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One Careful Owner: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe

This 1971 Barracuda Gran Coupe not only combines muscle with luxury, but it is a perfect demonstration of how great a classic can look after 48-years of fastidious care by one proud owner. This Plymouth is now ready to head off to its second home from its current location in Ventura, California. It is listed for sale here on eBay, and while bidding has now reached $28,000, the reserve hasn’t been met.

This Barracuda really is a car with the wow factor written all over it. The owner claims that the Gold Leaf Poly paint is original, and if this is the case, then it is remarkably well preserved. There is one very minor ding in the passenger side fender, but I agree with the assessment that this could probably be removed by one of those paintless dent removal companies. The owner provides a comprehensive catalog of photos of all aspects of the car, and it appears to be completely free of any rust issues. The Chestnut vinyl top also appears to be faultless, while the original Rally wheels look clean and free of any form of corrosion. The factory tinted glass all looks good, while the exterior trim and chrome are close to perfect.

Stepping inside the Plymouth is like stepping into a time machine, and a nicely equipped one at that. Both the front and rear seats wear clear plastic covers over their original upholstery, which looks like new. There really is not much to fault here, while the original owner certainly ticked a few boxes to make the car as luxurious as possible. As well as the original center console with “slap stik” selector, the Barracuda also features the roof “consolette” with the formed headliner. They also chose the pedal dress-up pack and air conditioning to provide some welcome relief on those warmer California days. There is nothing inside the vehicle that isn’t original, and everywhere you look you see nothing but immaculate presentation.

When I talk about ticking the right boxes on the options sheet, the original owner kept doing this under the hood. What he chose was the 290hp version of the 383ci V8. He also decided that a Heavy Duty Torqueflite transmission, power steering, and power brakes would be a good idea. The presentation under the hood is, once again, very impressive for a car of this age. This didn’t make it the absolute fastest car in the ’71 Barracuda range, but it was by no means shabby either. The owner says that the car had been sitting for a while, but after some careful checking and the replacement of the fuel tank, sending unit, and a rebuild of the original Carter carburetor, it now runs and drives as new.

Off in the distance, I am sure that I can here plenty of Mopar fans rubbing their hands together, and I really can’t blame them for that. If all of the claims made about the originality of the car can be verified, then it makes this a pretty special car. It is in extraordinary condition for its age, and it is fitted with some nice optional equipment. It is a car that any person would be proud to park in their driveway, and I can only hope that the next owner cherishes and respects this car as much as the current owner appears to have.


  1. Ben

    Not a big Mopar guy, but I love originality. The website looks like it does a pretty detailed and thorough job of presenting this car beautifully. I can’t wait for all you experts on here to write in about everything that’s not correct about it, or how the seller is falsifying records/claims, etc.

    Here’s an idea… how about enjoying it for what it is.

    Nicely done BF.

    Like 20
  2. Pookie Jamie

    Need to check with Galen Govier on this one. You wonder if something is too good to be true??? Nice find…. but needs to be certified by Galen….

    Like 4
    • hoghead426

      Why does it have to be certified? Why would you pay Govier to certify a car when there’s plenty of information on the interwebs to tell you what to look for.Only people who care about certification are people who are looking to invest,and people who are too lazy to do the homework on a particular car.My car hasn’t been original since 1975,and I couldn’t enjoy it anymore if it was a numbers matching original survivor.Real simple,look the car over,if you like it,buy it,and enjoy it.

      Like 27
    • stillrunners

      Galen has lost some of his reputation with the mopar folks awhile back…..and for the record I was meeting the guy almost every year back in the day.

      Like 1
      • triumph1954

        Stillrunners. What mopar folks was that? Never heard that one before. He knows his stuff. I have been living and breathing Mopars a long time.

        Like 0
  3. Boatman Member

    Wait no longer, Ben! No mention of the non-matching front fenders? Or the damaged front valance? I guess nothing is perfect.

    Like 4
    • hoghead426

      Ok,i’ll bite,how do you know it doesn’t have the original front fenders?

      Like 0
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Very good looking car with one possible exception. There’s one picture of the vinyl top by the windshield drivers side that looks like there might be rust under the vinyl top. Other than that one area, I was not able to find any that looked bad.

    Hope the new owner (assuming the reserve is met) enjoys it on the highway.

    Like 3
  5. Jay E.

    The paint on the different panels is all different colors? Perhaps it is just the lighting, but the doors look different than the fenders and the fenders look different than each other.

    Like 9
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      They do all look different-judging by the shadow the “photographer” is either a late sleeper or made the rank novice mistake of shooting at about noontime instead of mid morning or late afternoon. It’s hard for me to tell if it’s bad paint, bad parts or bad photography.
      Wouldn’t push it out of the driveway if someone gave it to me though!

      Like 3
  6. Tirefriar

    Besides one or more panels not wearing the original paint closer inspection of the dent, not a ding, on the left fender makes me doubt that it can be properly repaired by a paintless dent removal process. There’s a good amount of stretched metal as well as deformation across the body line. Couple that with a thicker gauge substrate of that time vs tin can thickness of the panels on today’s cars.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      If it could be easily repaired by a dentless technician, the dealership would have had it done. They aren’t stupid, they would have paid the couple of hundred dollars to have it done it they thought it would add value to the car.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Nice. Never really like MOPAR products but this one is super nice. I thought for sure that when I scrolled to the engine it would be a 318. Nice to see it’s a 383!

    Like 4
  8. Del

    I agree with Jay patch work repaints ?

    Why pay Galen ?

    Its what it is not an especially rare car

    Like 6
  9. tom

    The Gran ole days of Mopar…

    Like 0

    Where are the front fender louvers that were on the 71 model year?

    Like 0
    • Terry Bowman

      Gregory, there is a Barracuda( which consist of the basic to the luxury) and there is a cuda(which is the Hi-Po version). I just think it is odd that the wiper set up is the basic and not the multi version, for being a Grand Coupe. Just “MY” two cents, I would rather have the 318 over the 383, not being a muscle car, for the handling would be much better. With the crack dash, valance damage and other fixes, I think the bid is already there. Nice car.

      Like 1
  11. DRV

    An adult Barracuda!
    A neighbor friend gave me a ride to high School often. His dad had a Plymouth dealership. The friend had a new car every year and the Gran Coupe in orange with a white top and white and black interior was one of them.
    The 383 was more than enough to burn up tires.
    One peculiar item was the brass plate on the dash inscribed with a statement of a special blueprinted 383 and every dealer got one he said.

    Like 2
  12. Jay

    The old NADA books stated Add for 2 tone paint maybe that is why the reserve is not met?

    Like 0
  13. TimM

    In my opinion the best looking grill ever!! With that being said it’s a nice car with a 383 and an automatic!! It will be interesting to see what it brings!!!

    Like 2
  14. Raymond Hurst Member

    I’m a Bow Tie guy, but I don’t know why it shouldn’t bring 40 to 45. If I were a Mopar guy, I would give that in a ”heartbeat”. Buy and build yourself one for that price.

    Like 2
  15. PRA4SNW

    Reserve not met at $40,200. It would have been interesting to know the Reserve. I think that $45K would be the limit.

    Like 0
  16. r s

    I wonder what my brother’s old Challenger SE would sell for today…
    White body, white vinyl roof, tinted glass, formal roof with smaller rear window,
    White bucket / console interior with black carpets / dash, AM FM Stereo tape, power windows, power drivers seat, cruise, tilt, road wheels
    It was a 1972, only a 318 but such a fine Challenger and very pretty.

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW

      Sounds like a very nice car. Those options were scarce, for sure.

      Like 0
  17. PRA4SNW

    Made it only up to $31,100 this time. Reserve not met.

    Like 0
  18. Joe Machado

    If you live near Destin, Florida, we will be in a Cars n Coffee car show at a Target store parking lot there this Saturday, the 3rd of August. 10 am till noon ish. Come and visit. We will have 2, 1970 Barracudas there. One is a Factory Pink convertible, 4-speed. The other factory Limelite and white two tone. Cant miss them. Hope to see some of you Barn Finders readers, writers there. Dont be shy. Come to us and ask, Barn Finders?

    Like 2

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