Impressive Scoop: 1972 Plymouth Scamp Drag Car

Acquiring a race car with historic provenance is almost always a pricey proposition. But you can rather easily get into a former drag car for far less money, though you’ll sacrifice some historic pedigree in the process. This 1972 Plymouth Scamp here on craigslist is all the best parts of a worn out former drag car, but it looks solid enough to warrant bringing back to life. Plus, the seller is asking a reasonable $3,850 or trade for anything interesting. 

The motor is a rebuilt 413 “race motor” (seller’s words, not mine) and is said to have very few miles since re-assembly. Of course, what the motor build consists of seems to be as mysterious as this Scamp’s racing past, which the seller obviously doesn’t know much about. However, it does come with a rebuilt 727 automatic transmission with a 2,500 RPM stall convertor, so it was built for speed at one time.

The seller says, “I don’t fix them – I find them!” So, the fact that no mention of running or not likely isn’t an accident. The interior looks like a mess of wires and gauges, and fairly filthy as well. From what we can see of the seats, they don’t match, but at least the steering wheel and dash are original. The Scamp wears color-shifting paint on the outside, so taken as a whole, it was customized from head to toe back in the day – yet it still retains its original wheels, trim rings and hubcaps.

The monstrous hood scoop is of unknown origins, nor do we know if it actually provides any induction or cooling capabilities. It does look imposting, and given the Scamp’s otherwise unassuming looks, it must have been fun driving this from stoplight to stoplight looking for unsuspecting drivers. The price seems fair for what it is, but it’d be more compelling if the seller would at least confirm whether the motor is stuck. It’s located in Joplin, with a clean title.

Fast Finds


  1. Don H

    Ya engine rebuilt about 40 years ago.

    Like 1
    • JW

      I agree, from the looks of that engine compartment and no top radiator hose no telling what’s inside that motor and for how long.

      Like 1
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    ” it must have been fun driving this from stoplight to stoplight looking for unsuspecting drivers.” Something about the hood might make me think twice.

    Like 1
  3. Howard A Member

    Al Bundy meets Tim Taylor.

    Like 1
  4. jw454

    I can’t make out a distributor installed at the front of the engine just behind the alternator. Also, the spark plugs laying in the battery tray makes me think the motor may have been sitting open exposed to the atmosphere. That wouldn’t be good if it’s been sitting very long. No mention of what condition the body is in. I’m sorry… I just don’t see nearly 4K worth of value here.

  5. rustylink

    Not exactly a motor I would put into one of these for a race motor. The 413 is more of a truck/RV motor. Granted it’s hard to kill, but not really a speed maker.

  6. Steve R

    There is nothing “race car” about it, except the owners description.

    Steve R

  7. Steve

    I would be curious as to what kind of headers were cobbled up to fit the RB engine into the “A” body… As far as a “drag car”, it takes more than a big engine and an overzealous hood scoop to make a “Drag Car”. How does all that power make it to the ground? 8-1/4″ rear axle and bias ply white walls

    Like 1
  8. rando

    It has a Dart rear bumper – the Scamp had single taillights on each side. But that could have been a replacement over the years. Could be a Plymouth or a Dodge – have to check the VIN. six pack hood from a duster maybe? Whatever…

    What color shifting paint? from white to dirt? Used to be a vinyl top car – the trim and rust are still there at the base of C pillar. Paint isn’t a selling point on this car – not going to look good even after it’s washed. Not original at any rate… And the engine compartment should be body color unless it was black to start with – possible. But it’s just a mishmash of crap unfortunately.

    The coil isn’t bolted down. The BB dist is behind the heater hoses. Without the hoses, I’m betting there is no radiator. No fan on water pump. Air cooled? My guess is this is someone’s attempt to buid a BB car but it isn’t finished. May not have exhaust manifolds or headers yet. Would want to know the K member is correct as well. Coulda been a 6 cyl car. No fuel line from pump that I can see. no power steering – going to be a PITA to steer.

    Trans? Worked on for racing and left the column shift? Not buying that – not totally impossible though. Seats do not match and from experience, buckets are hard to find for these. Not impossible, but not easy. this was a bench seat car most likely, which could mean the buckets are ill-fitting. Been there, done that. Door cards have been hacked for speakers, dash is hacked too for radio. Wiring looks horrific.

    These cars are popular to convert to drag use – after I traded my $600 ’71 Dart (bought in 1987 – traded in ’91) to my roommate from college and he rebuilt it and used it up AGAIN, he sold the hull (1998?) to a guy wanting to turn it into a drag car. I am very familiar with these and this one screams RUN. Or maybe buy for less than $1k – ideally way less unless you just GOT TO HAVE this particular car. Even the pieces and parts on this one would not amount to much IF it’s not rusted beyond recognition on the underside.

    I usually try to stick up for the ugly cars here, but this one is just crap. Too much crap for the average tinkerer to make much of. You’d be starting from scratch. I’m really disgusted by the seller trying to pass this off as anything but junk. I don’t hold it against BF for posting it. But there is nothing worthy of praise about this one.

  9. dbigb1 Member

    413 max wedge would be worth more than the asking price!!! someone needs to run the numbers.

  10. Rustytech Member

    413 max wedge might be worth the asking price “IF” there’s not a mouse house in the intake, and roach hotel or worse where the spark plugs used to be! Tread carefully.

    Like 1
  11. joel ewing

    Because we don’t have a rust problem down here in southern Arizona….there are countless cars like this old blister running around. From the looks of this one… never once made it down a legit quarter mile track. My money says it was owned by grandma…….inherited by 16 yr. old upon her death….and the first thing he did was denigrate her faithful old car with that obnoxious scoop. If that really IS a 413….it probably came out of an old motorhome. The kid stuck on an intake and a carb wayyyy to big for the motor…and called it “a race car”. The baby moon hubcaps were one tip that told me that this car never once made it down a legit track.

    Like 1
  12. Mike W H

    Maybe by “Drag Racing” a bunch of them dress up like women and cruise the main drag?

    Like 1

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