Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Barracuda by Plymouth

I will now fully out myself as a 33rd level car nerd.
 This is what really gets me going; a mystery car half-shrouded under a sheet waiting to be identified. 
There's no real mystery as to the make and model this time since it says "Barracuda by Plymouth" on the back. This is an important detail though, as Plymouth made both the Barracuda and the 'cuda during these years. Unfortunately for our wreck here that means it's a lower-trim non high performance model. So why would somebody bother saving this thing at all?
The overall condition is about as abysmal as it gets.
 Gutted with rust, veteran of a pretty serious rear end collision, and left in a pile of junk.
In 2010 a rare Bugatti was recovered after spending 70 years at the bottom of a lake, and was sold in as-is ferociously rotted condition for $360,000! Some cars are worth money in literally any condition as the value exceeds the cost of rebuilding every inch from scratch. That being said, the taillights identify this as being a 1971. . .
and that horizontal line casting a shadow along the tarp about where the top of the rear window would be tells me it's a convertible (the hardtops have rear windows that are almost perfectly flush with the body for a race-winning sleek design). A seriously rare car indeed! A mere 1,014 Barracuda convertibles were built in 1971 and it is arguably the most sought-after year. 
*Only 374 of the 'cuda convertibles were built and as a result they trade well into the 6 figures almost exclusively. With the Hemi engine we're well into the millions!
We can also see that this was an Autumn Bronze Metallic paint job with a simple tape stripe. This is the rarest and least-known of the stripes that year, which is a comment that sounds ridiculous until it's pointed out that the '71 Barracuda & 'cuda were available with what is now the most famous stripe option in history; the Billboard stripes (where the entire rear quarter of the car was painted flat black with the size of the engine written in 2 foot tall numbers).
So, being that this might be a 6 cylinder base model Barracuda convertible, why bother saving it if the condition is this bad? Probably because the frame on a convertible is different than the hardtop; reinforced throughout to make up for the loss in body rigidity, and with a slightly different section in the rear to accomodate the unique trunk & top well areas. If you're the lucky person out there with a 1971 'cuda that is potentially worth several hundred thousand dollars but has a rotted frame you will happily pay this guy whatever he wants for this crumpled-up wad of metal just so you can remove it.
 Otherwise, if this car looks familiar and you think there's one parked behind your parents barn, drop me a line!

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