1969 Plymouth 'Cuda 440
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Classic American Muscle Car
In 1969, Plymouth's pony car was getting flat out whipped by the competition from Ford and GM. Although Plymouth had dropped the 383 in Barracudas for a few years at this point, it just wasn't enough.
The solution? The 'Cuda 440 ! In perhaps the ultimate shoe-horn job of all time, Mopar shoved their 440 Magnum engine in the tiny A-Body Barracuda. This was also the first year of the high performance version of the Barracuda , officially called "'Cuda" by Plymouth. It is a name that stuck and has become muscle car legend.
The 'Cuda 440 Special Package, as it was called, was considered a factory race car and covered by a restricted 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. Customers were required to sign numerous releases and warranty papers to even take delivery of these beasts. Only 358 cars were produced, 59 notch back coupes and 299 Fastbacks. All were equipped with Torqueflight automatics. Additional equipment in the 'Cuda 440 Package included:
-Console and bucket seats
-3.55 Sure Grip rear axle
-Heavy Duty Suspension (HD Torsion bars,HD leaf springs,Front sway bar)
-Heavy Duty Shock Asorbers, 1" Diameter front and rear
-14"x5.5" Heavy Duty Steel Wheels
-E70 x 14 Wide Boot redline tires
-Dual hood scoops and tape stripes in black
-Lower body stripes - black
-'Cuda 440 callouts
Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, disc brakes were not available with the 'Cuda 440. It was all business!
Out of the 299 Fastbacks produced, only 70 cars are known to exist. The 'Cuda 440 Registry has 23 known wrecked or otherwise unsalvageable VIN numbers on their list.
Of the remaining cars, the car before you is the best documented and perhaps finest example of the breed. A documented 4-owner , 28,000 mile car that is fully numbers matching from end to end, top to bottom. The ownership chain is as follows:
-First owner: Daniel W. Richards, a USMC Officer who purchased the car on Febuary 19th, 1969, from Johnson Chrysler Plymouth in New Bern, North Carolina
-Second owner: Richards traded the car to Padgett Motors in N.C. in Febuary of 1971. Troy Padgett purchased the car for himself from his dealership, making the paperwork out to his wife Christine Padgett, on Febuary 16th, 1971. Just three days short of the 3rd anniversary of the car's initial retail sale, oddly enough!
-Third owner: Edwin Patterson of Broadway, North Carolina, purchased the car from Troy Padgett on Febuary 22nd, 1990. Notice the date and that this is exactly 3 days AFTER the car's 21st birthday! Apparently, the third week of Febuary is when 'Cuda 440 cars get sold in North Carolina?
-Fourth owner: Tom Wenstadt purchased the car from Patterson in 1999. Tom is the founder of the 'Cuda 440 Registry and a well respected authority on 'Cuda 440 cars.
Upon Tom Wenstadt's purchase, he proceeded to a full concours level rotisserie restoration. Stripped to bare metal, the body of the car was found to be 100% rust and accident free, a testament to the care it had received through the years. Every component was restored, rebuilt, and detailed to look and function as new. Tom suceeded , as the car stands as an incredible example of an ultra rare muscle car. It is truly a weapon, nothing will shove you in the seat like a 375 HP, 480 Ft.Lbs torque big block in a little A Body car!
Paperwork: Perhaps the most incredible aspect of this car is the documentation. It has paperwork some people have never even seen, like the 4 page 'Cuda 440 Warranty that was supposed to be signed and sent back to Chrysler - but that Richards failed to sign and left the dealership with! There is a supporting document for every title transfer and sale, the original Broadcast sheet from the car, a Special Handling order form from inside the car, the original warranty book stamped with "Superseded by the "Cuda 440" Special Warranty", the window sticker version of the special warranty that was never applied, and full Galen Govier documentation.
Better yet is the options on this car, or lack thereof! It is an undercoat delete, sound deadening delete, radio delete, bare bones muscle car in the awesome shade of Blue Fire Metallic over Blue interior, with redline tires!
If you have been looking for one of the most potent and rarest muscle cars of all time, here is your shot at the best example available at any price.