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Parked in 1982: 1972 Plymouth ‘Cuda

For the owner of this 1972 Plymouth ‘Cuda, it really was a pretty nice barn find when they stumbled across this car. The ‘Cuda was last registered in 1982, and it appears that it was then placed in the barn to undergo restoration. The project stalled, and the ‘Cuda sat there completely unloved until the current owner purchased it. He is unable to finish the restoration, so has decided to sell it to someone who can do the car justice. The ‘Cuda is located in San Antonio, Texas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding having reached $13,600, and with the reserve having been met, it appears that the owner is about to get his wish.

The ‘Cuda appears to be a fairly honest and original car. The body is quite straight, but the original Sherwood Green Poly paint is certainly pretty tired now. There are rust issues with the car, but they aren’t something that is likely to break the bank. Nor are they the sorts of issues that will necessitate the replacement of a lot of metal. The worst of it is in the front driver’s floor, and this will require replacement. The rest of the rust is in the lower extremities of the body, and all appear as though they could be addressed with patches, rather than entire panels. We’re talking about areas such as the lower corners of the doors, and the lower quarter panels, especially in front of both rear wheels. The Rallye hood is said to be original, and the owner does have the original Broadcast Sheet to help verify the authenticity of the vehicle. There are a few minor parts missing off the car, such as the driver’s door mirror, but overall, it is a car that appears to be packed full of promise.

Under the hood is an area which makes for great news for the next owner. As I understand it from the listing, the 340ci engine that you see sitting here had been meticulously rebuilt to its original specs before the original restoration project stalled. This is an original, numbers-matching car, with its original engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and 8¾” Sure Grip rear end. Judging by the list of work that was performed during the rebuild, that 340 should be as good as the day that it was born, and nothing has been left to chance when it comes to making sure that the rotating bits are at their best. It features new pistons, reconditioned rods, rebuilt original cylinder heads, a fresh, standard-grind camshaft, and everything else on the engine is either original or is date-coded correctly. A new fuel tank has been fitted, and this baby now runs smoothly. The transmission also shifts cleanly, and the brakes work okay as well. It sounds like it won’t take much to return this classic to active duty.

The interior doesn’t look like it is going to require huge amounts of time or money to whip into shape, because it already looks to be pretty nice. It’s a bit hard to tell because of the way that the photos bleach out, but I think that there might be some cracks in the dash pad. The original factory radio is missing, the upholstery on the bucket seats isn’t original, and the boot around the bottom of that awesome “pistol grip” shifter will need to be replaced. Otherwise, everything looks really good, and the rally pack gauges, complete with factory tach, all appear to be in great condition.

If I’d walked into a barn and found this particular ‘Cuda, not only would I have thought that all my Christmases had come at once, but I think that I would’ve thrown in a few birthdays as well. With its numbers-matching status, its relatively solid physical condition, and a freshly rebuilt engine, that has to make it a great find. That the current owner hasn’t had the opportunity to complete the car is a shame, because it doesn’t appear as though it is going to take a lot to get it right. Still, his loss will be the next owner’s gain, and I would love to get a look at this ‘Cuda once the restoration is complete.


  1. poseur Member

    Great color combination & powertrain selection. Wonder if this was ordered or lot bought? Just the way I would have spec’d one regardless.
    We see a lot of (near) basket case cars here due to ravages ot time & neglect….refreshing to see a car of this vintage & performance still in serviceable shape.

    Like 10
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I’m sure someone will snag this in short order, assuming the reserve is reasonable. Hopefully it will be back on the road soon where it belongs.
    I do like the Gulf sign on the garage too, fitting IMO.

    Like 3
    • 36Packard

      Great car, and I dig the Gulf sign too. I remember when old signs like that were thrown away, or could be gotten for 10 bucks if you asked nicely when they were being replaced with newer stuff. When this stuff was cheap I either had no place to store it or I was a young father without the time to gather it up, much less spend time admiring it. Now I am an old codger with a place to keep it and even a little spare change but, this stuff is so crazy expensive. If we only knew then what we know now, huh?

      Like 3
  3. JoeNYWF64

    Was cold air induction discontinued in ’72-4 for cuda & chally?
    Did they also offer the Tuff steering wheel?
    The larger sporty 1 above would be good i guess if the car had no power steering.

    Like 0
    • 82ndVet

      No cold air induction offered.
      That’s a factory correct steering wheel.

      Like 0
  4. Keith

    Ah yes, another coveted old Mopar. Strip off the paint and see what surprises await you!…….MORE RUST!…….LOL!

    Like 4
    • 36Packard

      Man Keith, that must have been some hot girl you lost to the Mopar man.

      Like 27
      • PRA4SNW

        Best comment ever!!!!!

        Like 9
      • Sandy Claws

        Yeah Packy, you sure called that one right. Keith seems to be fixated on Mopars, but not in a good way. Get help Keith, before its too late! BTW, your welcome for the Mirada link, I really like it too. Never see those up for sale, and when ya do, junk. That one looks perfect, so must have started out pretty good already, because it is not like they are making new parts for them anytime soon! That link is just a fan site, that lucky man I bet has no intention of ever selling that beauty! But, getting back to THIS car, I like it so much more then the Charger above where you thanked me again for the link. This seems like a much better car all around, don’t you agree?

        Like 2
      • 36Packard

        Sandy, I will thank you for a third time for that link. I really think that is the car I have searched for many months. Mr Mirada owner, if you are reading this, would you consider selling? Gee, not coming off too eager am I? There are a few Miradas for sale and either they are rusted out hulks, or someone has hot rodded them with after market hood scoops and such. I love the stock look of this one. Are those stock wheels on it? I don’t think so, but I do recall seeing some new Shelby Chargers at a dealer with something similar, so who knows, maybe ordered from Mopar.

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW

        Miradas are out there. Here is a search engine that searches Craigslist, EBay, Car.com, etc. You set the criteria and off it goes. https://www.searchtempest.com/

        I put in Dodge Mirada within 2000 miles of me and here is what comes up for halfway decent ones:

        So, yeah, not a lot out there.

        Like 1
      • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

        PRA4SNW, I use that website searchtempest ALL the time. Highly recommended.

        Like 0
      • PRA4SNW

        TCOPPS, definitely a good one for searching for cool cars.

        Like 0
    • the one

      ‘Tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

      Like 7
  5. PRA4SNW

    This reminds me so much of my first car, a ’73 Barracuda that I bought in ’78. It had already been repainted to a dark green like this one and when I gave it to my brother in ’81, it looked as rusty as this. It looks more like a Northeast car, not one from Texas.

    Mine was a 318 auto shift on the column, but still fun for a first car. Dad would not let me get the ’70 4 speed 340 that I really wanted. Probably a good idea.

    Like 2
  6. Gland

    How much was this worth when it was parked?

    Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      Put it this way, I gave my brother my ’73 that was in slightly less-rusty condition when I got my new Camaro in ’81. If I sold it, I would have gotten no more than $1000 for my 318 auto. This being a ‘Cuda with 340 4 speed, maybe $1500.

      Like 2
  7. Brian Scott

    Could this vehicle have lived in San Antonio for much of its driveable life? I doubt it, seeing as SA’s an arid climate. I wonder why the floor could be rusted otherwise (kiddie pool, stored in a fish tank?). Makes me wonder what else is hiding in there?

    Like 0
  8. John

    But when everything is fixed and perfect you’ll love it. The 340 version of this car was the best driving of any of the Chryslers. It won’t out drag a Hemi or a 440, but going up the canyons, those cars will only be able to watch it pull away. This could be a nice find for somebody who wants to drive the car rather than look at it.

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW

      I agree. And I know that most will disagree, but the ’72 – ’74 look is my favorite, since I owned one.

      Like 2
  9. 36Packard

    I think the 71s are the best, like the grill a lot but esp the rear tail lights… Thanks for the Mirada links. I like the cheaper white one, but don’t care for the vinyl. Guess my dream blue car is kind of rare without the fake convert top or the opera window look. That car must be freshly painted, really shines, and the color is what I would have ordered. Oh well, can only dream. I will keep looking as I doubt MR Blue Mirada is ever going to sell, and if he did, it would be in the crazy five figures that is not something I can do right now in my life.

    Like 2
  10. Mountainwoodie

    I’d like some rye with my swiss cheese……….but the pistol grip and standard tranny…..a 17 year olds’ wet dream!

    Too bad ….but someone doesnt care….up to 15 K! Yikes!

    Thats some expensive cheese!

    Like 0
  11. Ward William

    Patch it ?? NO NO and more NO. This is an original numbers matching car in a gorgeous color. Patching it would lower it’s value. Replacement factory approved panels are easily available. Doesn’t anybody watch Graveyard carz ?

    Like 0
  12. Del

    Nice example.

    But rust work and painting going to be big bucks.

    Like 0
  13. PRA4SNW

    Sold for $18,100.

    Like 0
  14. Roy

    I bought this car and love it. I had the help of a life long friend who knows Mopars and with his help we sorted out the timing and fixed and tuned the thermoquad. I have done minor thongs like fixed the ebrake and installed a return fuel line and fixed some leaks but for the most part i just drive it hard on back country two lane blacktop when the weather is right for healthy rip. I have not fixed the rust or the paint but she os still a beauty to me. The 340 has a cam spec unique to the 1968 one year only 340 cam for 4 speeds and the compression ratio is 9:1 vs 8.5 to one and the car runs strong for what it is. The math given horsepower, tire size and gear suggests top speed is 141.

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW

      Congrats, Roy. And you can be happy that you’ve made more than your money back already, plus you get to enjoy a Cuda 340!

      Like 0

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