Real Deal AAR! 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

Calling this find a big project would be an understatement, but it’s a special find that absolutely deserves to be finished! For a very small period of time, Plymouth offered a version of the ‘Cuda that was essentially a race car for the street. The AAR ‘Cuda didn’t feature a heavy big block engine but was instead packing a tuned up 340 V8. Just 2,724 of these special cars were built and this stripped-down shell is one of them. Someone already started restoring it, if you think you are the one to finish it, you can find it here on eBay in Monterey, California with a current bid of $23k.

A car this special requires a serious level of attention to detail, both to verify that it is what the seller states and to make it right if it is. So, let’s take a look at this car’s numbers. Right off the bat, the seller admits that the engine isn’t the original 340, but a replacement block. They also admit that the Trans Am fender tag is missing, but that the trim tag is present and does have the correct codes for an AAR ‘Cuda. The tag and VIN plate were apparently removed from the fender during restoration, but the seller-provided photos of the cowl and radiator support which both have the car’s VIN stamped on them, and they both line up with the trim tag. Unless the numbers were pulled from another car, this one looks to be a legitimate AAR.

Someone already has done a fair amount of work restoring the body, including replacing the rusty floors, frame rails, and other structural components. You’ll want to make sure all of this work was done correctly and that the body is straight. There’s nothing worse than investing a huge amount of money into a project, only to discover it doesn’t go down the road straight because of poorly done metal repair. And believe me, you’re going to have a lot into finishing this car. Not only are you going to have to finish the work that was started, but you’re going to have to source lots of parts.

It definitely won’t be a cheap or simple project, but the finished product will be worth the work! It might not be a Hemi car and it won’t ever fetch Hemi money but these are valuable cars when in top condition. The biggest issue I see is the lack of the original numbers matching engine. At least a block and heads are included though. So, would you take this ‘Cuda on or are there just too many questions to make it worth the risk?

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Comments

  1. Steve Clinton

    $23,000.00 with 4 days remaining. It’s nice to see so many people with so much disposable income. My only question is…why them and not me? LOL

    Like 16
    • William

      Agreed, too bad that money isn’t spent with more compassion. With that said, too bad it has become an investment for the ultra well too do. If I were to hit the Powerball tonight, I would not buy something like this out of principle. Spending like this has ruined the hobby. Besides, if you really like the body style, but want to drive, why not have something you can drive? Companies make brand new unibodies for Challengers (these too?) Get a brand new one and set it up the way you want, and then drive, drive, drive!

      Like 2
      • Majik Majik

        Agreed. Barrett Jackson, Mecum & the rest have priced me out of a hobby I was passionate about. When rusted out crap is going for tens of thousands of dollars, then handed over to a high end shop for a rebuild costing three times more than you could sell the finished car for, then never driven (some never even get started), the elite have stuck it to me again. – Keep on Keepin’ on. ~S

        Like 4
  2. Too Late

    Steve Clinton , WE or US is a plural statement. Im too poor to buy this project either. LOL. And I would ride my Schwinn StingRay through the dealer parking lots back in 1970. $3500 and change depending on options would get you a ‘Cuda’ new.

    Like 3
  3. Phil D

    Were I considering this car, I’d have questions about that “replacement block”, that’s offered with this car. The 340 Six Barrel engines were not built on the base 340 block. As with the Chevy and their 302 DZ blocks for the Z28s of the Trans Am era, Chrysler’s Trans Am engine blocks were also a special casting, and are scarce these days.

    Like 6
    • smokeymotors

      YES different block for TA’S & AAR’S

      Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      The seller does mention this in the ad:
      “NOS Mopar 340 T/A restoration block”

      Like 1
  4. Rex Kahrs Member

    23K today will get you a damn nice classic car that you can cruise in immediately, and nobody gives a $hit if it’s numbers matching.

    Like 16
    • JoeNYWF64

      Not a pony car, tho.

    • stu

      I don’t know why so many people are after a car with numbers matching! I never stop someone driving a muscle car and ask….are the numbers matching?….Give me a break, enjoy the car and have fun….life is too short and besides we are going to leave it behind one day…..

  5. PaulG

    I’ve mentioned this before, but worth repeating.
    Purchased a “70 Duster 340 project car from an estate and it came with a huge amount of additional parts and pieces. Got everything home and found I was the new owner of a nearly complete (no carbs) AAR 340 engine that was never rebuilt, but apart. Sent the partial VIN on the block to Barry Washington with the Hamtramck registry and in 2 days he matched it up with a fully restored B5 Blue AAR in Northern CA.
    There was little negotiation since the offer was generous, and now it resides where it started out…

    Like 22
    • Steve

      Well done!

      Like 5
  6. Keith

    How would you even go about checking to see if everything was done right. Would have to send it to Graveyard cars Mark Wormen.

    Like 3
    • Steve

      …along with $150k!

  7. Doc Member

    Save yourself the headaches buy one u can drive. You will have to spend more to restore this one than you would have to spend to buy one

    Like 4
  8. CCFisher

    Was this made by Chrysler or AMT? It’s going to take one big tube of model glue to put this one together. Don’t sniff it.

    Like 1
  9. vintagehotrods

    It doesn’t bother me that someone spends way too much on a project like this and then spends a lot more to have it professionally restored. I’m glad they are employing craftsmen and supporting the old car hobby. Sure, we would all like to have money to burn on stuff like this, but I’m glad that someone cares enough to save a car like this. I sure wouldn’t want to take on a big project like this, it would take a ton of money that would be be better spent elsewhere. My take is that Barrett-Jackson is really just something for entertainment, not necessarily reality, because there is a thriving interest in the old car hobby in spite of them. One of the things about Barrett-Jackson that really makes me chuckle is when I see one these cars sell for far less than what was spent to restore it or what they paid for it at a previous Barrett-Jackson auction. You’re getting to watch someone’s money vaporize live on TV! You can have a lot of fun with almost any old car, it doesn’t have to be the rarest or most expensive. To me, they are time machines that can take you to different time and a different place, making new friends along the way. Sure, someone will always have more money than me, or a bigger collection of cars and I am fortunate to have more than I ever dreamed I would when I got started in this hobby. But for me, its never been about how many I have or what they are worth, just my love for my old cars.

    Like 2

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