Gran Coupe Project: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda

The Plymouth Barracuda got re-invented in 1970, losing its physical heritage with the not-so-exciting Valiant compact. It shared its all-new E-body platform with the Dodge Challenger, but they had no sheet metal in common. The Gran Coupe was added as the high-end version of the “pony car” while the ‘Cuda was all about performance. This 1971 Gran Coupe is in rough shape, especially with the roof where a vinyl covering once lived and needs a total restoration. Located in La Verne, California, this once snappy car is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at a flat $12,000.

Barracuda sales jumped 50% with the change in 1970, but those records would be short-lived. Shrinking demand for muscle cars hit the ‘Cuda’s segment especially hard, and overall Barracuda production shrunk to just 16,492 units for ‘71. Of those, only 1,020 would be the Gran Coupe when a 318 cubic inch V8 when paired with the TorqueFlite automatic transmission. So, the number of these cars that are left, regardless of condition, must be rather small after more than 50 years.

The seller’s car was sold by a dealer in Tulsa, Oklahoma and he/she has both the original sales slip and the build sheet from under the back seat. The Gran Coupe had a leather interior, power brakes, and air conditioning as options when new, and oddly the “performance” hood, which showed up more often on the ‘Cuda models. The most troublesome option this Plymouth came with was the vinyl roof which no doubt leaked and caused havoc with the integrity of the top. Fixing this situation may require the next owner to source a replacement roof which will not be cheap.

In 1994, the original 318 engine was replaced by a used engine of the same displacement, suggesting that the odometer reading of 20,800 is more like 120,800. The auto still ran when the seller acquired the car in 2014, but it was drained of gas (good idea) and has remained dormant since then. We assume the original color of the Barracuda was gold (inside door skins), but red and blue paint can be found in various places, too. The build sheet will help in determining which color to go with during the restoration. Some of the rusty or damaged sheet metal has been patched and the seller has some new patch pieces to help with the rest.

Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    Yikes! That’s the worst metal roof damage I have ever seen from a leaking vinyl top. I’m guessing and I know some Mopar experts on here will know for sure, if just any Barracuda roof will work because of the shape of the Gran Coupe rear window. It’s painful to see this car in this condition. The Duster beside it does not look much better.

    Like 7
    • Buzzz

      Look at the rear panel how wide the inner lip is,this car will put you in the poor house and you’d still have a patched rust bucket

  2. mainlymuscle

    Super nice 71 restomod sold yesterday at BaT for $86k.You’d spend twice that to get this heap there .

    Like 2
  3. Emel

    Since the roof is a goner on this bomb. Convert to a convertible !

    Yea that’s the ticket ! ha

    Like 4
  4. Howie

    $16,100 now!! No engine photos, what a pile!!

    Like 2
  5. Terry

    The roof can be replaced with a AMD unit, we have done many due to the vinyl tops and it really isn’t that difficult for a decent bodyman, it just takes a little time. The last one we did was a 71 Chevelle that a “Body shop” had removed the vinyl top and repaired the metal several years prior. After removed over 1″ of Duraglass from around the edges of the roof we found the only thing holding the skin on was the Duraglass. We put a new skin on it, blended it in and re cleared the car. Couldn’t tell we were ever in there.

    Like 4

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