Former Parts Car: 1970 AAR ‘Cuda

It is truly hard to believe that this beautiful 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda was originally a parts car for another AAR! It’s gorgeous now, that’s for sure! It is listed for sale here on eBay where bidding has already climbed to over $60,000 and the reserve hasn’t even been met yet. Mesa, Arizona is the current home of this special Mopar! There were only 2724 AAR `Cudas built at the Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plant, and all were built between March 11 and April 17, 1970.

If you’re not familiar with the AAR (All American Racers; Dan Gurney’s team & organization) ‘Cuda story, it’s a similar one to the Z28 Camaro and the Boss 302 Mustang of the same period. The SCCA required 2,500 production versions of a pony car to have been produced for the car to be eligible for the Trans-Am series, and the 1970 AAR ‘Cuda was Plymouth’s version of things. Interestingly enough, the modifications to the production ‘Cuda were more suited to drag racing than road courses, among them a raised rear suspension, side-exit exhausts, and larger-than-normal rear tires.

I love the backstory to this car. The seller tells us in the ad that the car was originally used as a parts car to rebuild another 1970 AAR ‘Cuda in the 1980s. Fast forward to the early 1990s and someone purchased it as a largely rust-free AAR ‘Cuda shell with few if any of its original special components intact. By then, it was missing the drivetrain, fender tags, interior, glass, bumpers, and much else. Because of this status, the new owner decided to build the car as what they wanted, a four-speed (rather than the original automatic) configuration. It turned out the car needed its front floor pans replaced as well as the center of the trunk pan. Minor patches were also put in place in the rear quarters. Sadly, this owner passed away and the car sat dormant until 2019.

The car was once again sold as the restoration/refurbishment was finished to a very high standard. You can see the care taken by examining this under-car picture.

The spectacular red interior is said to be completely new with the exception of the 4-speed console and Pistol Grip shift lever. All parts other than those, of course, are reproductions. The glass is all new as well.

A tremendous amount of work was recently performed on the car as the refurbishment was completed. Some examples include:

  • -all new date correct hoses
  • -plugs and new Date correct wires
  • -cleaned fuel tank and lines
  • -new fuel filter and sending unit
  • -new roller rocker valve train
  • -new master cylinder
  • -flushed all brake lines
  • -bled all lines and prop valve/s
  • -adjusted rear brakes
  • -new front bearings/races
  • -full paint correction
  • -New shift rods (adjusted)
  • -New clutch adjusting rod assembly
  • -new battery

The seller does note that the car requires an alignment and a rebuilt brake booster to be just right, but neither of those sounds too bad (which begs the question, why aren’t they done already?) I have to agree with them though; you won’t find many better AAR ‘Cudas for less in this condition, and to be honest, the reproduction parts and transmission change don’t bother me in the least. Have any of you owned or driven an AAR ‘Cuda?

Comments

  1. Bud Lee

    This is cool . Since it’s not original , you could drive it like you stole it . I would anyway .

    Like 13
    • Chris M.

      Speaking of “cool”….where’s Cool Joe Machado???

      Like 2
  2. Chris M.

    Speaking of “cool”….where’s Cool Joe Machado???

    Like 2
    • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

      Legend has it he had 4 of these.

      Like 1
      • Chris M.

        Lol I see you have noticed too?

  3. cold340t

    This former “parts car” reminds of an AAR a guy was driving around in with Swede Savage frame rails in late 70’s/very early 80’s. Like this car, it’s rolling around all complete again. Man, what can be restored/rebuilt now versus the 80’s/90’s is just incredible! Nice car.

    Like 2
  4. Rw

    Needs alignment and brake booster , really need WtF

    Like 7
  5. JohnfromSC

    I own an AAR. Mine is heavily optioned with elastomeric bumper, light group, rear defroster and more. Great driving pony car. There are many items AAR only that go far beyond the engine. So, this one may have an AAR fender tag, but checking is in order.

    While the automatics were faster than the 4 speeds, today a 4 sp adds about $10K in value, that’s especially true if you retain the original 737 auto. However if I were to convert mine, an even more desirable conversion is a 5 speed Tremec.

    If this goes much above $60K, someone is overpaying or I have lost track of the market.

    Like 10
    • SDJames

      That’s the thing about Mopars; spend 75k on a restoration and it’s worth 60k when you’re done.

      Like 5
      • karl

        Its not just Mopars that you can be underwater in , you just hate Mopars

        Like 2
      • Squigly

        For half of what this is going to cost, you can buy a new or almost new car that will run circles around this thing and get quadruple the mileage to boot. Plus be more comfortable, have full working amenities, and come with a warranty (not to mention more reliable in the long run. Did I mention, better for Mother Earth?) Nostalgia is wonderful, but not worth 70 grand guys. That kind of money is better spent elsewhere. Myself, I have a small turbo car as a DD and it makes me smile, plus I get 40+ MPG on trips at 80 MPH. Like to see this do that.

        Like 1
      • SDJames

        @karl I love Mopars. I’ve owned my high school car; a 71 Charger 500, since 1993. I’m simply speaking from experience. I’ve stuck over 10k in it so far and I’d be lucky to sell it for 6-8…

    • Donnie L Sears

      They are over paying now. If yours is all original you have the car worth the money. I liked the AAR’s and the T/A’s more than the big block cars. The 340 was one of the best small blocks ever made. A factory motor that would turn 6500 RPM’s like it was nothing. I know a man who has a T/A and a Challenger with a 440. He said no comparison. He said the T/A would blow the doors off the 440. Displacement in stock form does not equal big RPM’s.

  6. Chris Webster

    I’m not a Mopar fan, bur for this one I’d make an exception. I’d rather a 340 than a big block.

    Like 7
    • Melton Mooney

      I never met a 340 that I didn’t like.

      Like 10
      • Donnie L Sears

        From 68-71 they might have been the best small block made. An RPM motor to say the least. The only other factory motor that would turn the big RPM’s easily was the 302 in the Z28. I never owned a 302 but I did own a few 340’s. Both were way underrated.

        Like 2
  7. Melton Mooney

    I always thought ’70 Trans Am homologation cars would make for a very cool collection. I have one, but since I’m attracted to bargains, the rest of the T/A cars have stayed out of reach.

    Like 1
  8. Ken Vrana

    I’ve owned 2 and am getting ready to list my red one. Visually it is an exact replica of this car except it is ALL ORIGINAL, UNRESTORED and NOT COBBLED TOGETHER like this one. It has been garaged all its life and for whatever it’s worth it’s won every show it’s ever been in. If you take an AAR and pull off the column shift, pull out the bench seats and replace them with buckets and God forbid make the inside entirely red I just can’t forgive you but most important, it is not ALL ORIGINAL!

    Like 8
  9. legalgus

    Agree with prior comment-all that work and it needs alignment and brake booster?

    Like 3
  10. Tara Hartman Member

    I fell in love with these cars in 84!
    There was one for sale, and when my dad and I went to look at it, owner stated,”well, my clutch just took a dumper, and I broke the speedo drag racing in cream ridge!”
    My dad just looked at me, and gave a oh so subtle side glance, and I knew he’d never go for it!

    Like 2
  11. Howie

    Wow!! $70,600 now and reserve still not met.

    Like 2
  12. John

    He has a reserve over 70K but didn’t (wouldn’t) get it aligned. With all that work I can think of no good reason for this except to mask a problem like a warped frame. Did you notice that beat up K frame and oil pan? Probably discovered the alignment problem after the restoration was finished.

    Like 5
    • SDJames

      There was likely a reason that this one was a parts car…

      Like 4
      • Gary

        Probably got a Dukes of Hazzard style of a beating and bent the front frame rails. No clean AAR would get used for a parts car, even back then.

        Like 4
  13. DonC

    Cobbled? Guys….seriously. Look a5 the underside photos! Okay, ask for more! This is a gorgeous car, restored beautifully. Got it…..no numbers matching, so what? It’s sitting at $71K. Beautiful car of its era, ralleye guages, sweet paint. So it’s not all original? Buy it….drive it…watch the jaws drop as you go by!

    Like 1
  14. Ron Nichols

    Have owned three AAR’s, still have two out back in my garage. One was my daily driver in the early 70’s. Great fun and great looking cars. My brother also owns one and is in process of restoring it. Have always been a “mopar or no car” guy. Got one of mine for $950 and then years later paid $900 for an NOS air cleaner for it at Mopar Nationals. Oh well, worth it.

    Like 2
  15. Stoney End

    I was fortunate enough to have owned both a ’69 Z-28 (green/green/black vinyl roof) and then (traded it for) an AAR (white/black/auto/vinyl roof) .. both new. They were very different cars but both were nice back in the day. Today I realize/recall even more how nice they were. (Per the comment above, of course, the ’69 Z-28 revved higher than the AAR.)

    We also later owned a ’70 Z-28 (new, wife’s car, bronze on brown/auto)… and my brother owned an AAR (yellow/black/auto/vinyl roof) while we had the AAR.

    Geez…hard to remember all this but that’s the way it was back then…and of course, there were other cars too. Sadly cameras weren’t used much back then. I’m not sure if we still have any pics of these great cars.

    Like 2
    • Donnie L Sears

      Don’t we wish we still owned those cars. I took cars to the junk yard that had perfect bodies when I got tired out on them and bought something else. Never thought about what the mopars I had would be worth now. It is only a memory.

  16. bone

    This was supposedly a parts car, but if you end up with the car, the seller has the original engine available to go with it ? (at extra cost I’m sure). Seems odd a parts car would still have its original engine, especially a performance car engine. Since the body tag is missing who knows what this car is or had in it.

    • Melton Mooney

      Actually he said he has contact info for the person who has the original parts.

  17. Howie

    Went to $70,950, reserve not met.

    Like 3
  18. 454RAT Member

    No fender tag, but it is an original AAR? How does that work? Does Plymouth have the records for these cars? They must have paperwork but they do not mention it? Is all of this information ”word of mouth”. Yeah, that’ll get you a free milk shake anywhere you go.

    Like 1

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