Too Far Gone? 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible

This 1971 Barracuda Convertible may look like a dead fish, but that hasn’t stopped potential buyers acting exactly like the car’s namesake in a feeding frenzy. As sad, sick, and sorry as the car may appear, it has now been the subject of 55 bids by 17 individuals. This has seen the bidding pushed to $5,000, and the reserve still hasn’t been met. I have to thank Barn Finder David K for referring the Plymouth to us because this really is a very interesting proposition. The Convertible is located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

Man, it really is hard to know where to start with this car. It would probably be easier to compile a list of parts that won’t need to be replaced, rather than those that do. At least, it would certainly be a shorter list. There is rust everywhere, and while it isn’t specifically mentioned, it is to be hoped that the frame is solid. It also is a case of “what you see is what you get” with the Plymouth. Maybe I’m being harsh, but the best part of the car seems to be the windshield and its trim. It also appears that the passenger side door might be able to be salvaged. The rest of the panels look to be toast.

This shot not only shows us that there’s absolutely no interior trim, but that the floors are also completely rotted away. The car looks as though it has been sitting exposed to the elements for a fair chunk of time, and it has really paid the price for it. Looking at the positives though, at least there’s no chance that water is going to accumulate in the floors and cause further damage.

For those of you who were hoping for some good news under the hood, you are about to be very disappointed. What used to reside here was a 318ci V8, which produced 230hp. Behind this was bolted a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission, and an 8¾” rear end. The car was also optioned with power steering, and power front disc brakes. The owner tells us that the original rear end, brakes, and the power steering pump are all still present, but doesn’t indicate whether the transmission is original. Given the fact that he specifically makes mention of the other items, I would suspect that it isn’t.

Where do you start with a car like this Barracuda? I am well aware of how desirable and valuable these are in pristine condition, but this car has so many strikes against it. Provided that the frame is solid, the new owner will be faced with a massive bill to bring the body back from the dead. Then you need to factor in the mechanical components, interior trim, wiring, and all of those sundry small odds and ends such as bolts and clips that can chew up time and money. Anyone who takes this project on also needs to face the reality that no matter how meticulous the restoration might be, it will never be a numbers-matching classic. Having said that, there are at least 17 people out there who appear to be willing to hand over their hard-earned cash for this one. Are there any Barn Finds readers who are ready to join the party?


  1. Howard A Member

    No, it’s on a wooden jig because otherwise it will fold in half. The staff needs another category on the right. The ” You’ve got to be kidding” file.

    Like 33
  2. Stevieg Member

    These were unibody, there is no frame to speak of. I see this all the time on this website, people talking about unibody cars & wondering while looking @ a rusty shell if the frame is ok. If it is a unibody & it is rusty, the frame is not ok. It would be a parts car. This car here is a vin tag. Sad & illegal as it may be, that is the truth. The vin will end up on a Dynacorn body & it will be sold as a “restomod”.
    I am not against Dynacorn bodies. I am against vin number magically appearing on cars they weren’t born with (that IS illegal) & I am against clones being represented as not being a clone. Almost every state has a “homebuilt” vin available through their DMV. The car will have to pass inspection. It MAY have to make it through current emission standards. None of that sounds appealing to me which is why I never bought a Dynacorn body & made my own creation. But these laws are in place to protect the population from ourselves lol.

    Like 21
    • big mike

      Stevieg you are correct, in Missouri it is illegal to place a VIN number on a car that it was not originally assigned to from the factory. I have rebuilt cars before especially splicing 2 together, and had to apply for a salvage VIN number. In Missouri, as long as you do not replace more than 55% of a car, frame, body panels then you can use the VIN number assigned to the frame/engine, etc.

      Like 6
    • CCFisher

      Dynacorn does not list a Barracuda convertible body, just a Challenger coupe.

      Like 1
    • Adam Clarke Staff

      Thanks so much for your feedback on unibody construction Stevieg. I probably need to clarify this a bit better in my articles, but when I refer to the frame in a car of unitary construction, what I am referring to is the actual box sections that give the whole car its structural rigidity and strength. The reality with this type of construction (and most manufacturers will readily admit to this) is that the actual floor structure of a car of unitary construction is only there to tie all of the box sections together. If those do rust out, it is the structural equivalent of the frame rusting in a body-on-frame car. Some of these box sections run from front to rear on a car, while some run across. They don’t always run as one continuous piece but can be set up so that two or more overlap to maintain and increase strength. I hope that helps you understand what I mean in situations like this.

      Like 5
  3. sir mike

    Almost to far gone for trash.

    Like 8
  4. big mike

    What I can’t understand is why it has reached over 5K, and the reserve has not been met yet? That is somebody that is just wanting as much for it as he can get I got some old cars sitting in my bone yard, but when they get to this state, I send them to the crusher, this thing is a joke, there isn’t anything worth the trouble to work with in my opinion!!!

    Like 14
    • Superdessucke

      7k now. And plenty of time left to go.

      Like 1
  5. 8banger Dave Member

    Ah, come on folks – at least it has the original power steering pump! A solid starting point as you can get!

    Like 8
  6. Ike Onick

    I toured the Maintenance and Repair facility for the University of North Dakota’s Aviation program and the guy leading the tour said “If you can find us one straight piece, you will give you a plane back” The purchaser might want to contact them.

    Like 3
  7. Dan

    It’s up to $6700 now……just nuts….

    Like 4
  8. Will Fox

    “A fool and their money were lucky to have met in the first place.”

    Sage words for whoever buys this bucket of rust. I don’t care if it’s a `71 `Cuda cvt., or a `32 Duesenberg. It’s too far gone to even ponder restoring.

    Like 6
  9. don

    There really must be hundreds of flippers these days scouring every old time junkyard ,cutting through briars , swatting deer flies and hornets , wallowing through swamps , etc , looking for old muscle cars in any shape ,knowing that a $200.00 sale for a useless stripped carcass that’s been sitting since 1981 will likely bring in 5G or more. I’ll bet the guy that wins this auction will show up at the guys house with a battery powered drill , pull off the ID plates, hand the seller a check and leave .

    Like 8
  10. Jose Cantu

    Hey, April Fools Day was 29 days ago. Aren’t you a bit late with this add?

    Like 3
  11. Chris in Clover

    a few hundred dollars worth of parts MAYBE.
    + a VIN tag that is illegal almost everywhere….
    what are the bidders smoking?

    Like 4
  12. 8banger Dave Member

    Ok, I’m a mechanic and not really a body guy, but how easy is it to spot a Dynacorn or the like? I know my Galaxie has VIN numbers in various places….

  13. Dovi65

    Well… It’s a bit more ..uhhh … complete … than the 71 Cuda drop top posted a few days ago that reached $18K. I don’t get the allure of throwing good money away on such trash. What is in the Kool-Aid that these Mopar lunatics are drinking??

    Like 4
  14. karl

    I’m kicking myself right now ! Back in the early 80s When I was working in a salvage yard, we brought in a gold 68 442 convertible . It was pretty much toast from the New England weather and had been used for parts – no front clip , bashed and rusted out body , shredded top , ruined interior , no manual tranny and a stripped out block . There really was nothing left good to save and it ended up crushed. But looking back, if I had pulled the Vin and body plate, I could have sold them today and had a few grand in my pocket !

    Like 2
  15. Howard A Member

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, obviously, this is all that’s left and the allure of watching auctions is just too great. don is right, there’s gold in them thar swamps,,,
    We’re the dummies, we should all buy rollbacks and get in on the action before the bottom falls out.

    Like 3
    • Mike

      I’m actually looking @ a 2002 Freightliner rollback in the local auto trader right now. I wonder how many “gems” like this Barracuda , it’s not a ‘Cuda (!) I’d have to flip to cover the $18k asking price of the rollback.

  16. Sandy Claws

    Such a dilemma, if I owned this heap, would I do the morally repugnant thing and sell it to a clueless fool for big bucks, or would I do the upstanding thing, and have it crushed to remove all temptation? Of course, as it says in the good book, why gain the world yet lose your soul? There it is, problem solved.

    Like 4
  17. Ted

    FFS, this is beyond reason.

    Like 1
  18. Woody

    Ok we have a piece of a ‘70 Pontiac LeMans with the roof cut-off and almost nothing left but dirt and briars,it still has a chrome front bumper because its made of good American steel,maybe I could use it for my retirement fund! HA!

    Like 2
  19. James Martin

    Grave yard cars canidate

    Like 2
    • Mark A Hoffman

      Mark Warman is good. But I think this would give him fits.

      Like 4
  20. ben

    Another junkyard from the top of the pile. Do yourself a favor get a tenanus shot before you start working on it.

    Like 1
  21. daCabbie

    Let’s see if the winning bidder actually pays.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick


      Like 2
  22. Ike Onick

    What if we could weld the Pacer Cabriolet featured earlier to this lump?

    Like 1
  23. Stevieg Member

    CCFisher is right…Dynacorn doesn’t make a body for this. Fine, my point is the same. The vin tag will unfortunately find it’s way onto ANOTHER body, which is illegal. Probably either a six cylinder body, or worse yet, stolen. Let’s hope it goes on a slant six body instead.

    Like 1
  24. XMA0891

    Garaged since-new in a salt mine??
    B.F. should run a monthly “Top Five Worst Condition Find”. I do believe this vehicle would take First for April 2019, if not the year. I don’t particularly care for G.C., but the technology is amazing, and as there are only so many ’71 Plymouths left, would love to see them work their magic on something of this caliber.

    Like 3
  25. Moparman Member

    This “fish” has been scaled and gutted, and these “remains” are ready for disposal! :-)

    Like 8
  26. Maverick

    Junk is putting it lightley.

    Like 1
  27. Thomas Ball

    Okay, I am averse to entering negative comments here, but current bid at $7k for this??? Are you kidding me – obviously someone has more money than grey matter. People, we are talking about a 318 motored car here – this is nothing special and without the robust support under it in the photo, it would fold over on itself due to rust. Run Forest, run…

    Like 3
  28. Nick P

    Guys, think about it. Some of you are talking about illegally taking the vin tag. That may be the case if this was a desirable version of a cuda. But a 318 barracuda is hardly a car you want to clone. The only value I assume anyone sees in this is a hemi tribute. The 71 hemi cuda convertible is one of the rarest there is. So even a clone would bring some bucks.

    Like 3
  29. TimM

    It’s sad to me that this is called a car!! It’s not a car!!! It’s a very small piece of a car!!! I’ve completely rebuilt mustang and Camaro bodies and I wouldn’t touch this car!!!

  30. Ken

    What river bottom was this fished out of? Please, just stop with the unrestorable Mopars already.

    Like 1
  31. Morley Brown Brown Member

    i just do not care anymore!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 2

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