sunshine special” as mine was. I got mine in anahiem ca. For $750 in 1990 from the second owner and it was in very good condition.

  4. Cody

    That was one of the best things about visiting the west coast. So many awesome daily drivers. My wife was pretty tired of me randomly yelling “did you see that”, when she could clearly care less. Sure, they weren’t prettied up, but I see plenty of prettied up cars at car shows. I want to see the cars in their natural habitat, still roaming the streets in the iron jungles of the L.B.C. Sun faded paint, dents , and all, still providing service 30, 40, and even 50 years later. The drivers all seemed as tough as the cars too, and equally sun faded. It really takes some grit to continue driving a car that long. Maybe some of them were not the original owners, but I liked to think they were.

    I can honestly say, this is a something that I do not witness in my home town. The closest thing would be the blue hairs still rock’n their 86 Buick Century they bought new after their 1969 cuda rusted back into the earth. It’s just not quite the same.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      My wife eventually began to just accept the fact I was not going to pay attention to the variety of plants and genuine Mexican restaurants, but instead the short-bed Datsun pickup parked outside a surf shop.

  5. Rspcharger

    That odometer’s been rolled at least once, maybe even twice. No way, no how its only got 51K miles.

  6. stillrunners

    been watching this one…..again a price drop…..just not a special car and in that condition….maybe $1500….just saying……

    Cuda guy….

  7. Woodie Man

    Jeff: this is running around my neck of the woods in the mountains east of San Diego,,,older fellow with a golf hat, I could do without the white walls….he must think he ‘s superfly. I think its a ’63 Dart.

    • Chebby

      with mid-70s Dart wheel covers

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