Rusty Muscle: 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

As a lover of all things MoPar, I have grown to expect rust on anything Chrysler and exactly where to expect it. This factory 440-equipped 1970 ‘Cuda is a cool car, but unfortunately it has rust absolutely everywhere you would expect to find it, and this your everyday rust either. This is…advanced rust. I’m not saying this car can’t be saved, because a skilled metalsmith could bring this car back to life. However, for the seller’s $20,000 asking price, I think it is very unlikely anyone will. The seller makes some valid points about this car’s value, however I’m still not convinced. Find it here on Craigslist in Texas and see for yourself! Thanks to Collin M. for sending this in.

Though very rusty, this is a complete-ish car. According to the seller, it has the original numbers matching engine and transmission, and is one of 600 factory 440 4-barrel ‘Cudas produced in 1970. You’ll notice this isn’t a Six Pack 440, and in the next photo you’ll notice it is an automatic. While the 440 4-barrel option is very cool, it doesn’t bring the money Six Pack or 4-speed equipped ‘Cudas do. After noting the 440 4-barrel, the seller states “one of 16 green – black column shift cars.” While that may be true, unfortunately I’m not sure that it increases the value of this particular vehicle. Because there were so many different options and color combinations available across all Chrysler brands during this time period, the majority of cars produced varied in some way or another and subsequently the majority of 1970s Chrysler products are going to be one of some smaller number of cars produced in that exact color/option combination.

If you weren’t already scared of this car, now you might be. It took me a little bit to figure out what I was looking at here, and this is what it is: the ground. Almost the entire floorpan, front and rear, is rusted out. The rear window is missing from this car, and that has certainly not helped the “progressive weight reduction” issue we see happening here. At first, I was curious as to why the seats weren’t in the car, and now I know. Fortunately, almost all of the sheet metal needed to repair this ‘Cuda is readily available. This could be a great car, but the longer you look at it the more expensive it gets!

This is how you know it is bad. The muffler is rotted out, the subframe is shot, and generally speaking everything is bad. Amazingly, it seems to have a trunk floor but I’m not sure I would trust the strength of it. With other collectable ‘Cudas selling for $75,000 and up, the price on this car would have to come down significantly to make it a worthwhile endeavor. If purchased for $20,000, this car would easily need $60,000 of work if being done by a shop. That makes this an $80,000 car restored, and thats in the neighborhood of everything this car is worth. Hopefully, someone is able to get this ‘Cuda for a reasonable price and restore it to its former glory!

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Comments

  1. Mountainwoodie

    To quote a well known autophile…”crack pipe pricing”

    Like 1
    • Edward Clark

      Yes. Like having a girlfriend with a crack problem. You have to let them go. This is too far gone l think. If the VIN# is readable, ????

      Like 1
    • Clint

      A 440 4 barrel non shaker car and non desirable dark green…restored at most probably get 50k. Plus it has column shift automatic which devalues the car as well. Cost to restore is correctly noted at around 40-60k to do correctly.

  2. Fred W.

    Swiss cheese. Can’t believe how some people stick a car in a field for 20 years, and then get dollar signs in their eyes and wonder why they can’t get top dollar.

    • Chris

      Fred your correct. The rust on this car is not a Mopar problem but a owner problem from leaving it sitting outside on dirt or grass it was loaded with moisture and as the temperature changes moisture would eventually move upward into the bottom of the vehicle rotting everything out. I know of a case of a Trans Am which has a low ride height parked outside for four years and the entire car was rotted out. This has nothing to do with Mopar as the writer of the article suggests it was an owner problem and the car was improperly stored.

  3. XMA0891

    Suddenly this car makes the ‘bird on blocks featured a month or so ago seem like the better deal. Hats off to the owner for asking (IMO) ten times what this car is worth – And on a good day at that. Brassy!

  4. Tom Member

    Yeah……um……..no.

    As Fred W said. Just terrible. This car is not even a good parts car. I am sure it can be restored but I will bet beyond $80K and I hate to say it but not worth my time.

  5. RoKo

    Complete-ish is not a thing. Just like saying ‘in mint condition except for the broken/missing….’.

  6. erikj

    I would love to save any cuda-but this one looks like it was left for dead to long. Any thing is saveable,at least it is rare with the colum shift

  7. Alfie

    This sucker is trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. These cars are coming down and it can only go even further down.

  8. Carl

    Maybe he accidently hit a extra 0?

    • Dave

      …or four…

  9. erikj

    I wanted to add that-thru the years I have been lucky to have a few memories of a few cudas I have had. One was a 70 440/auto fc7 in violet,15″ rallys,console shift,and even had a rim blow wheel. It only had 57k on the clock and I got it from the original owner. it was repainted silver and had been parked in there garage for 3 years, it was not good on gas so they bought a amc PACER and parked the cuda. They where going to give it someone that wanted to pull the motor to put in a truck and scrap the rest of the car. I bought it for $1000,repainted it back to fc7 and not much more and drove it for a good year or so.That was all in 1990, and a car collector offered me $8000 and the money won me over. Its in a collection in California to this day. I will see it soon I hope. I saved that from a certain death.
    That story said,i wish this cuda finds some one that has the love to save it, but it looks really rusty. Anything is saveable!!!

  10. Sam Sharp

    “Belloch would be proud.. trust me” — Indianna Jones

  11. Chevelle guy

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder .. . or is that beer holder ?

    • Chris

      What a Chevy comment. Ever seen rust on K5 Blazers and Suburbans of the 1970s and early 80s? Literally the doors and quarter panels would be flapping in the Wind.

  12. jw454

    Based on the asking price as is… what do you think they’d ask for it completely restored? WOW! That would be a big number.

  13. mike D

    the seller has a huge chip on his shoulder IMHO, this is way too far gone, he should pay someone to take it away! and, And Andrew, one of 16 IS a big deal with MOPAR products, but, not in this case! deep pockets lots of time, guessing this is a North east car that was ” transplanted” in TX ( when owner moved) Sad, must have been a beautiful car when new !

  14. Jeffro

    Is there anything that isn’t rusty on this car?

    • Chris

      This car has been sitting outside for YEARS !!!! You can’t expect it not to look like this regardless of the brand I’ve seen too many of them neglected like this and usually happens from somebody who is like a hoarder collector with Big Dreams and no money thinking they’re going to restore all these things and then it never happens. They need to be stored in a dry indoor environment.

  15. michael streuly

    Another over priced rust bucket. The seller needs to get a grip on reality. I bid nothing.

  16. cudaman

    This is what my ’70 looked like in the early ’70s…….

    • Chris

      Sweet car. Looks nice with magnum 500’s. What year was that taken?

      • cudaman

        Thanks Chris…….it was a couple years old when the orange car picture was taken. It was a few years ago when I bought it from the original owner. Check out the two pictures 40+ years apart with the owner standing next to his/my car.

    • Brian Crowe

      is that oriange? My favorite color for any performance car.

  17. cudaman

    ….and this is how it looked when I bought it from the original owner (pictured) a few years ago. Bone stock and complete, 41k miles, 383cid, and factory pistol grip 4-speed. I need some “reverse osmosis” here.

  18. Walter Joy

    Found an AMC SC/Rambler in similar condition. May have to save that

    • cudaman

      Walter Joy…….post a picture of the SC/Rambler…..

  19. Wrong Way

    I just can’t believe that someone has the guts to ask that much for something like this?

  20. Christopher Wenz

    Facepalm.

  21. Dan

    Didn’t mopars come with floor and quarter panels as stock features in the seventies? They seem to be missing on so many.

    • Chris

      Take a look at late 60s early 70s Mustangs Fred Flintstone floors

  22. Nova Scotian

    Dynacorn to the rescue.

  23. Jay E.

    Green/black cars were one of the ugliest color combinations back in the day. Age has only made it worse. POS, pass.

  24. Moosefeather
  25. Rob

    It’s easy to take care of the rust. If you drop that Cuda into a smelter, the rust will all rise to the top where it can all be skimmed off. Problem solved. In fact, I guarantee that this car will never rust again! Seriously, anything can be saved… but…

  26. XYZOL

    That is about one ‘0’ too much.

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