Prepare to have your mind blown as we unveil a rare gem in the world of Plymouth ‘Cudas: a 1973 model equipped with a 318 cubic inch V8 engine. Yes, you read that correctly! This ‘Cuda defies convention by not sporting the more popular and sought-after engines like the 340, 383, 440, or the mighty 426 Hemi. As the performance market experienced a slowdown in 1972, Plymouth made the 318 the standard motor in the ‘Cuda instead of the 340. Unfortunately, this decision didn’t help boost sales, and by 1974, the iconic Barracuda (along with its Dodge Challenger counterpart) vanished from the Chrysler lineup. Now, this intriguing ’73 ‘Cuda 318 project car, located in Hialeah, Florida, is up for grabs on eBay, with bidding starting at $5,756. Can you crack the reserve and claim this unique piece of Mopar history?
In 1970, Plymouth gave the Barracuda a major makeover, distancing it from its compact Valiant roots. It received a brand-new E-body platform, shared with the Dodge Challenger, featuring distinctive body panels. The revamped Barracuda initially enjoyed a 50% sales increase over 1969. However, the glory was short-lived as insurance companies tightened their grip on muscle cars. Despite the fact that not all Barracudas were high-performance machines, sales plummeted by 60% and remained stagnant.
The 318-powered ‘Cuda was far from a hot commodity, with only 2,722 units sold in 1973. Out of those, 1,832 were equipped with an automatic transmission, just like the car listed by the seller. Unfortunately, no history is provided for this vehicle. The seller acquired it in its current state, intending to undertake a restoration. However, due to other automotive commitments, that dream may never become a reality.
Rust emerges as the primary adversary in this Plymouth’s journey to restoration. The driver’s side rear quarter panel appears to have suffered significant damage, while the trunk lid, floor, and floorboards all bear holes, particularly beneath the driver’s feet. If you’re brave enough to take on this project, be prepared to invest a substantial amount with a skilled bodywork specialist to acquire the necessary metal. The interior also exhibits signs of wear, including worn upholstery and a deteriorated dash pad. While these ‘Cudas hold appeal among collectors, the question remains: will enthusiasts be willing to restore one with a small-block engine, even if it turns out to be the original powertrain?