The Decline of the Barracuda Series

In 1972, the Barracuda series faced a challenging year, particularly the ‘Cuda model. Plymouth implemented several changes that impacted the car’s appeal, most notably the discontinuation of big-block engines. The once-mighty 383, 440, and 426 Hemi engines were no longer part of the lineup, leaving ‘Cuda enthusiasts with the option of a 340 V8, available with either manual or automatic transmissions.

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The Resilient Appeal of the 340 V8

Despite the limitations, the 340 V8 emerged as a favorite choice among ‘Cuda buyers. A remarkable 5,864 customers opted for this engine, with 1,701 selecting the V8 paired with an automatic transmission. Plymouth did offer a 318 engine, but only 1,946 buyers showed interest, underscoring the continued demand for top performance in Plymouth’s flagship model.

A Timeworn ‘Cuda in Need of Restoration

Recently unearthed from storage, a 340-powered ‘Cuda now seeks a brave soul to undertake its complete restoration. Years of storage have taken their toll, evident from the photographs shared on Craigslist.

The vehicle exhibits extensive wear, particularly on the undersides, with rust damage necessitating the replacement of floor panels. The body, too, has suffered significant damage, requiring immediate attention to prevent further deterioration. Inside, the interior shows signs of wear, with notable floor damage and front seat repairs required. In contrast, the rear seats appear to be in better condition, with fewer signs of major damage.

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Remarkably, the original 340 4-barrel engine remains within the vehicle, paired with an automatic transmission. However, the condition of the drivetrain is uncertain, with the owner noting that the car has languished in storage for an extended period, possibly resulting in a seized engine.

A Rare Opportunity and a Daunting Project

While a ‘Cuda in such a distressed state is disheartening for automotive enthusiasts, it’s essential to recognize the legacy associated with this nameplate. Moreover, this particular ‘Cuda is a rare find, as approximately only 1,700 units rolled off the assembly lines with the 340 engine and an automatic transmission in that year. Despite its challenges, the owner believes in the car’s potential for restoration and has listed it at a reasonable price.

For those undaunted by the rust and eager to embark on a restoration journey, this ‘Cuda can be acquired for $8,500. However, potential buyers should carefully consider the extent of the restoration required before committing to this project.

Inspect the ‘Cuda in Person

If you wish to examine this ‘Cuda up close, you can find it in York, near Harrisburg. Given its condition and the non-operational engine, it’s advisable to bring a trailer for transportation when taking this classic piece of automotive history home.


Q1: Why did Plymouth discontinue the big-block engines for the 1972 ‘Cuda?

A1: Plymouth made the decision to discontinue big-block engines, including the 383, 440, and 426 Hemi, for the 1972 ‘Cuda, likely due to shifting market dynamics and regulations.

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Q2: What engine options were available for the 1972 ‘Cuda?

A2: In 1972, the ‘Cuda was limited to the 340 V8 engine, with the choice of either manual or automatic transmissions.

Q3: Is the 340 engine in this ‘Cuda still operational?

A3: The condition of the 340 engine is uncertain, as it has been in storage for an extended period, possibly leading to a seized engine.

Q4: What makes this ‘Cuda particularly rare?

A4: This ‘Cuda is a rare find because it belongs to the limited production run of approximately 1,700 units equipped with the 340 engine and an automatic transmission in 1972.

Q5: What is the asking price for this 1972 ‘Cuda?

A5: The owner is seeking $8,500 for this ‘Cuda, considering its condition and restoration needs.

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