Every muscle car has its story, and every car collector, mechanic and muscle car enthusiast has that one vehicle they put at the top of the hill. For many, the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda is the car to beat.
Catching the ‘Cuda
Hailing from the third generation of Chrysler's E-body, the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda shares certain design characteristics with the Dodge Challenger, including a compact body. This vehicle is patently unique, which is why it became the darling of collectors like Tim Wellborn, a Mopar vehicle enthusiast. Like many muscle car enthusiasts, Wellborn caught the bug young. While he was on a trip with his father to a Talladega dealership, he discovered his love for the Barracuda, according to Hot Rod Network.
Dealerships and Brochures
Prior to the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, the styles of these cars were narrowed to the convertible two-door notchback. However, a third generation with a 108-inch wheelbase was added that was 74 inches wide, 108 inches long and 50.9 inches high. Both the powerful ‘70 and ‘71 base and the Gran Coupe models had the options of six cylinders engines, a 225-cubic-inch unit and a 198-cubic-inch version. These exciting design features made the Barracuda popular, but Wellborn's father Doug was reportedly not that impressed by the hard sell and decided to think on it for a while. At the time, the dealership, like all the places that sold Plymouths, was inundated with brochures with glossy images of new high-performance vehicles. The Rapid Transit System brochure, filled with amazing images and accessories, made an impression on young Tim.
Wellborn and the Rainbow ‘Cuda
Some of the other options offered in the Plymouth Barracuda that made it a unique product of its time included the three V8 options: a 383-cubic-inch model with a two-barrel carb, a 318-cubic-inch model, and a 383-cubic-inch model fitted with dual exhaust with an output of 330 horses and four-barrel carburetor. The exterior of one particular ‘Cuda caught Wellborn’s attention. It was an image of a 1970 model with a paint job composed of 25 different colors with zombie headers, a wheelie bar, drag racing slicks and a roll bar. This customization captivated Wellborn for years.
With features like a 383-cubic-inch, 335-horsepower engine standard with an optional 426-cubic-inch hemi in the Plymouth Barracuda Sport, there is no doubt as to why the standard Barracuda was such a standout. Then there were the transmission options of the third generation, including the three- and four-speed manuals and a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic. The amount of variety in this, Wellborn's first favorite famous muscle car, planted the seeds that motivated Wellborn and his wife to establish the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum in Alexander City, Alabama. Over the years, after picking up as many muscle cars from the Plymouth, Chrysler and Dodge brochures as he could find, Wellborn managed to create one of the most comprehensive muscle car collections in America.
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