Upscale Project: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe

When the Barracuda was redesigned for 1970, Plymouth added an upscale version called the Gran Coupe. It had more amenities than the standard coupe but was limited to motors under 383 cubic inches. This Gran Coupe is a non-running project from the first year that the Barracuda would share its platform with the new Dodge Challenger. It has been sitting for a while and will need body work in addition to fixing the engine. Located in Lawton, Oklahoma, the car is available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $22,500 (or Make Offer).

Out of nearly 49,000 Barracudas built for 1970, 7,300 were the Gran Coupe but 4,700 came with the 318 V8 and TorqueFlite transmission. The cowl tag says the color code for the car is FE5 Rallye Red, but it looks more like FK5 Burnt Orange Metallic to me. Whatever the case, the paint is worn, faded and chipped and rust has found its way into the trunk and lower rear quarters panels. And there is some crust under the peeling white vinyl roof, especially around the trim pieces.

On the plus side, what we can see of the interior looks quite nice, suggesting the car has been out of the sunlight most of its dormancy. The upholstery and door panels look good, although there appears to be a couple of small cracks in the dash pad. It may be the angle of the photo taken, but the steering column looks off-center as I don’t think these cars has a swing-away option like the 1960s Thunderbirds.

The seller tells us the timing jumped on the 318 V8, ruining the engine, so the motor will need rebuilding which at 147,000 is probably needed anyway. Decent looking tires are sitting on Rallye wheels that probably had chrome trim rings with them when new. While a Gran Coupe isn’t going to fetch the same kind of money as a ‘Cuda, AAR or Hemi ‘Cuda, but Hagerty says one in Fair condition is worth about the same money the seller is asking. Is that a reasonable figure or a stretch of the imagination?

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Comments

  1. Miguelito Loveless

    What does he mean by timing jumped…worn teeth on cam sprocket?

    Like 4
  2. Gary

    Probably one of the nylon coated teeth sheared off!

    Like 3
  3. Raymond L Saunders

    Mopar used steel gears, chevy did nylon….

    Like 2
    • Steve Lexow

      Mopar definitely used nylon gears.
      I’ve changed many on b/rb engines.

      Like 7
    • Moparman Member

      Mopar also used vinyl coated gears, I have the one I replaced in my 70 Charger. The nylon and the steel teeth beneath were so worn that I removed the chain with my fingers! While it ‘jumped timing, it did not ruin the engine, which is still soldiering on @ 144k, with a new full steel gear! :-)

      Like 7
  4. George Louis

    Just amazing that the seller is asking $22, 500..00 or an offer. I would be hard pressed to offer $2500.00 for a car that is not running, can not tell what is there and what is not there? It will probably take $22,500.00 to get it to original factory specifications It probably belongs to a FLIPPER that is dreaming of making a BIG PROFIT! Thank you but a BIG NO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  5. CCFisher

    worn teeth + stretched chain = jumped timing

    Like 7
  6. Howard Kerr

    This was once a fairly sweet car, love the color combination. However, with the rust that is evident at the lower corner of the vinyl roof a good inspection of the whole car would be in order.
    The Barracuda Gran Coupe was ” sister car ” to the Challenger SE and as such, the smaller (“limousine like”) was it’s trademark. If rust under that vinyl top is too severe it may devalue the car upon restoration is the window and top are not preserved.
    BTW, I seem to remember that friends of my sister had one of these. Theirs was dark green with a black roof and interior, and I thought it had a 383. Maybe I am wrong?
    This example was probably a typical Gran Coupe in that it has a 318, no power brakes, no power steering (that I can see), and no visible A/C.
    The only unusual feature of this example is the white versus black top, perhaps as a counterbalance to the lack of air conditioning?

    Like 3
    • Ed P

      The dash has a/c vents and a a/c heater control panel. Plus, there is a receiver/dryer under the hood. I think the compressor has been removed.

      • Dale S

        If you have AC, than you have power steering.

        Like 1
      • MoPar Mike

        Dale S, not true. I’ve owned multiple Mopars with AC and no power steering one of them being a 1972 Barracuda.

    • DON

      I’m thinking the seats may have been white at one time; they definitely look reupholstered .The car was once red , and white top usually the interior will have white seats.

      Like 1
  7. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    The Gran Coupes did not have the small back window like the SE Challengers. You can see in the pictures the original red in the under hood and trunk pictures. The trunk rust and quarters are common for e-bodies but the rust at bottom of rear window area is a bummer. The steering wheel is 72-74. Definitely savable car and the prices are on the rise for the non cuda versions.

    Like 2
    • Howard Kerr

      I confess that I was under the idea that Gran Coupes had the smaller back window but I also realize that this car has a normal rear window. Didn’t look super close at the interior so missed the A/C vents and controls.

      Like 1
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Man, the ask on these project cars is really jumping.

    Like 2
  9. George Louis

    The Dodge Challenger SE had the smaller window plug installed in the rear backlight hole for only one year, which was the introductory year of 1970. You could also couple this trim package with the R/T performance package as well as having an R/T SE vehicle. No 1970 barracudas had a
    smaller rear backlight window, another FISH FACT!!!!!

  10. Kevin

    Too pricey for a grand coupe, can he nice again, but again, it’s going to take lots of money to do it right, especially rust repair, and paint, to put back to factory correct color and rust repair, will easily exceed the cost of the car,plus engine overhaul, transmission, etc.etc.etc.equals another money pit,don’t get me wrong I love mopar, and e-bodies get all the love, but I think to restore correctly would put you upside down in terms of the value.

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