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Cheap Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda!


As someone who subscribes to the notion of, “buy it cheaply and pour enough money into it to equate the purchase price of one without any needs,” I can see plenty of mouths watering over this very rough ’70 AAR ‘Cuda found here on eBay. This is one of those cars that is rarely cheap to buy when in good shape, so I’m sure there are Mopar fans fantasizing about the possibility of owning a genuine AAR without having to deplete their savings accounts. Of course, for a car that looks rusty and badly beaten from longtime exposure to weather (oh, and the motor is long gone), you’re going to end up spending as much if not more to bring it back from the dead. Sassy Grass Green is a fantastic color, and one sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2011 for north of $70K, but is this fright pig really worth the plunge?


  1. booger

    I remember looking at a cousin’s ragged out old ‘Cuda and realizing it was originally a pink AAR. At the time it was in about equivalent condition to the one on e-bay (about rusted to death) except it was a complete car with a replacement motor. Being a broke college kid trying to start a family at the time, I tipped a local guy who was big into Mopars at the time. IIRC it sold for $800 and I got a thank you out of the deal. It was restored and sold, no idea where it is today.

  2. don

    SOLD! someone hit the “buy it now” for $8500

    • RayT Member

      If you own — or are flipping — a car like this, the VIN plate is your friend. Track down a decent standard ‘Cuda, slap on the requisite AAR bits, attach VIN plate and bingo! stand by for Big Money!

      Like 1
      • The Chucker

        …and pay no mind of the legality (or morality) of doing so?

        Like 2
      • steve Member

        Or…Bingo! Play “drop the soap” every night in the State pen while doing time for felony fraud.

        Like 2
      • jd

        Couple of tells~ the Antenna hole in the Quarter panel and vin,Plastic hood~~Like what you posted~
        Buy anything now days~8500~really!! Bought Two AAR’s~ Rust Buckets I parted out~
        paid 700 each~ Complete bodies, 440 running(motor swap you know) and 340/4sp locked up~ couple years back~

        Like 2
  3. The Walrus

    A little surprising that the BIN was executed at $8500, but in reality it’s not so ridiculous. Someone wanted it, bad. Book says a scrap AAR is worth $3K. Usually add about 20% for High Impact colors, so the BIN was about double book. Apparently all the cash in the current market means a hefty premium for unobtainium.

  4. MH

    It would cost alot more then 70K to get this car as nice as the one that sold at BJ. Not even worth the $8500, maybe $1500 tops.

    Like 1
  5. David

    Definitely a good reason to fix it, lots of money to restore it will be needed to restore it. As for flipping, nope. Personally, I’d restore it just to do it, then drive it and enjoy it.

  6. Mike_B_SVT

    Hmm… figure $20k in body and paint. $5k interior, $15k drivetrain. Another $10k misc… puts you in to it for about $60k when it’s done.


  7. Danger Dan

    I have been tracking prices on these for 6 years since acquiring mine. This is the most inexpensive one to come to market in this time frame. You can’t buy a correct T/A engine block for this price. The heads are $2grand, the carbs are $1500. The air cleaner assembly is $1grand. Steal of a deal Jess, thanks for this feature, your game is tight. DD

    • Jason

      The heads are $2grand, the carbs are $1500. The air cleaner assembly is $1grand. Steal of a deal Jess”

      But aren’t all those pieces (and many many more) missing here?

      Like 1
  8. Herman

    If it’s a true AAR, where is the Trans Am fender tag to go with the shown fender tag?

  9. Doug Towsley

    “Or…Bingo! Play “drop the soap” every night in the State pen while doing time for felony fraud”

    ?????????? Really???? Where do you guys come up this drama? Sure theres laws on the books, but no one and i repeat NO ONE is going to jail for such things. I am NOT endorsing such numbers swapping and forging,.But the reality is rarely ever is anyone prosecuted. At worst you are looking at a collector if misrepresented taking you to court for civil tort claims. Which DOES happen all the time.
    One way to look at it, by some is that theres another classic back on the road. And some, realize they cant afford the real thing and build a “TRIBUTE” car. As long as you are honest in your description there is nothing wrong with it. Its the con artists and shysters who forge and lie, and cheat for the big bucks. But anyone who has attended any of the big name auction such as Mecum, BJ, Silver state auctions,etc etc etc all know most of these cars are fakes and forgeries. Thats why so many people spend so much time learning how to spot the fakes and all the little details. Some to try and fake it, and the rest so they dont overpay.
    But no one is going to jail for it. At one time, govt agencies would run teams investigating sales. I remember back when i first started buying and selling if you sold more than 5 vehicles per year in our state you would get a ticket for not having a dealers license. If you had more than 3 cars disassembled or enough parts for that many you could get a ticket for no dismantlers license. Not anymore. Govts just say they cant afford to do it. And they dont. You REALLY REALLY have to make a name for yourself to get investigated. Here in Oregon there are many shops who have decades of blatantly illegal behavior and they are still in business and still playing the game. For just 2 examples there are dozens and dozens of stories on each one and yep, still operating. Thats just the tip of the iceberg.
    See: yep, these clowns are still at it, still not in jail, been doing this for decades. (Enjoy the mugshots)
    I just went looking for a well known shop locally, cant find ANY online references to it. (Maybe they paid one of those online reputation companies) but for 20 years was a shop locally called Foreign Engine service. There was many news articles over the years they were the number on consumer fraud business in the state. So many complaints from customers they had their own file room down at the AGs office at the state. Repeated civil and legal actions as well as cease and desist from the AGs office. yet they got away with it for 20 years. STILL In business today.

    Like 1
  10. Doug Towsley

    “figure $20k in body and paint. $5k interior, $15k drivetrain. Another $10k misc… puts you in to it for about $60k when it’s done.
    Not even worth the $8500, maybe $1500 tops.
    You guys, no offense, but are WAY OFF on your numbers. First of all, While i have many complaints about FeeBay (16 years experience, as well as Motors development team sellers advisory committee) There isnt enough room here for me to list all my complaints. BUT the beauty and great equalizer here is the market place has spoken. $1500 value might be YOUR opinion, but the market says otherwise and it has the final word every time. If you do the math of what one of these cars is worth when done at the major collectors sales and auctions, then for the right guy or shop, this will sell all day long and then some.
    Conversely, the prices i quoted from some other comments are way off. Sure. if you dragged this heap to someones shop (like those TV shows on Velocity) then you probably would expect to pay those kinda numbers. But thats not who is buying and flipping these. This is the kinda guy or shop who does their own work. I used to do commercial body, paint, and restoration. What I billed a customer and what I billed myself if it was my own flip are 2 different things. #1 thing to remember about most old car guys, They hoard parts. If you had ratholed a lot of pieces for one of these or had a parts car you could build one nice car out of the 2. While rough, its a very restorable car. A one man band or shop who knows what they are doing can build this car very affordable. Most people i know doing this have been at it for a long time. Piece of cake. Back in my younger days with 2 part time helpers we cranked out a build every 6-8 weeks. HARD HARD work, but the rewards were good. If anything, the profit margins are even higher today. If theres money to be made, some one is gonna do it. simple as that.

    • Jeff Staff

      Good points, Doug. I’ve not worked in a bodyshop but have gotten some inside looks and the guys that run these places can make this project work – much different if your only exposure is to getting an insurance repair done.

      Even as a customer, cash talks and I’ve gotten a surprising amount of work done of more than passable quality for far less than you might expect.

    • Mike_B_SVT

      “You guys, no offense, but are WAY OFF on your numbers.
      Sure. if you dragged this heap to someones shop (like those TV shows on Velocity) then you probably would expect to pay those kinda numbers. ”

      So my numbers are way off, but they are what you could expect to pay… >.>

      Anyhow, yes the numbers I posted were meant to give an idea of where you would be if you bought the car for the stated $8.5k and paid for a restoration.

      I agree with you, if someone does some (or all) of the work themselves, or has a good stash of parts in the garage, thier cash investment could be less. But even so, the VALUE of thier own work or parts would end up being about the same. It doesn’t matter if you bill yourself less – if you do a job that is worth $20k but it only costs you $5k + 200 hours, don’t you still expect to be paid $20k for the work when you go to sell?
      Same for the parts. Just because you paid $200 for the heads and pulled them off the shelf, you are still putting $2k on top of the block. And when you sell it, you expect to be paid appropriately.

      Doug, I agree with you over all though ~ someone did buy it, and someone will make it right again, and either turn a profit on it or drive it and love it :-)
      Like you said, if there is money to be made then someone is gonna do it.

      Like 1
      • Doug Towsley

        Mike B, we are basically on the same page, but the point here is I am paying MYSELF for a job if its my own flip, As opposed to my money going out the door to someone one else and only leaving a small percentage after all the work of restoring the car.
        Buying a project and farming out all the jobs to others, then selling at a profit is not easy, Nor advisable. Notice right after the real estate market crash almost ALL of those house flipping shows disappeared and there was criticism about many led people to believe they could make money doing it. Market is better and many of those shows are back. Still a risky business. On velocity, Discovery, History and others are new shows all the time showing people flipping cars. (Not to mention those Pickers guys) #1 rule, NEVER believe anything related to reality TV because it is anything but real. There is always a lot more to these stories. Never base a project or investment on something you saw on TV.
        I know a lot of people who build & restore vintage bikes and then take them to Las Vegas for the big auctions in Jan & feb. There is a lot of drama, but most do quite well. Again, most people cannot do well if you hire others to do the work.
        Here is one guy who has a lot of money, and enjoys paying others to do the work. He is having fun which is what is important however he knows just enough to be dangerous which I am glad I am not dealing with him as my shop customer.
        you guys might enjoy his stories about each restoration. He has some spectacular machinery. Good drool factor.

    • John Oliveri

      That’s the way to buy and flip, if u have talent, knowledge and some parts,I’m a car guy, not a restoration guy, I have friends in the body business, but a car like that is for someone like you, you’ll get your parts money and paid for your labor in the end

  11. booya

    Doug Towsley is right. You’re buying a VIN plate here.

    Let’s put it this way: When you buy a car and replace and rear quarters, various body panels, the engine, the tranny, the diff, the interior, the dash, and all the electrics, how much of the original car is there? But it’s still the same car, right? George Washington’s axe, right?

    They’re selling a VIN plate. It’s obviously worth 8500 to someone.

  12. Luke Fitzgerald

    Uh oh – I think I’m going to be sick – more landfill

  13. jd

    Bought a rust bucket in Michigan for 750.00,I had a 440/Auto in place of the 340/6/4sp..I drove it back to Texas and drove it for about a year~before the suspension started coming up throu
    gh the body~ Cut it up~sold off the parts..

    Think you could skip the whole process, just cut it up~not seeing much in the way of a car here~

    Like 1

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