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Masquerading Survivor: 1969 Plymouth Barracuda


It is getting harder to find unrestored classics in good condition and when you do find one, you had better be careful that it has not been misrepresented. The seller of this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda claims that it all original and that it has avoided the ravages of time and moisture. We have our doubts, but you never know. The car can be found here on craigslist with an asking price of $11,500.


This Barracuda is equipped with factory A/C and the interior still looks like new. The seller has the build sheet and claims that it is fully documented.


The seats make us start to question the “survivor” claims though. They look suspiciously like new, but perhaps this car really is a low mileage time-capsule?


The engine bay really starts to stir up our doubts again though. Is that over-spray on the radiator? Maybe we are just nitpicking, but when we purchase a car that is claimed to be an unrestored “survivor”, it had better have the original paint and interior still intact. We could be all wrong about this one though and it might really be what they say it is. What do you think?

Thanks goes to P. Trout for sending this one in.


  1. JP

    Looks like over-spray to me! And the seats are TOO new looking. Not liking this one…

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  2. Patrick Calhoun

    Ah no… and not even close to being a survivor. Its a nice car but either they don’t know what a survivor is or somebodies trying to pull a fast one.

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  3. rich

    Motor color wrong also, My early 69 340 was the Mopar purple/blue color later cars were the Mopar orange not red.

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    • Blindmarc

      Early “LA” series engines were red.But,… I had a 68′ original car from SoCal.in the early 90’s and the engine was chrysler blue.

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  4. scottski

    Suspicious… but a *very* nice car.
    IMHO, Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth had the best looking designs until ’72.
    Certainly, the best front clips and rooflines.

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  5. Raymond F. Pittam

    After being in Classics as long as I have and being a former Chevrolet dealer and Car Salesman and seeing how many cars have been completely rebuilt, If I was going to buy a supposed Original car I would have the Paint annualized as well I would check between the tail lights and head lights and the body metal. Many times even the best painter will miss areas in these places.Another way is by checking the bolts and nuts on many cars because when you look at the kinematics of a vehicle, it will have everything itemized. Many body shops will use after market parts and used parts where there is always tell tell ways of learning about the vehicle.
    I own a 1901 Oldsmobile and you can even get all the information about what and where each part and bolt size and everything about it.

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  6. P. Rod

    The stains on the carpet should be a dead give away. Not even close to a survivor.

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    • paul

      Yes I noticed that as well, the carpets as well as the lower interior door panel & front finish fresh air vent panel look pretty poor & the chrome on the front of the car looks weak for a supposed well cared for car, also the AC compressor is painted black & while that doesn’t mean to much some of the details don’t seem to add up.

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  7. Tim

    Looks like the over spray also made its way down in to the hood mechanism. The A/C compressor looks like it’s been resprayed with some black gloss. Even some of those a/c hoses look like they were sprayed and then he just stopped right around the valve cover area. Not to mention it looks like black paint over spray between the A/C compressor and the alternator. If someone is willing to just spray a car part like that it definitely makes you think about what else could have been a short cut. Just saying.

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  8. Tony Underwood

    11,5 is way too much for this car,no way I would pay more than 5 grand,and thats being generous.Is is a true survivor? Im gonna say no,just because no white interior I ever had stayed that nice for 45 years,but its still a decent Barracuda,just not at 11,500$

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  9. Troy

    Nice touch with the gloss black paint on the heater hose. 1st Class!

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  10. mincht

    The black rattle can under the hood at the air conditioner compressor and radiator is what I see. I see no evidence of a paint job but it is really nice for a blue that peeled off of most of the rest of the Mopars of the day. The seats have been covered if the door cards and foot cards are tainted color so should the seats be. How can they look like the cushioning has never been sat on?
    Nice car, close to nice price regardless.

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  11. Justin in indy

    This reminds me of the ‘All original! Has new paint, new interior, new chrome’ type of ads. Then which part is original? Those seats are lucky to be a week old. I dont even know that the pattern is original to the car. It looks nice, but my guess is their opinion of ‘survivor’ means it wasnt rusted out….

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  12. Justin in indy

    Good eye, Mincht. Black spay paint on the hoses right by where a part was spray painted. Doesnt mean it isnt nice, but this car has been mop and glowed for the pics…

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  13. davew833

    Well, the STEREO certainly isn’t original!

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  14. Jason

    I think it’s original , I think it may be factory over spray

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  15. Frankie

    Problem here is the word original apparently means different things to different people. Drivers door panel scuff marks look like quite a bit more wear than seats would indicate. Would not take much more to make a nice “summer cruise” car if it runs decently.

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  16. Sim

    Interesting topic that has been discussed by my friends n’ techs over the years. What are the parameters that qualify any classic as a ‘survivor’, ‘mint’ or ‘concourse’ etc etc? This guy could be saying that the car has never been altered in any way beyond general cosmetic revitalizations over the years. Personally, I’ve never been much for these catagorizations when purchasing another toy. …all the classics I’ve ever bought were “survivors”, that’s why they were still running at the time.

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  17. SoCal car guy

    Definitely not a “survivor,” at least as most of us understand it. I bought my first new car, a ’69 Barracuda fastback (340, four-speed, 3.91 “posi” rearend, bench seat interior) right out of high school in June 1969. Mine had the same pattern horizontal pleat upholstery in black vinyl, that started coming apart along the seams when the car was barely a year old, fixed under warranty and other sections failed on a regular basis, so based on experience I say the seats have been redone. My 340 engine was the turquoise/blue color. I lived in the Los Angeles area (still do) and the car started getting rust bubbles around the windows in less than 3 years, which seems to be a common trait of Mopars of that era. By the time I got rid of my Cuda in mid 1974, about the time it came off mechanical warranty it had had multiple rust and paint repairs, portions of the seats redone on at least 3 different occasions. As others have pointed out, radio is not stock (and dash is no doubt cut up to fit the last aftermarket unit), really crappy rattle-can engine detailing, the steering wheel rim is cracked and splitting apart in several places, appears as thought the car has had front sheetmetal repairs faint color mismatch between hood and other parts) and the front is bent and slightly kinked — lots of lipstick smeared on that pig. My qualifications? Lifelong enthusiast; writer/photographer and editor of and for automotive enthusiast magazines (specializing in American muscle and performance cars) for over a dozen years; have worked part time for the last few years at a shop the restores and refurbishes American performance cars; and have owned at least 75 collectible, performance and race cars since the late ’60s

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  18. scot c

    ~ i think you guys have pretty well found the short-falls on this particular Mopar. i’m disappointed in the sellers ad copy. when i read ‘No scammers please’ i feel the ad and the product should be above reproach. that means leaving no questions other than, ‘how the hell did one this nice ever become this age without all kinds of visible maintenance and upkeep’. not this unit.

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    • BartTheCat

      Yes, typically the best way to avoid scammers is to simply ask them not to respond to your ad. People never think of the simple solutions! ; )

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    • Steel

      Also this guy is looking for a trade … but only a true Chevelle SS … wich is even more expensive than his allready high asking price for the car (even if the chevelle is in really and I mean really bad shape)

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  19. RebRob

    This may be another case of “THIS IS MY GREAT-GRANDFATHERS HAMMER. My grandpa replaced the handle and my father replaced the head, but this is my great-grandfathers hammer!”

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  20. Jeff

    That over spray was very common with cars from that time. My dad worked at Chevrolet in Janesville and he said all the car companies cared about was how fast they could send them out the door. Sometimes they had contests to see how fast they could get a car painted and the result was a pretty sucky job. Chrysler was a good one for sucky paint with over spray.My dads job was to put the second engine in the car or truck because the line moved so fast they sometimes didn’t get a chance to put oil in the engine with the other things they had to do. He quit in 72 because he thought corporate greed killed the quality.

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  21. gm barnett

    Why accept a submission from a seller that has misrepresented a car?

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  22. FRED


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  23. Richard V

    Weren’t all the seats from ’68 on fitted, by law, with head rests?

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  24. Christina

    I’m looking for a 1970’s Plymouth Barracuda. This was my mom’s High School ride. (She has great taste in cars) My mom is the one who taught me how to appreciate the classics. She is a true gear-head at 70 years old. I want to present her with her beloved Barracuda for her birthday. If there is anyone out there who can help me with this challenging daughters wish I would greatly appreciate it.

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    • scot

      ~ You are a wonderful daughter. She has raised a beautiful young woman.

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