Major Rust Repaired: 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

This 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda looks pretty good at first glance, and while it has suffered from some of the typical rust issues that can afflict these classics, many of these have already been addressed. There is still some work to be done, but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. The ‘Cuda is located in Hampstead, Maryland, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has rocketed up to $17,100, and with the reserve now met, someone looks like they are about to take home a great project car.

Finished in Black Velvet, the ‘Cuda is one seriously tough car. Interestingly, across the entire Plymouth “E-Body” range in 1970, only 1,262 cars (or 2.5%) were finished in this color, which seems to be a surprisingly low number. As you can see in this photo, the rust issues under the vehicle have now been addressed, which is a good starting point. There is still a way to go with it, though. The owner has managed to tick replacement of the front floor, inner rocker panels, front torque boxes, torsion bar cross member, and floor supports from the “to do” list. The final photo in this article clearly verifies the owner’s claim that virtually everything from the door handles back will require replacement. It is going to still be a big job, but at least it’s now not as big as it once was.

The interior of the ‘Cuda is largely in quite reasonable condition. The carpet, dash, console, door trims, carpet, and the rear seat all look like they are in good order. The owner recently gave the interior a bit of a clean, and the results really speak for themselves. It looks like a set of new covers for the front seats will nearly see the interior finished. Having said that, the one item that we don’t get to see is the headliner. Mind you, even if that does require replacement, it isn’t a huge or expensive job.

The first thing that I will point out is that this Plymouth doesn’t currently run. In addition, the brakes were locked, but the car now rolls freely. The owner removed the rear brake shoes and front calipers, and these are all boxed up and included with the car. What you get under the hood is 440ci V8, producing 375hp. Now we get to the good news/bad news part of the story. The original engine suffered a timing chain failure some time back, so what you see under the hood isn’t original. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the owner has managed to get his hands on the original engine block, along with the original distributor, intake and carburetor. These are all included in the sale. More good news comes in the form of the 727 TorqueFlite transmission and the 8¾”  Posi rear end both being original to the car. In addition, the ‘Cuda was optioned with both power steering and power front disc brakes.

The owner of this 1970 ‘Cuda says that it is not a project for a beginner, and I couldn’t agree with him more on that point. The rust repairs that remain are going to take both skill and experience to address. However, with so much work already done, it should make life a bit easier for the next owner. It is also worth noting just how much interest the car has generated since being offered for sale. As well as the healthy bidding, there are also 168 people who are intently watching the listing. One thing is for certain. This will be one seriously tough and potent piece of machinery once the restoration has been completed.


  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    The seller said everything behind the door handles needs to be replaced – he wasn’t kidding! Numbers seem generous due to the amount of work still needing to be done.

    Like 4
  2. Jimmy

    I would pay the extra $$$ for the all original Road Runner posted earlier rather than tackle this Cuda and I love Cudas but not this one because of all the rust repair left to do.

    Like 1
  3. James Martin

    Going to hell in a bucket, at least I am enjoying the ride. Maybe not for 17000. If I wanted a rusty trash can iam sure I can find one at junk yard. Lol.

    Like 3
  4. Del

    I do not think the car is worth the present bid on it.

    It will require a huge amount of metal work.

    Also a non runner ?

    at least there is a fender tag.

    Wonder if winning bidder will even complete the transaction?

    Like 2
  5. Keith

    Wow! Mopar freaks once again paying the big bucks for a rusty old Mopar….Message to all you Mopar freaks, save your money, the old Mopar glory days are over!……Wow!

    Like 2
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Keith – I don’t know about them being over. This thing is bid up over $17k with a few days left.

      Like 4
      • Keith

        @ Jesse Mortensen-You’re right but how stupid is that? Look at the car? Jesse, go back to that roller 70 charger posted a few days ago, roll towards the bottom of all the responses. I explained why I think these prices are ridiculous on these old rusty Mopars. Thank you…..Keith

        Like 1
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Ended:Sep 22, 2019 , 8:00PM
        Winning bid:US $17,700.00
        [ 47 bids ]

    • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

      Krack head they aren’t listening…..

      Like 2
    • Chris M.

      Kieth while it’s true the price of some of these cars is high based on poor condition. The retarded, repetitive commentary you post is really become one of the worst aspects of this site. Surely you have something better to say? But apparently not. Once more, there is an example with every car marque that has sold for way more than it’s worth based on condition aside from the Chrysler products. If you’ve managed to scrape enough money to pay your cable bill and happened to see a car auction or looked at online market sales you’ll notice that vintage Mopar automobiles still command the highest dollar as compared to their contemporaries.

      Like 5
    • bone

      No more crazy than the guys paying huge bucks for trashed Chevelles and Mustangs – why dont you make your comments on those cars and leave the Mopars alone ? If you’re trying to be sarcastic, its not working, and it wasn’t funny the first 50 times you posted the same comments about an old Mopar . People buy what they like ,and if they have a ton of money to buy what they want in any condition let them do it ! I’d much rather see any old car restored then scrapped and gone .

      Like 2
  6. Joe Machao

    Keith, do you have a car or is your garage a keyboard.
    So far, not a single vehicle has been cheap enough for ya.
    Bet if I deliver you a vehicle for free, and free shippin, you would complain

    Like 3
  7. Stinger

    The reason for the dollars… only 618 of these were made. Not very common at all especially being a (TX9) black on black 440 Cuda . Dollars are defined by scarcity and desirability and clearly this has both. Agree with the dollar figures or not, it definitely strikes a bell with enough people to garner the price.

    Quarters, trunk floors, wheel tubs and such are all available aftermarket and to the experienced restoration guy, this is not all that bad. No mention of the rear frame rail condition, hope they are decent. Will make one hell of a street cruiser once back on the road.

    Just be thankful that there are people willing to undertake this and many other projects like this or we will lose to many cool cars to the crusher.

    Like 5
    • Keith

      @ Stinger, But where do you draw the line from something worth restoring and something that is just junk? What is considered original compared to something riveted together? Numbers and rarity aside the car is what is is…..solid or not?

      • Stinger

        A very valid point Keith. At the end of the day, it is not you or I who are to judge for that answer. It is the prospective buyers to determine if the work and value is worth it to him/her.

        Also keep in mind, he/she may have more at stake the just dollars. We have all seen gobs of money being pored into restorations for the sake or sentimental value… I have heard many times over, “I owned a car just like that when I was…” and the bank role comes out.

        Certainly there are also those who do not have the “big bucks” to get into a fully restored 70 440 TX9 numbers matching Cuda (which this has a potential to be) and this is their only opportunity for entry into what many have deemed to be an overpriced muscle car market.

        I have personally seen many muscle cars, much worse than this being fully restored and worth a good chunk of change at the end of the day. The famous “Barrel Cuda” comes to mind. This car was actually taken away in two sections… then fully restored. Today worth gobs of money.

        Even with a car that is this far gone, people will still line up to pay well for a car that has been correctly restored. History has proven that, whether that be Ford, Chev, Mopar and even AMC.

        Numbers aside Keith, you are correct, it is what it is…

        Like 9
    • don

      There weren’t many black Mopars of any kind back then ! There must have been 18 color choices – The only black Mopars I used to see were 4 door Darts wit h ” U.S. Navy” stenciled on the doors

  8. TimM

    Rougher that a stucco bathtub!!!
    No thanks!!!

    Like 3
  9. Troy s

    A 440 powered Cuda is always interesting, rusty, crusty or not. It’s the money issue that gets some people really ticked off. It’s a double edged knife really, with the interest these cars still exist, some in better than new condition, without the big dollars restoration would be pointless financially and basically they’d of been recycled into something else. Just as these cars left the factory there’s always been a compromise somehow.

    Like 1
    • 36Packard

      I agree it is better for some very wealthy person to ultimately buy this at some point and preserve it, then to see it go to the crusher, but what happens to the value when most of us Boomers are dust?

      Like 4
  10. GP Member

    Mopar experts, I need your help. I found a Chrysler 300 for sale. Not much info. on it at all. I think it is a 1966, The VIN: # is CM 23G 63 169143 and the tag is M4X PPI T5 SA I20I. Thank you GP. I have always liked Cuda’s like the one listed and always will, It’s just to much work for this old guy.

  11. Joe Machado

    GP, C is Chrysler, M is medium class. 23 is 2 door ht. G is 383. 6 is 1966. 3, is Jefferson assembly. I can answer tomorrow on your other codes tomorrow. My books are in my shop. Think PP1 is red, single color. I know it is for my 60-61’s.

    Like 3
    • GP Member

      Thanks very much Joe, The car is red with black int., two door hard top. I can’t see much of the under side, because it has flat tires. Looks to be 100% complete. Thanks again GP

      • Joe Machado

        Gp, I need the layout of the fender plate codes. Another words, exact as possible where and which row everything is located to decipher the rest.
        M4X is interior. M-Medium class. 4-buckets or bench vinyl. X-black

        Like 2
    • GP Member

      Joe, I will let you know soon. I bought the car tonight for 1250.00. After I get it home I will look for more info. on the car. It doesn’t seem to have any bad rust. There is no rust around the fender skirts or in the rockers. No dents and glass is all good. Running condition is yet to be found out. No rust under the hood either, floors and trunk good.

  12. Mike

    The guy has pestered the owner for 25 years to sell. No dice. He had to wait until the guy died and two years later asked the widow to sell. He finally gets it and what does he do with the car he spent a quarter of a century trying to obtain? Yep, gotta sell it. “Too many projects”. I say he’s got to be the most patient flipper ever.

    Like 4

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.


WANTED 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Looking for parts for this project. Especially seats Contact

WANTED 1983-1991 Cadillac Brougham 4 door sedan , preferable not white. Will travel or shipp Contact

WANTED 1965-1975 International Travelall Looking for a very solid/clean 4×4 IH Travelall. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad