Plymouth diamond ‘Cuda 1971 rescued after 40 years of glorious glory


When it comes to derelict classic cars, we usually associate them with junkyards and worn-out barns. But many old vehicles were also left to rot away in backyards or even abandoned in the woods.

This 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda, for instance, spent more than 40 years hidden deep in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. And even though it’s a sad sight, it was rescued, and it’s off to a better life.

What is the story behind his Mopar? Well, the folks that saved it don’t share much info beyond the fact that it was wrecked and abandoned.

Apparently, it happened sometime in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, so they don’t know for exactly how long it’s been sitting. But it’s anywhere from 40 to 45 years, which is about five times longer than this muscle car spent on the road.

That’s also long enough to turn a solid automobile into a rust bucket. However, this Mopar took all those decades of total exposure to the elements like a champ. Sure, it’s rusty, shows a lot of damage, and it’s missing a few parts, but it’s still in one piece.

And amazingly enough, the original Bahama Yellow paint still adorns most of the sheet metal. That’s something you don’t see everything on vehicles that spent decades outside.

Now for the answer to the big question: how rare is this ‘Cuda? We don’t get to see a VIN or any other tag, but our host mentions that the Mopar left the factory with a 340-cubic-inch (5.6-liter) V8 under the hood. Granted, the LA-type mill is far from impressive next to the big-block mills that were available in 1971, including the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB and the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI.

It’s not quite as rare either, but it’s a relatively low-production unit. Specifically, records show that only 3,440 ‘Cudas were ordered with the 340 V8 in 1971. That’s less than 21% of total production that year.

However, this figure includes all three transmissions that were available at the time. This one being an automatic, it’s one of 2,110 cars made. If we also exclude the convertibles, we can narrow it down to 2,008 examples.

Indeed, this figure is not as impressive as those that come with the HEMI and 440 cars. For reference, Plymouth sold only 114 HEMI ‘Cudas and 254 440-6BBL models in 1971. But the Bahama Yellow paint would narrow things down even further.

The problem is there are no production records based on color options, but we do know that Bahama Yellow wasn’t popular back in the day.

It’s not the best-looking color out there, and it was overshadowed by flashy hues such as In-Violet, Rallye Red, Sassy Grass Green, and Curious Yellow. All told, it’s safe to say that fewer than 100 340 automatics were shipped in Bahama Yellow.

Does this mean it’s worth as much as a HEMI? Not by a long shot. But it’s definitely worth restoring simply because it survived for so long in the wild. And hopefully, the folks from YouTube’s “S and S Barn Finds” will put it back on the road soon.

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