Plum Crazy 1970 Plymouth Barracuda

The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda was an all-new car, shedding its association with the economy Valiant. The car would share its E-body with the upstart over at Dodge, the Challenger. The most common way to get a basic Barracuda 2-door coupe in 1970 was to buy it with a 318 V-8 and an automatic transmission. Less common was the same engine but using a 3-speed manual, like the seller’s car, which would have been one of just 1,600 Plymouth pony cars built that way. And given that this car was first sold painted “In Violet” (at Dodge, it was called Plum Crazy, which just sounds cooler), that number heads further south. This Plymouth is in Fairmont, West Virginia and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $12,200 with no reserve.

Finding the original build sheet is often hit-or-miss on a 50-year-old car, but this car has one. It supports that this 1970 Barracuda left the factory with a numbers-matching 318, 3-speed manual and the purple paint. The tranny was replaced in 1973 with one with a blank factory VIN plate. It sports a set of Magnum 500 wheels. The odometer reads 64,000 which could very well be accurate as we get the impression this car has been off the road for several years. It does not run, although the seller says he poured some Marvel Mystery Oil down the cylinders to help free things up, but that’s as far as he went.

The paint is pretty well-faded but has enough rust in places to justify a restoration rather than leaving the patina alone. There is some rust around the top of the windshield, the lower quarters are going to need some attention, and there is an older repair on one fender. The front floorboard on the driver’s side and the trunk floor have also been bitten by the rust bug, along with the front frame rails. The bumpers seem to be in plausible shape. Inside the passenger compartment, the dash and floors are going to need some help as likely the front buckets, too, as they have some awful fuzzy covers hiding who knows what.

Considering that at least one photo shows the car on a trailer, we guess the seller bought it to restore and life got in the way, so it needs to move on to someone else with the space, time and money to do a complete restoration. If you were to return the car to like new condition, you might have a $35,000 car. At the current bid, that would leave $20,000 or so to get the work done. Can this be accomplished without getting upside down on your investment?


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  1. ACB

    Dodge’s Sublime, Go Mango, Panther Pink, Plum Crazy & Hemi Orange and Plymouth’s Limelight, Sassy Grass Green, Vitamin “C”, Lemon Twist, Moulin Rouge, In Violet & Tor Red were names which suited the times.

    Even before the web, I’d read both that Chrysler intended originally to call one of the purples “Statutory Grape” but were prevailed upon by the authorities to change and that “Statutory Grape” was a nickname invented by a journalist impressed by Charlie Glotzbach’s NASCAR Plymouth Superbird. I’ve never known which story is true.

    Like 3
  2. Moparman Member

    I could be mistaken, but I don’t see this as a “35K” restored car, 318 & 3 spd wouldn’t be that great (IMO). The metal restoration and paint costs are going to be significant. The engine status is also questionable. I like this car, and I personally feel that if one buys a car concerned with resale value only, it’s easy to assign some potential dollar value. “Rarity does not equal value”. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 4
  3. irocrobb

    I had a 1972 Barracuda in the late 1970s. It was a 318 with a 3 speed manual.Mine did not have a middle console though. I think one would pour more money in this cat than you could sell it for. If your plans were to keep it forever and not profit from it,maybe

    Like 1
  4. Steve R

    This looks reasonable compared to most of the other rusty project quality Mopars from this era that are featured in this site. I wouldn’t expect this car to stay stock for long.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  5. George Louis

    To Steve R: this is no cat this is a FISH! I think a 318 Automatic would be a better ride. Just think, for $12,200.00 you could have purchased 3 of these new back in 1970.

    Like 2
  6. doug adams

    drag car!!!!

    Like 1
  7. Taco

    You are right Doug.
    Put it on a trailer & drag it around! Ive got a “Drag” boat & a “Drag” bike too!

    Like 4
  8. Rich

    Thanks MOPAR man.
    One of the good things resulting from life experience it we can learn stuff, if we are willing to see, and keep our minds open. I have worked for more than a handful of OEMs the last 45 years. As such it has afforded me the chance to see how the OEMs designed and built their products. A MOPAR unibody is great until the tin worm comes calling, and it will. Most of these have more cancer and holes than a block of Swiss cheese. I love them all. Part of retaining one’s sanity is to choose our projects and efforts well. This is not a good choice. Rust never sleeps, hell it don’t even take a nap. (thanks Neil!)

    Like 2
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,700.

    Like 2
    • Rich

      A fair selling price, to the right guy. But still gonna have close to 30K in it before it’s really nice. And it will still be just a lower level B’cuda. Forever. Maybe I should keep looking for that old 6 cyl. 4 door Impala! Best to the new owner though.

      Like 2
  10. Motorhead

    No profit in this car as a resto. Candidate for R/T clone, driver, with a modern 6.4 or 6.2 Hellcat motor & 8 speed , 4 wheel disc brakes and AC etc . You’d tie up 35k but it could then be flipped for a profit.

    Like 2

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