Unmolested Driver: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible

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While many enthusiasts focus on the sporty Plymouth ‘Cuda, its more humble siblings are often overlooked. That’s a shame because the Barracuda has much to offer potential buyers. That is certainly the case with this 1971 Convertible, which presents well following a restoration a few years ago. It has no needs and would suit someone searching for an above-average driver. The seller has listed this gem here on eBay in Fairview, Tennessee. Bidding currently sits below the reserve at $75,400, with time remaining for interested parties to stake their claim.

Plymouth released its new E-Body Barracuda range in 1970, and I continue to rate it as one of the best-looking cars from that era. It looks fast standing still, with its swollen flanks providing a muscular and purposeful appearance. This 1971 Convertible presents well, although the seller emphasizes that it is not a show car or trailer queen. They also say there are minor variations from its factory appearance and that it wouldn’t suit a purist in its current form. Its Code Y8 Gold Leaf Poly paint shines beautifully, making a bold visual statement. Any existing defects are too insignificant to show in the supplied photos. The panels are laser straight, with the seller indicating the car received new outer rear quarter panels during a professional restoration commissioned by the previous owner in the early 2000s. It has been garage-kept ever since, helping to preserve the remaining steel, which is original to this car. The Black power top is in as-new condition and functions as it should. The chrome and glass are immaculate, while this Convertible rolls on a set of 15″ Magnum 500 wheels. If the winning bidder wishes to recapture this classic’s youthful appearance, the seller includes the factory hubcaps.

This Convertible’s interior represents grassroots motoring, with the original owner selecting bucket seats and a console but no radio. They trimmed the interior in two-tone brown vinyl, which the car retains. The seatcovers were replaced during the restoration, with the seller recently installing new foam to replace the sagging and uncomfortable original material. The carpet was also changed, but the remaining trim items and dash are original. They are hard to fault, with no appreciable wear or damage. The dashtop hasn’t cracked, and there are no aftermarket additions. It might not be luxurious, but it would still garner plenty of attention in its current state.

The seller is brutal about this Convertible’s mechanical specifications but confirms the car is numbers-matching. Its engine bay houses a 318ci V8 backed by a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The original owner decided to forego mechanical comforts passing on the opportunity to equip the Plymouth with power assistance for the steering and brakes. The current owner admits the 318 is no fireball, producing 230hp. That is enough to launch the car through the ¼-mile in 17.4 seconds. Although the figure isn’t in muscle car territory, most buyers in 1971 would have been satisfied by the performance. It wasn’t just the body and interior that received TLC during the restoration, with the engine and transmission receiving a rebuild. The work was completed to factory specifications, although the seller recently updated the exhaust manifolds and fitted a dual exhaust. They include the original manifolds for those seeking a factory appearance. There are no fluid leaks beyond an occasional drop from the transmission. The car runs and drives perfectly, ready for some relaxed top-down touring.

Plymouth was disappointed with Barracuda sales in 1971, with 18,690 buyers handing over their cash across all derivatives. With only 1,014 of those selecting the Convertible, it is easy to see why it was dropped from the range for 1972. The seller rightly points out that many owners have transformed these cars into ‘Cuda clones, but this one is essentially as it left the factory. The fact it has attracted thirty bids suggests people like what they see. I believe the bidding must be close to the point where it passes the reserve, although the seller may have loftier aspirations. This is not what I consider an affordable classic, and even though it is beyond my means, a sense of fascination means I’ll be watching the auction to see the result. Will you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    WOW, just think what the bidding would be at if this one had the 340 (or Larger) engine! I’d source a set of OEM wheelwell moldings for this Golden Lady, and ride off into the sunset GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 10
    • Gary

      A 318 will always be a better choice. A 340 is too much.

      Like 3
      • Stan

        Lol not around here Gar. 340 is an excellent and favorite powrplant.

        Like 28
      • Rex B Schaefer

        Are you nuts?

        Like 2
      • bone

        Maybe for you – funny , I never hear you say it about big block Chevies or Fords .

        Like 2
      • Smokey Smokerson

        When I was 16, i had the opportunity to buy a hardtop version with a 340 and I thought that was too small. Asking price was $3800 back in 1989.

        Like 2
    • Guardstang

      Pretty sure the only other V8 available on a base Barracuda was the 383 with a little less hp than the Cuda version

      Like 5
  2. Al camino

    These colors on this car are um,what’s the word funky?for that price I would look for another color

    Like 5
    • Grant

      I agree, the 318 makes it perfect. Don’t need any more flex in that body. Chrysler should have made a small 4bbl with dual exhausts on the 318 as an option. Just a little extra, but not enough to make your insurance agent squeal with glee.

      Like 2
      • Neal Jacobsen

        That’s a big amount of money! I don’t see quality in this one to support that. It

        Like 8
    • CCFisher

      With only 1014 built, most of which were used up and scrapped decades ago, I don’t think you have the luxury of shopping around for the right color.

      Like 9
  3. Howie

    Wow!! What a beauty!! It has to be a $100k+ car.

    Like 3
  4. Joe Machado

    Yes, colors are important. Daughters 70 Barracuda, 4-speed, factory air, FM3 Pink, or Moulon Rouge, is now an very hot color for some reason.
    She told me it’s not for sale, period.
    The offer, $250,000.
    The 71 is a little more desirable for the gills and headlights, dual.
    Since no gills as it’s not the Cuda, no air, auto, may not bring that amount.
    But, nice looking.

    Like 9
  5. Mitch

    This is what I’m talking about $78,000. for a 318 car is just plain stupid it’s not a muscle car and even the seller said it’s a driver not a show or trailer queen so there goes the hobby way to high for the average guy/girl, and obviously not a lot of people wanted a 71 barracuda back in 1971, but now everybody wants one, what a joke!!!

    Like 14
  6. Smokey Smokerson

    At 16 years old in 1988, I stood in a used car lot looking at a 1971 Cuda, red with a black vinyl top, and the asking price was $3400. A year earlier, the insurance company told me “no,” on a ’69 Camaro SS, so i didn’t even bother trying to buy that Cuda…instead, I drove off into the sunset with ’83 Olds Cutlass Ciera with the Iron Duke for another year until I got my 84 Thunderchicken 5.0. Who really knew the value on these cars would be so astronomical?

    Like 8
  7. Robert Levins

    I love this car and would love to own it. Perfect all around condition and a great engine/ transmission combo. Love it. I also happen to love the gold color combinations on it. No complaints. BUT – for me now, ANY car “ north of 35k” really has to be “ unbelievably outstanding “ to justify the money. Good luck. Great article.

    Like 8
  8. Stan

    Steep price but what isnt. Id want 340ci minimum w 4spd but who cares..
    318 i love. Drove one in buddy’s truck when he’d had too many 🍺 🍻 and it was a blast, snowy 🌨 roads 3spd Torq-flite 2wd , just wheeling the back end into snowbanks 😁

    Like 1
  9. CCFisher

    The restoration has aged to the point that it looks like an extremely well-kept original. I like it.

    Like 6
  10. MoparMike

    Radio delete and it has a standard instrument cluster with a clock, both very rare on an E body. What’s the odds it’s the only one with that combination. That is one of my favorite interior colors.

    Like 4
    • Guardstang

      Back then we called it radio not ordered. Radio delete became a thing in the 80’s when AM radios started becoming standard equipment. The aftermarket stereo manufacturer’s raised a stink that making radio’s standard would hurt their business and actually had advertisement’s telling consumers they could delete the radio and buy an aftermarket one. As far as the dash, on Plymouth E-bodies the rally dash was an option even on Cudas and AAR’s. The option cost about $90 back then which would be about $500 now

      Like 1
  11. Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

    Paint it Green, Hire a gal named Peggy and call yourself Joe Mannix.

    Like 7
    • Roger

      Better yet paint it yellow,get a partner named Joe and become a cop in San Francisco

      Like 2
  12. MoparMike

    I had a 71 N code Cuda in this same color combo, it was tubbed but never finished. I traded it to a guy near Dallas for a 70 Challenger that I built as a Vanishing Point car which now resides in Tulsa.

    Like 3
  13. jim

    Stock 318 is good for a nice driver and not bad on fuel let the bids roll to much for me

    Like 1
  14. Gordon Dempster

    Don’t know what the reserve might be but it isn’t worth it. Unless of course, this is a RECENT restoration including engine and trans rebuilds. And if this seller is looking for these kinda numbers, ya better slap a set of Radial T/A s on with some OEM rally wheels instead of something that belongs on a ’70’ Mustang. Research says these kinda numbers don’t match the quality of this car. I truly don’t mean to offend anyone. Replacing carpet, seat foam, and adding aftermarket exhaust do not a 75K car make.

    Like 3
  15. Karl

    Lincoln Hayes, your car. Is ready!!!
    The “Mod Squad” car still exists by the way.

    Like 1
    • Christopher Kennedy

      I belive Pete Cochran had the Cuda

      Like 1
      • Karl

        I wondered who catch that. Yes Pete used it mostly but the did trade off, depending on who was featured in the episode.
        Then they had the Monacowagon too!

        Like 0
  16. Neal Jacobsen

    This is what I was talking about earlier. Very nice convertible but it is not worth $75,000. Get real with some of this. Look at the imperfections on the dash. What is laying on the console? A 318?
    I would expect a 383 hemi with gold plated valve covers for that price. No way Jose.

    Like 2
    • Raatbastard

      Wtf is a 383 hemi?…you can have a 383 or you can have a Hemi, not both.

      Like 2
  17. Hammer

    Friend of mine has the identical car. But his has a 360 4spd. I do believe it was a 318 switched to a 360. Wonder what his is worth?

    Like 0
  18. MoparMike

    Everyone balking at the price, there’s a limited number of these available and people are paying the same and more for mass produced modern muscle, SUVs and trucks that are destined to depreciate a lot. You say “it’s not worth it” its worth whatever the high bidder is willing to pay (provided they’re not shill bidding). It’s beyond my means but I’d rather drop $80k on something like this as opposed to a new rubicon or Bronco that’d lose half its value in a year.

    Like 6
  19. jim

    A lot of people are thinking just look at the prices of new vehicles and some have to many electrical glitches in comparison to a well kept older one and that helps drive the price up

    Like 2
  20. William Maceri

    I was 16 in 1971, that’s the year I got my license, a 71 Cuda was all I could think about. Black with black interior a 440 4 barrel carburetor. When I was ready to buy my first car, my search got really serious. I soon found out how expensive a used 71 Cuda was. By that time it was late September 1972, and there were very few used Cudas and Challengers on the used market, which helped drive the prices up. My best friend’s dad bought a brand new Challenger, it was a 318, with the famous Tourqueflight automatic transmission it was gold metallic with a white vinyl top and banana yellow vinyl interior, not my favorite colors but I really liked it. The 318 was a good fit for the E platform and the single exhaust really sounded great. Then I turned to a Mustang. My brother had a black 66 Stang with a 289 cid V8, with a Ford modified 4 barrel Holly carburetor, and a 4 speed manual transmission on the floor. It was the car I learned to drive a clutch in. I loved that car. In any event, I found a 69 Mach I, it had a 351 Windsor, a XMF 3 speed automatic transmission. The XMF was basically a C6 automatic. I paid $1,900 for it. It was light blue metallic over black vinyl interior. It had power steering, power front disc brakes, air conditioning and the best looking dashboard I ever saw. It soon became the best looking Mustang I ever saw, and not just to me. Time holds the 69 Mach I as one of the best looking Mustangs of all time, so it wasn’t just me that loved it. The longer I had it the more I loved it. That Mach I, never cooled off, I drove that Mustang every where and it never let me down. I loved that Mustang, and yet I never forgot about the Cuda. To this day, it’s still one of my top 10 favorite cars of all time. I guess the point I’m trying to make is the Cudas and Challengers have always been expensive, and apparently they still are. But I couldn’t help notice, my fellow posters here are calling this one out on it’s price. They aren’t having it.

    Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      William, nice story and kinds similar to mine. I was 16 in 1977 and drove by a ’72 Cuda every day – perfect condition, white with black stripes. That’s the only car I wanted and when I had saved enough money, I bought a ’73 318 with column automatic for $1,600. Dad wouldn’t let me get the ’70 built 340 that I really wanted, probably a good idea from a parent’s point of view.

      Anyway, although I loved the Barracuda, my buddy’s cousin had a ’70 Mach 1 in Grabber Orange – perfect shape. Man, did I love that car and, not six months after I bought my car, it was sale for $1,200! Unfortunately, I could not swing the sale of my car fast enough because that car sold very quickly, of course.

      Now, our first cars are worth way more than we ever imagined but at least we got to enjoy then whuile we could.

      Like 2
  21. William Maceri

    Thank you for your reply. After reading these posts and their comments, it has brought to my attention just how many of us American Gearheads there are across our great country. It surprised me to see how many of us there are, and how many of us think the same way, and I’m happy to see that. For the most part, we are pretty much the same age. We all have our passions for our favorite American cars. At any given time, I’m thinking about cars, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve always had my favorites, and I have had those that I didn’t like, and for those I’ve always loved, my passion for those has grown stronger. But what I didn’t see coming, was, I have developed a liking for some of the ones I didn’t like (mostly GM brands) I somehow now like. For example the big Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and that I saw as just badge engineered Chevrolets, with just different front and rear ends, along with some interior differences, now I find I have grown to like some of them.But a lot of them weren’t needed, and I still feel the same way about many of them. But interestingly enough, after the invasion of the foreign cars that followed the 73 fuel shortage (that I always thought wasn’t real), those brands were the first to go. All they did was help make GM bigger, but not better. That and a few other reasons caused me to really dislike GM. As the largest US manufacturer, and at one point in the world, they should have been building cars that lead the entire auto industry with the best cars. But they didn’t. After all they were GM, they didn’t care, they didn’t have to. It’s taken time but GM has lost its dominance over the world wide auto industry, and rightfully so. In the meantime the Chrysler Corporation has struggled to survive, and now is owed by Stelantis, which is not a US manufacturer, but in any event they are still with us, and in my opinion are still a part of The Big Three. Chrysler has brought us many industry firsts that are now automotive standards. We need the Chrysler Corporation, to provide a better balance in industry. I was born in Detroit, my mom’s side of the family all worked at the Chrysler Corporation, and my dad’s side at the Ford Motor Company, so my family drove Chryslers and Ford’s. Since the mid-60s when my brother bought a new 66 Mustang, then I bought my 69 Mach l, I became a Ford man, that’s all I have driven ever since. Now my entire family only drive Fords, and Lincolns, with a lot of Mercurys before they were discontinued. Thanks for your comment, I hope we can stay in touch. I’m always ready to talk about cars.

    Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      Bill, I love talking cars as well, and that’s what makes the BF community a fun one to hang out in because there are many of us here that feel the same way.
      Opinions do differ, of course, but most of us have the ability to get past that in order to share our common interests.
      I was never dedicated to just one make – I drove what I liked or what made sense at the time. Dad liked Chryslers, so those are what I naturally gravitated toward when first starting out. Then, I moved onto Chevy’s with a Camaro and a Corvette that I owned as my fun car for almost 30 years. Lots of Fords too, and now have 3 of them in the driveway, including the Bronco in my avatar that took 698 days to get. Never a Mustang, but had a SHO and an XR4Ti. Japanese cars have been owned and although not considered desirable by muscle car people, still suited the purpose. The Eclipse was a lot of fun.
      For guys like us, there is always the “next” car. For me, it is going to be a hard one to nail down, but I’m liking the thought of another Corvette or something with a mid engine. It will be a drop tip, of course. Maybe in a few more years, after I retire.

      Like 0

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