Here we have an incredible piece of American Trans Am road race history. A genuine one-production-year only Plymouth AAR 'Cuda, all numbers matching, 340 6 Pack, genuine Minilites, restored in all its Sassy Green glory!
In the halcyon days of Trans Am racing, great drivers like Sam Posey and Mark Donohue plied the racetracks of America in some of the most exciting production-based cars ever built. Ford trotted out the Boss 302, GM had the Camaro Z-28, Dodge the T/A Challenger and not to be left out Plymouth muscled up the new E-body Barracuda to create the ‘Cuda. Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs had won the 5.0 litre class of the SCCA Trans-American Championship for Manufacturers in 1966 and 1967, the Camaros took the trophy in 1968 and 1969, and Chrysler wanted a slice of the pie too.
With hopes of breaking the Big Two’s hold Plymouth hired Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) Team in Santa Ana, California, to build and race a Trans-Am ‘Cuda. It was more than competitive seeing it’s fair share of podiums. For 1970 Plymouth decided to highlight those achievements on the track with a Dealer-only street car option called the AAR, in appreciation of Gurney's efforts in the #48 race car. The result was the 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda, Plymouth’s factory built race spec road car. Three carburettors, fibreglass hood, spoilers, side exit exhaust and eye popping graphics made the Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda impossible to ignore.
You could not miss the differences between an AAR and a regular Barracuda on the street, starting with high impact paint colours and some aggressive 'strobe light' graphics in flat black to match the black fibreglass hood. The eyebrow spoilers up front matched the molded spoiler out back, giving the car a purposeful stance. The exhaust tips poking out in front of the rear wheels were another clue that an AAR ‘Cuda meant business. Pop the hood pins and the 340 small block V8 greeted you with the Six Pack option breathing through the functional hood scoop.
The 2,727 AAR ‘Cudas built for the street featured the same block as the race cars (which ran 304 cubes to meet the 5 litre rule) with offset-pushrod large port heads, and the three two-barrel Holley carbs on a high-rise Edelbrock aluminum manifold. Breathing through a low-restriction side-exit exhaust the street mill made 290 hp at 5000 rpm and 345 lb ft of torque at 3400 rpm.
The street car packed heavy-duty springs, power front disc brakes, a four-speed manual transmission or 3 speed TorqueFlite auto and an 8.75-inch Sure-Grip axle. Exterior identification also included a remote control racing mirror and the racing spoilers. The antenna was mounted on the rear guard due to radio interference from the fibreglass hood. Plymouth priced the ‘Cuda at US$3,966 when new, and named it AAR in honour of Gurney’s operation.
These cars were light and very competitive in their day, and the one-year-only production makes them a special find. By 1971 the entire Trans Am program was collapsing so with nothing left to honour the ‘Cuda’s days were numbered.
This example in stunning FJ6 Sassy Green is a complete numbers matching car as per the comprehensive pics, with a thorough restoration right down to the hoses, clamps, battery, screws, and markings. Optioned with the wood grain steering wheel and full instrument dash cluster, optional black vinyl bucket seats, and centre console and auto shifter.
Running a set of mint genuine 15" x 8" Minilite of England alloy wheels. The original steel sports road wheels are included with the car. The car was imported approximately 10 years ago and has been with the current owner for the last 5 years. Following a stint of recent poor storage, the paint is showing some humidity bubbles as shown in the last few pics. The car is priced accordingly.
This is a very collectable Chrysler muscle car, and rare to find in Australia. Available for inspection on Sydney's North Shore. (Ref. 5343)