SCCA Street Project: 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda

Along with Dodge, Plymouth got into Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans-Am racing in 1970. They contracted with Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers (AAR) to build and campaign cars for that series. To satisfy SCCA requirements, they had to produce at least 2,500 street versions of the car to compete. Plymouth beat that number by about 10%, coming in at 2,724 copies, all built during March and April of that year. This is said to be one of those cars but it’s in rough shape and some earlier restoration work will have to be redone in the process of completing the ‘Cuda. Located in Springfield, Oregon, this rare car is available here on eBay where bidders have raised the ante to $7,500. But they’ve still got a reserve to cross over.

The AAR ‘Cuda differed from the others ‘Cudas in a variety of ways. First was the engine, a 340 cubic-inch V8 with a 6-Pack set-up instead of a 4-barrel carburetor. The rated horsepower only increased by 20 to 290, but that was likely conservative. In addition, the AAR had a “strobe stripe” along the sides, the hood was made of fiberglass, and the exhaust came out of the sides back by the rear wheels.

Of total AAR production, 1,120 were equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission, like with the seller’s car. The original engine is out of the car, but a period-correct replacement is at the shop being rebuilt and all documents about that work will be provided to the buyer. The tranny is also gone with a few other items and replacements for those are not offered. The car’s rear end is not as it came, but the seller will provide a correct one that will need rebuilding. The brakes and Sure-Grip will also need to be redone.

When it was new, this Plymouth was finished in FE5 Rallye Red of which glimpses of it can be seen under the flat black paint/primer that most of it currently wears. An early restoration attempt was ill-performed, according to the seller, so things like both quarters panels and all the floors will need to be pulled and replaced. The fender tag is missing, but the seller says he will validate for the seller (how?). The list of other sheet metal and/or structural pieces needed is rather extensive, which at a minimum should include frame rails, front aprons, upper cowl panel, rear torque boxes, outer wheelhouses, and the rear body panel, just to name a few.

The interior of this car is either incomplete and needing several new pieces. At one time, this could have been a six-figure car at today’s inflated resale values. But it will take a sizeable bank account, time, and patience to bring this AAR ‘Cuda back to show condition. You might spend less money by starting with a project in better condition, but how easy would it be to find another one of these cars that need resuscitation?


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  1. Neil

    Seems the author doesn’t know that the seller is Graveyard Cars, the premier Mopar restoration shop. The owner, Mark, may be an odd man but he knows Mopar and if he says he can validate the build tag, he can validate the build tag.

    Like 11
  2. Fred W

    Mark certainly knows his Mopars. Wonder why he would sell this one rather than build it? Likely to end up back in his shop anyway.

    Like 4
    • Doug from MD.

      I believe Mark is selling this for someone and they may have had second thoughts?

      Like 2
      • AMXBrian

        It’s likely either the project cost or possibly the owner didn’t know this was a T/A car. Mark could have sold/traded him a regular model that could be upgraded or changed without hurting the T/A’s value.

  3. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Interesting that Mark states it comes with a complete, correct engine but not sure if the carb numbers are correct. What the ? He boosts way too much that he is the premiere Mopar authenticator, and he can’t be bothered to authenticate these carbs?

    Also interesting is that in one of the lift pics, you can see an engine in the car, but all other pics show an empty engine bay.

    P.S. I like the GYC show a lot and have seen every episode. I’m just wondering if I’ve bought into the hype too much.

    • Gary

      Mark, and people like him are a big part of the problem in this hobby. He and others make a crazy good living, but drive the prices up because the cars become investments. Does he do good work, obviously. Does he help the hobby in the long run? I say, not a chance. This bubble will pop and it will sour the whole thing. Maybe then people will get back to driving these cars, but then again, how much longer will we have petrol? Certainly after the Boomers are all rotting, little if any will get made, and then we expect the younger generations to value these cars? Investment? Sure, got a bridge in NY to sell ya too, great investment!

      Like 3
  4. Sam Shive

    Once Again (M)ostly (O)ld (P)arts (A)nd (R)ust ……..Never could figure out why a big blow hard mopar guy had a CHEVY Van for his shop truck

    • bone

      Because its a Chevy, and he doesn’t care if it gets hit ,abused and wrecked ?

      Like 2

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