Pickled 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda!

If the Hemi Challenger from earlier got you excited, but was just a tad too expensive or was the wrong body style for your taste, this 1970 Plymouth Barracuda might be more to your liking! It’s still a Hemi equipped Mopar in survivor condition, just in the Cuda version. This one might actually have a more interesting story though and it’s already street ready. The story the seller gives is that the original owner purchased it after returning home from Vietnam. He supposedly drove it for a few years, but got married and started a family. Since it wasn’t much of a family car, he decided to pickle the car, so he grabbed a rag and covered every inch of his Mopar in motor oil. It seems to have done a good job at keeping the rust away! The seller was eventually able to get the original owner to sell the car and it’s been in their possession ever since. Time has come for it to go to a new home though, so you can find this Hemi Cuda here on eBay in Louisville, Kentucky with a current bid of $119k.

The story sounds pretty incredible but I don’t doubt it one bit. The paint isn’t perfect, but it looks like you would expect paint to look after being parked for 30 years with motor oil on it. It would be nice to know what the current owner did with it after purchasing it. Clearly, they cleaned the oil off, but there’s no word on whether they attempted to buff and polish it or if it’s otherwise in as found condition. With a good detailing, you might be able to give the paint some of its original sheen back, but leaving it as is might be the best option.

Here’s the glorious 426 Hemi! It looks fairly clean under the hood, but it’s hard to see much of the engine with the shaker hood scoop installed. The seller replaced all the consumables, the master cylinder, and the exhaust system, but they kept all the original parts for anyone that wants to return it back to factory original. Given that it’s now a driver, I would put the original parts in storage and just drive it as is!

The interior looks original and is showing its age, well at least the little bit of it we get to see. The driver’s seat has some split seams and wear to the bolsters, which is surprising if it really only has 10k miles on it. Then again, it is a 48 year-old Mopar that was parked in a barn for 30 years. It would be nice to get a complete view of the interior, but at least this seller provided quite a few photos of their Hemi Mopar.

There are even a few photos of the car with its original owner! The seller has lots of documentation that goes with the car, so you may even be able to contact the original owner. This is the kind of survivor I dream of finding one day. It’s a desirable model that was lovingly cared for by its original owner and it needed minimal work to make a nice driver, what more can you ask for?


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  1. Joe D.

    It’s always nice to have a good story. I’m having a hard time buying it if that’s the original owner in the car in the bottom picture. Looks like a late 90’s Dodge pick up in the background. If the car was covered in oil and barn stored for 30 years, and purchased by the current seller, how did a late 90’s pick up show up with the original owner? Not saying the car isn’t cool… Just not believing the tall tale.

    • Joe Cat

      Joe, I think the photo is of the original owner and taken of him recently with his pickup in the background. The guy was 21 when he purchased it and is now close to 60.

      • Steven Dacke

        I went to public school, but if the guy was 21 in 1970, he would be closer to 70 y.o. this year…

      • Joe Cat

        Steven, yes, closer to 70. My mistake.

    • Drew V.

      The article states”There are even a few photos of the car with its original owner!” Doesn’t say it was when the original owner owned the car. Was probably a posterity pic of the car out of the barn with the original owner sitting behind the wheel…

      • Billy 007

        Somehow Nam and cars seems to warm even the coldest hearts of buyers. Story, might just be that, a story. The guys I knew who came home from there didn’t flock to buy muscle cars, they all just wanted quiet normal lives. My guess, this car was bought by a spoiled trust fund kid who got tired of it, or too many tickets to keep driving, though that doesn’t make buyers want to bid higher, just reminds them why we have such insane prices these days, and makes some people (like me) bitter.

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Hey Billy, I hear ya’. It’s no secret stories sell cars, like puppies and children today. While I have the utmost respect for ANY veteran, however, it’s a fact, many came back not hittin’ on all 8 cylinders, and I never heard of “oiling” a paint job. I could believe the story, many GI’s I knew coming back from service, had some cash, and no real lives, remember, they were just kids living at home, raised a lot of heck because they felt they earned it, and they did, and a muscle car ( or a Harley) was the perfect outlet.

    • Paul Grumsha

      1st of all it might be his neighbors house right?

  2. ccrvtt

    This is just such a special car. So special that there are two other E-bodies in the same garage. What’s the story there? Hard to know what to think of this whole situation.

    Need to know whether he’s a Cards fan or a Cats fan to judge his credibility…

    • Drew V.

      I see at least 3 other E-Bodies in the garage.The 71′ Challenger R/T, the 71′ Cuda and a yellow 70-71′ E-body sitting against the wall…

  3. Drew V.

    The first thing that jumped out to me from the pics was the aftermarket ballast resistor…

    • Nrg8

      If ya rolled in this vintage of a mopar, small or large. You knew to have at least one in your glove box.

      • Craig

        or two!

    • Billy 007

      Yes, I always kept a spare back in the day too.

  4. Beatnik Bedouin

    Now that’s some car!

  5. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Aren’t those Dodge dog dish caps on it….what the heck…..

    • MFerrell

      The old pics show rally wheels on it.

  6. ted

    Gotta love curbers.

    Pestered the sh&% out of the guy to sell the car to him, then boom! Up for sale.

    • Steve R

      They seller says he bought it around 2006, that’s 12 years. What do you think is the appropriate length for him to hold on to it before he decides to sell?

      Steve R

  7. Tyler

    Lots of bubbles under that vinyl top…

  8. JW

    The car I had always dreamed of owning and now with Mopar prices outrageous it’s a pipe dream.

  9. Jim

    Hemi ‘Cuda, how does it get any better than this. And I’m a Ford guy.

  10. John Newell

    I wonder if the oil penetrated the paint? Getting the paint off the car with the oil in said paint could make the underlying steel difficult to keep the new paint from making itself a vivid fisheye display.

    • Paul Grumsha

      Baking soda

  11. Canadian Mark S. Eh! Member

    Don’t need to dump oil all over it, you just need to keep it in dry storage. My resto project car has had bare metal exposed for over a year and Is still shiny. As for me I’d much rather have a tamer 318 model, Cheeper to buy, would handle better, Cheeper on gas, Cheeper to insure, and would be less likely to have taken a beating by some young punk. Just my opinion.

    • Canada 🇨🇦 boy

      eh that’s fer sure as going to Tim Hortons for pancakes and hockey afterward 👀
      To many hosers out their with mopars fer sure!

      Rather 318 than to be on hogey !

    • Steven Dacke

      I wonder why I never hear stories about someone getting their doors blown off by a 318 car..oh yea, now I remember. It wasn’t much more than a grocery getter. Great engine, but wasn’t designed for that. At least aspire for a 340…

      • Billy 007

        Do we own cars to act out like some kid or to drive? A 318 is a great cruiser, esp. on a sunny weekend afternoon in the fall color season on some nice back road. Did I have my time of street light antics, yes I did, but I grew up.

      • Radarone

        I had a 318 in my 68 Dodge Coronet 500 and I loved it, but it couldn’t spin the one tire that had traction unless it had just rained.

  12. classic Steel

    So did Dawn or Tide decrease this baby?

    I like it but at 116 it’s above my purchase power.

    I wonder how many more stories are available for the car?

    I was thinking like Ky boy parks HS car to marry and have kids but never sells car. Now kids need college and as a good parent is selling his golden goose to put kids through university of Kentucky. (Big fave of state)
    The left over will go as a down payment on new tractor and get new milk 🐄.😮🙄🤠👌

    • Billy 007

      If he was able to buy this new, and then married a few years later, his kids are well beyond college age. Something about that story just doesn’t add up. AND, that is not a high school car, unless you got a really rich Daddy without common sense, or maybe one who wants you permanently gone so he can spend “quality” time with the French maid, Mimi.

      • Johnny Joseph

        Hey Billy, Not all Nam vets came home and lived quiet lives! My brother, a pilot in Nam flying helo missions from 68-70, got home and promptly bought a 68 Vette convertible, 350/4 speed. When that didn’t give him enough kick, he traded it in on a 71 with a 454/4 speed. That did the trick as he smoked a Hemi Charger on the Interstate in Illinois. Granted, the Hemi was more than likely set up for short distance flights, but I guarantee the guy didn’t enjoy watching the taillights get further away. His best friend, also a Nam veteran, bought a 1970 Chevelle LS6, also a 4 speed. So take your “most stories are just stories” and open your eyes!

  13. Fast eddie

    Am I the only one that sees dog dishesin the first picture but Mopar rally wheels with the seller sitting in it??
    I call BS on the whole story so they can make it a good sales pitch!

  14. Fast eddie

    Also, if it was a special order car, the fender tag would have a code for a “sold” car so the line workers would know to double check the sales order. He “claims” the car was delivered on April fool’s day. BUT the fender tag shows a build date of 3/20 (March 20th, 1970). Doesn’t mean a completed date the Mopar lines were notoriously slow and this car was built at the hamtramck, MI.
    So as per the story, this car was started on a Friday 3/20/1970 and built and delivered in 7 business days!! Haha, Mopar did nothing that fast back then.
    All sounds like a 100 thousand dollar story!

  15. Jack M.

    What is the proper grade oil to put on your Hemi Cuda, 10w-30, 20w-50, straight 30, synthetic? So many questions!

  16. Rube Goldberg Member

    No, the Challenger story got me upset, this is a much better deal. Basically, the same car underneath, but again,( and again) I don’t buy the mileage. We’ve all seen 10K mile cars come through here, and this isn’t one. Cobbled wiring, worn paint on motor, and I’m sorry, I’ve never seen a 10K mile car with a torn seat. Tell tale wear. I think it was cared for, but no way 10K miles. Still, a much better presentation for half the price. Bet the Challenger seller feels stupid now.

  17. irocrobb

    I think the mileage is 110,000. I have owned a few Cudas and there is lots more wear on the bolster than 10,000 miles. The horizontal slats on the bottom cushion maybe from the cold and heat in storage but that bolster is wear from getting in and out. The material was tough back then

    • Billy 007

      110K on a Hemi? What you been smoking son?

    • Paul Grumsha

      Both hemi Mopars supposedly had low miles and both had seperated seams on the driver’s seat. Might I say that both seats were probably damaged from their sphincter puckering in and out everytime they stopped at a red light! lol

  18. Den

    Different photos with different wheels, too many things don’t add up, If I was paying this hefty amount of money, I think the true story should be available for the potential buyer.

  19. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I hope the original owner got at least enough cash out of the sale to move into a double wide.

  20. 86 Vette Convertible

    It’s a shame that cars like this have gotten to the point that only investors can buy them. Those that can fix and enjoy them are not longer able to do so.

    It deserves a chance to get back on the highway, which it likely will never do at that price.

  21. Tyler

    It’s not just the cost of the car, but also the lack of availability of essentials like such as high octane ethanol free gas & high zinc content oil.

    Then you also have the lost art of using a dwell meter, a timing light & a vacuum gauge to keeping them running. The mechanics who can work on these engines are a dying breed, which is why so many of them sit. The story of the Cobra & alloy long nose just auctioned off in South Carolina comes to mind, they stopped being driven because the owners mechanic passed away.

    Given another 20 years, & these will be like the pre war cars, value dwindling because of a lack of interest except for a few diehard souls. Or they will be sent to Tesla for conversions. And I’m not sure that would be bad thing.

    • Jim

      I think that’s a little wishful thinking there. The Hemi engine is not a difficult power plant to tune at all. They run just fine on premium pump gas and today’s oils are just fine if you conduct a little research and find quality.

      These cars don’t sit because a mechanic passes away, they sit because their owners get bored or life happens and they are not really daily drivers.

      The philosophy that these rare muscle cars will one day become obsolete or value less, is wishful thinking from the crowd that couldn’t see their value all along and are now pissed they missed the cues. You don’t have to look any further than rare cars of the past that continue to climb in value to absurd levels to understand this. But I guess it’s ok to dream that you’ll pick up that Hemi Cuda one day for that ’70’s price point, good luck with that.

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Good point, we all, over 50 , had our chance. Couldn’t give these cars away in the late ’70’s.

      • Tyler

        Well, you have your opinion, & I have mine. Neither may be totally right or wrong. Some special cars, like Shelby’s, COPO’s or hemi’s will hold value yes, & they will be tucked away in private collections, never driven & probably only rarely started, except maybe to drive off & onto a trailer. But the average Camaro or Challenger is going to end up forgotten about. Look at what had happened to tri-five Chevy’s & T Birds, the bottom is falling out.

        It’s not wishful thinking, it’s a sad fact. The majority of the current generation of high schooler or college kids don’t care about these cars, not do they want to learn how to work on one. The average body shop won’t paint one, they want to hang a fender & collect a check from the insurance company, not spend a year or more welding in floors, quarters, etc., & then doing an all over paint.

        As for me being pissy because I didn’t buy one back in the day, well, that’s simply not the case. I’m a product of the 60’s, so I’ve owned a couple dozen 1st gen Camaro’s including a 69 Z/28 & still have a 68 big block SS, along with Chevelles, Challengers, Mustangs, C10’s, etc. I’ve had more than my fair share & only regret a couple getting away.

    • Billy 007

      When the Boomers all end up in the ground or nursing homes, then this pricing madness will end. My son and I go to car shows, he is bored looking at this, means nothing to him. He wants Jap cars from the 90s, that my friends is the future of collecting, and I fear, also of “investing”. (That will spoil his hopes like many of ours have been, though, he is soon going to have a doctorate in Pharmaceutics, should make ample bucks, so, who knows. He might be one of the rich boys I rail about who ruins the bell curve of pricing for the rest of us)

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        That’s another good point, and these people know it, soon, may take another generation or so, but what goes around comes around, and nobody will want these, so their feeling is, cash in now.

      • Jim

        You’re wrong about your hypothesis and one only needs to look at cars of the past to understand that. Just because your kid likes jap cars doesn’t mean that other kids think like him. I know plenty of teenagers that dream about the car their father and grandfather had and/or dreamt about and the numbers multiply way beyond just one baby boomer when you use that calculus. Only time will tell but I think you are wrong and history has already proven it.

      • Billy 007

        Jim, really? I don’t lust after my Dads 34 Plymouth, not a bad car really, but lust to the point of a second mortgage?

  22. Mike

    That’s about a 2004 ram pickup in the background.

  23. Del

    Yup. Big deal. I have 3 Mopars running 318s in all.

    68 Satelite

    71 Demon

    99 Dakota factory ordered 318 4×4

    Last 318 ever built

    All three run hard and fast.

    Faster than most crap out there. So weep for me…..

  24. Sam

    First time I heard the NAM story in was a Vette that he picked up right before he got drafted and parked it in the garage. Well he never returned, and after his mom and dad passed, the family sold it, The second time I heard the story it was a Shelby Mustang, in storage for 30 years. The Third Time I Heard This Story It Was From The Guy Who Brought The Hemi Superbird. And I was in the middle of the Ocean in 1982. I all sounds like as we called in in the Navy……A SEA STORY

  25. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It’s at 175K now with 3 days left and reserve not met.

    Whenever I see a car like this on EBay and not at an auction where it deserves to be, I always figure that the car will not pass the scrutiny of people that can really afford to buy it.

    Also with this car, any serious buyer should demand to speak to this original owner and then have a nice long conversation. Chances are, if he can’t produce this person, or if the guy seems less than honest, it’s a fake story.

    • Jim

      Or maybe the owner just doesn’t want to pay the 8-10% premium and deal with all the fraudulent shenanigans that go on with big time auction houses. I’ve put a car through BJ and Mecum and both are run by con artists. Never again.

  26. Steve

    I saw this car in person twice this week. It’s currently in a Warehouse in Charleston South Carolina. Still in the same condition has not been touched.

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