No Hemis Here: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda

At first glance, this 1971 Barracuda looks like a Hemi ‘Cuda, but in reality it is simply a base model Barracuda. Clearly a survivor of the 1970s and 1980s, this Plymouth is being sold by what sounds like its fourth owner since new. While its no one-owner car, four owners in 46 years isn’t too bad! The original owner bought the car in California and sold it to someone in Oregon in 1975. The second owner cloned it visually to look like a Hemi ‘Cuda for his wife. It was then sold in 2009 to someone in Maryland, and then presumably to the person who now has it up for sale here on eBay in West Virginia with bidding at $16,255 and reserve not met.

The most obvious indication that this is not a Hemi car is the blatant lack of a Hemi! Though the seller is honestly representing this car in the ad, even if he were not nobody would be fooled. What we have here is one of the most reliable engines to come from Chrysler, the 318 small block. Though unmodified you won’t be winning any races, the 318 is reliable and parts are readily available, both performance and replacement. The seller includes a Chrysler 383 in need of a rebuild, but if the 318 runs well I see no need to swap them out until the car undergoes a restoration. If the 318 and 727 transmission are original to this car, it is probably worth more with the original drivetrain installed.

Much of the interior has been changed and dyed to black, but the seats are covered in blue which really contrasts with the black. From the factory, the seats and panels would’ve been the same color. There are not many interior pictures included in the ad, but from the looks of it everything is in nice and usable condition. If this car underwent a restoration, it is possible that the only thing that would need to be changed is the color of the seats or panels to match the rest of the car.

The third owner was intent on continuing to clone this Barracuda into a Hemi car and purchased many of the necessary parts to do so, but was not able to follow through. Not only that, but many of the few items that need to be repaired or replaced were also purchased and are included such as a washer bottle and battery tray. This car has very little rust with the worst being pin holes and a previously patched area in the trunk floor. The underside, quarters, and rockers are all original metal as is the rest of this car which is hard to come by. If cloning was complete, it would be cool! I personally think that if restored completely to original, with the original drivetrain and sheet metal, this would be a really nice and valuable car.


  1. T Mel

    More valuable as a clone but would cost more to get it there too. BTW; it’s a 71 not a 70.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      It is indeed a ’71, typo on my part! Thanks, I’ve corrected it.

  2. jw454

    This one is just rough enough that if all the planets lined up just right, I would continue the cloning process. I’m not sure about how to handle the A/C though. I may be wrong but, I don’t think there were Hemi Cudas with factory A/C. Maybe a Chrysler Guru could tell us.

    • Superdessucke

      There weren’t.

  3. Superdessucke

    17k? My mind is blown and laying in pieces all over the room.

  4. Billy

    These used to be throw away cars. I recall seeing so many in the junk yards looking far better then this one back in the 80s. Ahh, if I could just perfect that time machine! (of course, then I would spec one out from the factory brand new. Of course, then there would be problems too, like the need for leaded gas, but, we could work around that. Tell ya what I would get too. Base interior, sport hood, white interior, blue paint, and a 318 with a four speed. Maybe the AM/FM, some air. Some Magnum 500s. How would you guys order yours?)

    • Troy S

      Black interior and a 340 Magnum, everything else sounds good you described.

      • Billy

        340 is a great engine, esp a 1971, but requires high test leaded gas (at least without a tear down and some new components). A 318 could be had from the factory, at least in California, with a small 4 barrel and dual exhausts. That might be a nice compromise. Even with a stock 2 barrel, think of what a nice cruiser that would be brand spanking new. A stock 318 was good for 22 or 23 MPG, not sure about a 340 in that regard. Been think about my fantasy sit down with a dealer and the order sheet back in 1971 via my time machine. Might add dual exhausts, some chrome wheel trim, big sway bars, power windows. I would miss radial tires, available in 1971? I think Michelins were, but on Dodges from the factory? I guess one could bring it back to 2017 and put on new tires Think about taking a trip today across country in such a car…a brand new car. Think of the admiring looks and thumbs up from people, think of the smile on your face. I was in high school when these were new, so ordering a new one was a fantasy then too, but how wonderful to dream in my old age!

  5. craig m bryda

    4 speed triple black HEMI convertible

    • Billy

      That would be pretty profitable as a resale today, the ultimate flipper (a man with a time machine!) Of course, the boys who buy these to put in a climate controlled collection to show off, would laugh at the Chrysler quality control on a brand new 1971. I recall the orange peel and paint over spray as a no charge factory extra. The spit and polish “over” restored cars of today are not representative of a new factory car of the day. It would be fun to take a new car to Peeble Beach and watch the know it all judges tear it apart! All the time you alone know the truth (Mr time traveler) with a smug little smile on your face!

    • TCOPPS Anonymous Member

      I do know where one is…unfortunately it’s not a HEMI, but a 1 of 66 i will share that much.

  6. John D.

    I don’t think 4 speeds were available with the 318.

    • Billy

      Four speed available with ANY V8, but for some reason, not the 198 or 225 sixes. I think a 4 speed 225 slant six would be pretty gosh darn nice too, but with a 318, even better with little lost to reliability or mileage.

  7. Karguy James

    Cool Car. The repro shaker hood stuff is worth an easy grand alone.

  8. Tyler

    Hemi clones have been overdone to the point of nausea. A few more, & there won’t be any slant six or 318 cars left, & that’s how most were built. While the exterior cloning treatment breaks up the lines, & makes the car look muscular, I’d leave the drivetrain alone, get the AC going, & drive it while repairing the minor issues that come with age.

    If I wanted stunning & eye popping, the only possible thing I can imagine changing the engine too would be a 340-6 pack. The hemi was huge & filled up the engine bay, but that triple 2 barrel set up is pure eye candy, not to mention also a stormer. But I’d leave the automatic & cruise it.

  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    My first car was a ’73 Barracuda, back in ’78. Even then, it was rusting out.
    318 with the auto on the column.

    This seems overpriced, but that undercarriage looks really good. I would keep it as what it was and sell off all of the Hemi BS.

  10. Brian Curreen

    Car like that done straight in my country would go for 60k or 40k USD

  11. Puddintang

    I would make it orginal.Forget the Hemi clone, tribute, replica stuff. Too many of them. Would make the seats black with covers. 318 good enough.

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