Vintage vehicles, Automotive history and stories from motoring's past. 

The Plymouth 'Cuda that almost got away

In 1971 I went into the Hollywood, CA Chrysler Plymouth dealership and there, on a lighted turntable, was this light blue Barracuda convertible and I immediately fell in love with it. However, I had just bought my first house, had just bought a new Lotus Elan, and had recently been married, so there was no way I could afford it at the time.

Five years later I was driving down Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills, CA and I saw this blue convertible parked on the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign on it. I called the telephone number on the sign and asked the owner if he bought it in June of 1971 in Hollywood, and he said “Yes, how did you know?” I guess the car was destined to be mine, for I wrote him a check for $2,600 and the car was finally mine. It had about 60,000 miles on it and was in good shape.

It became my daily driver and a few years later when I drove it into a Plymouth dealer; the sales manager ran over to me and offered me $10,000 for the car. I couldn’t believe that this used car that then had about 90,000 miles on it could be worth that much, but I figured he knew more than I did and did not take his offer.

After the car had 120,000 miles on it I restored it myself. I continued to drive it for another 130,000 miles as my daily driver. Then, at 250,000 miles, I did a second and very thorough restoration that took over 3 years.

Today, 46 years later, the car is as good as it was the first day I saw it.

Thank you to Ronald Mintle for sharing the story of his '71 Cuda with us.