All-Original and Unrestored 1972 Plymouth Barracuda Is an Incredible Garage Find

1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find 10 photos
Photo: Nobody's Show/YouTube
1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find1972 Plymouth Barracuda garage find
Introduced for the 1970 model year, the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda was a massive departure from its predecessors. Built on the brand-new E-body platform, it gained a more aggressive design, and Chrysler's high-compression big-block V8 engines finally became regular options.
The latter mills weren't particularly popular, though. Due to high insurance costs, only 3,436 customers went with the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB and the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI in 1970. That's only 7% of the total production. That number got even smaller in 1971, the final year for both units. Plymouth delivered 368 examples, or only 2.2% of the total output.

If we combine these numbers, we get only 3,804 units and a ratio of only 5.8% over two model years. And that's precisely what makes the 440- and 426-equipped Plymouth 'Cuda a rare and desirable gem. And when it comes to HEMI cars, it is also a million-dollar classic. But these high-compression engines also overshadow the third-gen Barracudas that followed through 1974.

Sure, I totally get why post-1971 Barracudas aren't considered proper muscle cars. Not having 375-to-425 horsepower at the tip of your toe is a bit disappointing. But these late third-gen Mopars weren't exactly slow. Yes, the 318-cubic-inch version was far from impressive at 150 horsepower, but the 340 V8 delivered a healthy 240 horsepower, while the 360 unit came with 245 horses on tap in 1974.

And we're talking net figures here. There's no precise formula to determine gross output as they used before 1971, but it would be close to 300 horsepower, which isn't bad for a more compact rig like the Barracuda. What's more, I think the 1972-1974 version is a better-looking rig thanks to Plymouth's decision to use round quad taillights and a V-shaped nose.

All told, these post-1971 Barracudas don't get the attention they deserve. Making matters worse, most of them have been neglected for decades, so solid examples are getting harder and harder to find. Naturally, I get excited whenever I see a survivor coming out of storage. This 1972 hardtop in Basin Street Blue is one of them.

Featured by YouTube's "Nobody's Show," this Mopar was recently dragged out of long-term storage. It's quite weathered inside and out, but it's surprisingly solid for a classic that hasn't been maintained in many years. It's safe to say it's one of the lucky ones parked in a garage rather than a barn or under exposure to the elements.

But it's the all-original and unrestored status that makes this Barracuda a hard-to-find gem. A one-owner rig until recently, this Plymouth is as original as they get. It's still wrapped in the factory-applied Basin Street Blue hue with white stripes. Likewise, the white interior has never been restored.

The 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) V8 engine under the hood is a numbers-matching unit, as is the automatic transmission with a console shifter. According to our host, the only thing that has been changed on this car is the exhaust manifolds. However, the original components are in the trunk, so this thing can be returned to factory specifications immediately.

Sure, it needs a lot of work and has a few rust holes in the C-pillars, but it's still one of the cleanest unrestored survivors I've seen in a very long time. It's one of those Barracudas that doesn't need a HEMI to shine. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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