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1970 Plymouth Barracuda

Updated on April 5, 2013

1970 Cuda - The Holy Grail of Muscle Cars

My first car was a 1970 Barracuda. It was just a coupe with a 318 small block, but at least it had a center console and a Slap Stick shifter. It was painted Hemi orange and had Mopar Rally wheels, and in my mind it was the baddest car in town. So what if was slow? It had potential!!! I don't have it any more, but some day I'm going to save up and buy another one. The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda is the nicest looking muscle car ever made.

All Hail the E Body - The sexiest muscle car ever designed...

Photo © www.americanautomobilia.com and used with permission

For 1970, Plymouth completely redesigned the Barracuda. Instead of being based on the A Body platform, the new Cuda had a new chassis - the E Body - and all new sheet metal. The new body had the requisites for modern muscle, 70's style: short trunk, long hood, and sleek "fuselage" styling. The result was - and still is - stunning. In my opinion, a more beautiful muscle car has never been made before or since. Just to make sure everyone knew that this wasn't all show and no go, engine options included the 340 Six pack (only available in the AAR Cuda and Challenger TA) and the 426 Street Hemi. Mere mortals could choose from the Slant Six (!), 318, 340 4-bbl, 383, or 440. Both a 2 door hardtop and convertible were made.

Big Block Cuda In Action - Tearing up the roads with a 440 Six Pack...

More on the Cuda and Challenger - Mopar's premier pony cars...

The Cuda had a sister ship, the Dodge Challenger. Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Barracuda: Chrysler's Potent Pony Cars covers both. Also included are chapters on the first and second generation Barracudas, but the bulk of the book is on the 1970-74 E Bodies. Very nice hard cover book, written in a very readable, entertaining style with lots of great photos.

My Orange Cruiser

"An orange cruiser, it was our only chance, oh yeah..."

I bought my Barracuda in 1981, the summer of my senior year in high school. My dad was opposed. He thought it would be unreliable (it was), but it was my money and I wanted it something fierce. So, reluctantly, my dad let me buy it and added me to their insurance policy. I was in hot rod heaven!!! For a few weeks anyway until I realized that although I had the coolest looking car in Bishop, it was far from the fastest - my friend's 82 Celica GT could beat it in a drag race. I didn't care though - I had big plans. Once I saved up enough money I was going to replace the 318 2-bbl with at least a 440, probably a Hemi. When it came time to go to college, I had to live in the dorm for my freshman year so the Barracuda stayed home. The next summer, I put the fan through the radiator (don't ask...) and my parents deemed the poor Cuda too unreliable to take to college, so I bought another car more acceptable to them (this was back when kids actually followed their parents' advice) and took that to school. The Cuda sat in my parents' driveway for about eight more years(!!!) until...

What was I THINKING???

Everyone makes mistakes, this was the biggest one of my life...

I was minding my business, living in Reno, and one day I got a call from my mom: "We'd like the Barracuda out of the driveway. When can you get it running?" Hmmm, lets see - I had no money to get it running, I was living paycheck to paycheck, and I couldn't afford the time off from work to spend in Bishop getting it running... so I asked how soon they wanted it gone. "As soon as possible. Some guy driving by the house the other day stopped and asked if we'd sell it." Uh-oh... "How much will he pay?" My mom said she didn't know but she gave me the guy's phone number. I called him and we agreed on $500 - I really didn't have a choice. I had no way to get the car to Reno, and no right to expect free indefinite storage at my parents' house. Besides, in a few years when I have money I can always buy another one, right?

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    • missbat profile image

      missbat 6 years ago

      A '70 Barracuda is pretty darn sexy.