Swam Too Long: 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440

Most of us, if not all of us, have dreamt about owning a Hemi Cuda. Well, what is the next best thing? I would dare to say a factory 440-equipped Cuda would be the next step down on the list. While it seems that 70-74 Cuda’s are rare, their values have shot through the roof in the last 10 years or so. It looks like this fish may have swam a little too long in the elements though. As a result it has some serious cancer issues that only those with strong stomachs and solid metal skills can handle. Take a look here on eBay where its listed for $13,500.

The numbers matching 440 is still in this Cuda, but its condition is unknown. Although examining the car in its entirety, I would count on a rebuild. Rust will be a topic that comes up often when talking about this car. Getting right to it, rot can be found in both inner fenders, on the inner edges of the front fenders, and there’s rusty metal debris throughout the engine bay.

The rally dash is still in place, but little else remains of the interior. There is one single bucket seat on the passenger side and the steering wheel is still in place to aid with push steering.

As you can see, the carpet is obviously long gone, as is the driver side floor… The entire floor pan is notebook paper thin and will absolutely and completely need to be replaced. The trunk floor is also a major problem as it has almost completely dissolved on the driver side and into the frame rail. Also the inner fender and the quarter on the driver side is very rough and will require a fair amount of reconstruction.

Looking down the passenger side quarter, it isn’t as rough as the driver side, but that isn’t saying much as there’s still rot to be found. The door jambs seem dangerously thin and it would seem that the roof section is holding the body together. Definitely a true labor of love, and a project for someone up to a firm challenge, this Cuda has definitely seen better days. How much money and dedication do you think it will take to revive this poor muscle fish?

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  1. Jimmy

    This fish looks awfully familiar, I think it was caught by Barn Finds and threw back a couple months ago.

    • Jerry hw Brentnell

      bet ya its a flood car! if it is run! not worth fixing

      • Geri

        definable a flood recovery car and nothing to see here. as on who has owned a hem icuda, 64 Hemi Plymouth savoy, hemi powered willys gasser and hemi powered topolino I HATE to see cars go this way. dammit

  2. Wagon train

    I just don’t get it…

  3. Poptheclutch

    Looks like this car floated down a river
    Banging into everything that got in
    It’s way. Very rusty.

    • James

      Reminds me of the old saying: “he fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down”. LOL

  4. Michael

    Musty, Dusty and Crusty.

  5. Chuck

    Pull the motor, throw the rest back in the river . This Cuda should “sleep with the fishes”

  6. flmikey

    I love the seller’s comment…”needs all sheet metal…and more…” that seems to be an understatement…that being said, hope it gets restored…

  7. Tim S. Member

    ‘Cudas are cool, but man, $13,500 would buy any one of dozens of fun driver-quality 60’s-70’s cars.

  8. Gary

    ☆☆☆Channeling Mark Worman☆☆☆

    we have a crisis, oh what could be

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I’d bet that Mark would walk away from this.

  9. Mike R in DE

    We’ve seen this very rusty cuda before & it’s a VERY Big project that’s gonna take also very big $$$ to get it restored, or even road ready. Only thing for sale is a VIN & a stuck motor. More project than I would like to take on. I’m out.

  10. JohnD

    How does a column shifter get that rusty??? By the way, it has a column shifter. . .

    • Jimmy

      It sure does and the ignition switch is gone, wonder if it was stolen then taken for a joy ride and when the tank got close to empty they dumped the car in a lake or river and this guy happen to find it while fishing.

      • Oliver Rojas

        All the road contaminants mixed with water caused the rust, but the body is fine. To a uniquely minded moto-artist-tech, this car is a master piece. To a steel maker who specializes in re-manufacturing floor board sheet metal, it’s a draw? Do we have a surveyor that can get the dimensional coordinates for a Cuda floor board?

  11. XMA0891

    Until I saw this poor Plymouth, I didn’t think there was a vehicle more-inclined to rot into thin air than the FS Jeep Trucks. Like to know what the seller ends up getting. Whatever that is; the new owner better hurry – The car’s “going fast”.

  12. Steve A

    That thing is TOAST!
    Yet somehow it wouldn’t surprise me if some fool and his money will soon part.

  13. Mark

    The next best thing to an original Hemi Cuda would be an original Hemi Challenger (I digress)…..$13k for this coffee can? Take it from a guy who knows…… just because one has disposable income doesn’t mean one should throw it away.

  14. Oscarphone

    What’s the point? To see how many Mope fools there are out there? I’m kinda wondering why all the pictures of the VIN are, like, cropped off and the seller doesn’t list the full VIN in the specs. He says “its a big project car “, I’d call that heavy understatement. Be interesting to see if it sells and for what kind of money.

    • cyclemikey

      Oh come on. Enough with the conspiracy theories. Look through the pictures he provided. The VIN is clearly: BS23U0B152154. And the sheet metal is numbers matching, well at least what remains of it is.

      But the comments are on point. This car has been attacked (and vanquished) by the tinworm; it may have been at least partially underwater. Not much to “restore” here; you’d pretty much have a replica when you were done.

  15. crazyhawk

    Really? Now your repeating rusty Mopars? They usually bring the most comments with lovers and haters going at it for extremely high “comment counts”. Let’s move on….

  16. Steve R

    They should have done a two for one write up for this Cuda and the equally rusty 69 Charger R/T the seller currently has listed on eBay.

    Steve R

  17. Curt k.

    I wish this guy lots of luck.id like to see them put it on a flatbed and tie it down the minute you crank down on those chain binders the whole suspension and body will just turn to dust..

    • Loco Mikado

      It would break in two just trying to get it on a flatbed.

  18. Classic Steel

    I coulda had one in the past with a hemi!
    I shoulda woulda coulda been rich!

  19. bobk

    I do believe that other than the motor, I could crush this poor thing using my wall mounted $10 Harbor Freight aluminum can crusher….

    Well, ok. Not all of it, but large sections of it.

  20. Davis

    Poor thing, I hope it doesn’t smell as bad as it looks, can’t see it making it in one piece during transport.

  21. Mtbase

    I’m sure is was a beauty back in the day…, but so was my 91 year old grandmother.

    Hard to find a single thing to say is “good”

  22. Dovi65

    I thought the same. Tho ‘Cuda’s, Challengers seem quite prevalent here. Based on the quantity that come up for grabs, it seems quite a number have survived [tho not all had an easy life]

  23. Keith

    Ah yes, these are the Mopar’s I’ve known back in the day, RUST BUCKETS! And will always be RUST BUCKETS.

    • Gaspumpchas

      Yea Keith MOPAR: Made Out OF Plastic And Rust…..

  24. Poncho

    I think that Mark Worman would agree…One has to consider…how much sheet metal has to be replaced to make it a car again? Then where is the line that says if you have to replace that much sheet metal, it is no longer a 1970 Cuda? The spirit of the Cuda has passed. You are looking at the bones (literally). I think it looks like it’s time to take this one off life support and let it go. Let this one sleep.

    • AMXBrian

      Based on what he said about the Daytona that was basically only a firewall you would be right, but there is more metal to this and it’s a 440. If someone paid for it I think Mark would restore it. The Daytona was past the point of no return. This however is still technically a whole car.

  25. Poncho

    How much sheet metal replacement would this car need? How much do you replace before saying it is no longer a 1970 car? Technically you could build a car from a VIN tag anymore. Even Mark Worman would agree. The soul of this Cuda has passed on. Time to let the bones of this Cuda take an eternal dirt nap.

    • Dave Mc

      It looks like it already has taken the dirt nap, with pictures.

  26. Cardawg

    Now that’s what I call some real PATINA. And just think…it is all natural. Think of how much money you could save clear coating it with as little metal is left. Love the NO FLOOR A.C. Option. Yabba dabba dooo

    • Gary

      Mark Worman doesn’t shy away from much. The Phantom Cuda’ came out amazing.
      I just don’t like to see these cars disappear.

  27. Keith

    But But it’s a Mopar!……Got to be worth the big bucks because it’s a Mopar right??

    • Chris

      This guy seems to think so.

  28. Keith


  29. Dennis

    Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread! Car is Way past normal restoration! It would take many dollars and much time. See my first statement!

  30. PatrickM

    I couldn’t agree more with most of the comments. I wouldn’t give him more than $135.00…certainly not the asking price.

  31. Keith

    I’ll bet if it included a half rusted Hemi emblem it would be worth 135k……LOL!

  32. mark

    I wonder if Grave Yard cars would tackle it??

  33. Del

    Not even good scrap. Just drop the S

  34. Troy s

    I remember this one from before, the picture with the screw driver gave it away. What a mess.
    No, I never dreamt of owning a hemicuda, maybe driving someone else’s, but not owning one, a stout 340 powered ‘cuda would be more my taste.

  35. Sam Shive

    MOPAR Mostly Old Parts And Rust….

  36. W9BAG Member

    Clearly, this is barely a parts car. $1000 max. The seller is imbibing in some happy smoke.

  37. b walters

    was a dream car at one time, now a nightmare

  38. Fiete T.

    About 25 years ago, a Mopar guy (who happens to be a friend’s dad & well-known in the Mopar world) , said this bit to me-“The highest survival rate of Mopars in good shape is in the luxury cars and the cheapie cars. All the others lived harder lives, got used & abused a lot more. And seemingly not put together as well as they were going down the line.”

    • lonnie93041

      I’m inclined to agree. I remember when those cars were new and after 5 years of being hammered they were pretty well done in. My uncle bought a 68 Roadrunner 383 4spd in 1972. It was a cream puff when he got it and he babied it until the day he died about 5 years ago. It went through three engines, two gearboxes, a couple of interiors and whenever rust appeared it was taken care of practically on the spot. Rust was not allowed to spread. I have no idea where it is now.

  39. 1st Gear

    Barely enough metal left to scrap.

  40. Jeff

    Ys guys can rag on M ove Over Power Approching Rapidly cars being rust buckets but any unibody car is. but to blow a 383 or 440 and. 833 4 gear trannies that often. that driver could probably BREAK STEEL BALLS. IN A SANDBOX WITH A RUBBER MALLET. I’ve never blew a B or RB motor or an A833 trans. but if ya did your maintenance progrsm needs reassed. CHECK AND CHANGE YOUR OIL DUDE. Massive Outragous Power -Arriving Realfast. motors wont chuck a conrod through the block like a chebby or have the bottom end block walk of a -Found On Road Dead motor from lack of strengh arround the cranks main webbing. I biew a couple 351s we thought it was an oiling problem but. a older Pro mechanic schooled me on the real problem. THANKS Pop Richards at Richards automotive. guy forgot more than most mechinics know

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