About This 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible
Posted: 29 Jun 2003
FIRST TIME OFFERED PUBLICLY! VERY ORIGINAL 3-OWNER CALIFORNIA RUST- FREE CAR!
This is a heavily optioned real BS27N1B 'Cuda Convertible, not a jazzed-up clone! 2 Fender Tags, 2 Build Sheets, Original #'s Matching Engine and Transmission, Curious Yellow, White Top, White Interior, Black Billboards, Front/Rear Rubber Bumpers, Color-Keyed Grill, Road Lamps, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, A/C, Buckets/Console, Power Top, Rallye Gauges, Rim-Blow Steering Wheel, 6-Way Seat, AMFM Stereo, LH Remote/RHManual Dual Painted Racing Mirrors, All Tinted Glass, Performance Axle Package (3.55 Sure-Grip, etc.), Light Package, 3-Speed Variable Wipers, and more!
This is the one you've been waiting for, guys! My loss is your gain, I don't want to sell it, but due to family obligations and work constraints, I'm going to have to in the next few weeks, unless something miraculous happens. How often will you get a chance to own one of the best examples of a 'Cuda Convertible ever built? If not the finest example, this 'Cuda is one of the handful of '71 Cuda Converts that truly capture the pinnacle of the muscle-car era in America, with the best retina-burning color, options, and history of any car ever made!
For the 1971 model year, there were only 128 â€˜Cuda Convertibles built with the 383 Super Commando engine for sale in the U.S. Of these, 87 were equipped with the Automatic Transmission, many of which were on the column, NOT the 'Slapstick' floor shift with console like this one! There were another 31 â€˜Cuda Convertibles that were built for sale in Canada, for a total of 159 cars. The exact export figures are not known, but are believed to be only a few cars at most. Including all engines and exports, there were only 374 â€˜Cuda convertibles built for 1971 (292 for the US), with around 210 of the 374 total known to exist today.
Of the 159 â€˜Cuda convertibles built with the 383 Super Commando (Plymouth's name for the 383 H.P 4-bbl engine that Dodge calls a Magnum), there are around 90 known to exist, and are listed in the Chrysler Convertible Registry, kept by Bill Rolik. This car is one of THE MOST DESIRABLE EXAMPLES IN EXISTENCE, due to the color, options, and special circumstances of it's production and history. Counting all 292 US cars, only 31 were GY3 Curious Yellow. No GY3 Hemi converts, only 1 GY3 440-6pack convert, so 30 of them were either 340 or 383 cars. Allowing that there were about 10% more 340s than 383s built, best guestimate is that there were about 14 of the 383s, and about 16 of the 340s in Curious Yellow. Of this possible 14, only 7 are accounted for in the Registry. Only 2 of these are coded for Billboards, and only 1 (mine) has a white interior. Remember, about 80% of ALL 'Cudas had black interiors, less than 10% of them had white interiors. So, to the best of my knowledge, this is the ONLY 1971 'Cuda Convertible 383-Super Commando that is Curious Yellow with a white interior, and one of 2 with Black Billboards!
If you are a true 'color-seeker', someone trying to find a cool 'Cuda Convertible with a great color, then this is your car. Of all the cool high impact colors for 1971, there is ONLY 1 GY3 440-6pack converts, NO GY3 Hemi converts, NO FC7 (In Violet) 440-6pack converts, ONLY 1 FC7 Hemi convert, NO FJ6 (Sassy Grass) 440-6pack OR Hemi Converts, ONLY 1 EV2 (Tor Red) Hemi Convert, and (if I recall correctly) only 3 EV2 440-6pack Converts. I know the owners of ALL of these multiple-carbureted converts. They are 'serious collectors' who will probably NEVER sell them! So, if you want one of the two coolest 1971 High-Impact colors (Curious Yellow and Sassy Grass Green) then your best option is a 383 car like this one! Especially this one!!!
This particular â€˜Cuda was built on November 3rd, 1970, and after it's 'Public Relations' stint, was sold new to an older couple in Baker, California. They had the car until February 1993, when Jack Podsedly, from Georgetown, CA (near Sacramento) bought the car. I bought it from him on March 17th, 1999, and waited until April 23rd to fly to Sacramento to pick it up, since a friend of mine and I were already planning on going to the Spring Fling. We flew into Sacramento from Oklahoma City on Friday, April 23rd, and on Saturday, April 24th, I drove it to Van Nuys, CA, for the Spring Fling Car Show on Sunday, April 25th. After the show, I drove it back to Oklahoma City over the next few days. (The 2000 mile road trip home was quite fun!) This was the first time that the â€˜Cuda had ever been outside of the Sacramento, CA area since being sold new.
Galen Govier was also at the Spring Fling, and after inspecting the car, told me that the 'Y28' code in the 'Sales' area on the Chrysler Broadcast Sheet, means 'Company Car / Public Relations'. Also printed at the lower left-hand corner under special instructions is 'SPECIAL HANDLING CAR'. This meant that extra care was to be taken while the car was being built at the factory, since it was a 'sold unit' with some kind of special purpose. The Y28 code was most commonly used by Chrysler whenever Hollywood ordered a car for a movie, TV show, or a TV commercial. According to Galen, there were other uses for that code, but with the striking color combination and almost every available option, the car was definitely used for some type of 'high visibility' public display before being sold new. Plus, the Order Number (R16441) is HIGHLY unusual. Most order numbers begin with either a 0 or a 1, NOT a letter! This 'R' also denotes the special purpose of this car.
Soon after I got home, I contacted the California Dept. of Public Safety, and purchased a title history on the 'Cuda. It shows the previous owner before Jack to be 'Paylor Robert Charles / Charleen Marie'. I called all of the Paylors listed in California, starting with the ones around Davis, but was unable to connect with these folks, or find out which dealership the 'Cuda came from. If you have any information as to the origins of this car, who ordered it and for what purpose, or can put me in contact with the previous owners, I would GREATLY appreciate it!
The first owner had the car repainted sometime in the 1980's, evidently due to a driver door crunch. At this time the 'Billboards' were removed, the black tail panel was painted curious yellow to match the car, and after-market body side moldings were added. (I removed these at once!) A new grille had been installed due to rock holes, but it wasn't repainted to match the car. Also, the Road Lamps and Rim-Blow Steering Wheel had been removed at some point. (I corrected these items also). This is about all that has ever been done to the car. It is a very original, rust-free California car, with an interesting history, equipped with almost every rare option offered.
Below are tables with the breakout of the fender tags, options, costs, and production numbers. The % column is how many of the total 'Cudas built for the U.S. that year (Hardtops + Convertibles = 5,675 cars) had the option listed. As you can see there are many options that only a handful of cars came with, such as the Six-Way seat, or Rim-Blow Steering Wheel, much less both on the same car. This car is truly one-of-a-kind!
Please look at ALL the pictures and read the comments on the pics before emailing with questions. The 'Cuda is almost a 'survivor' car. Original seats, seat belts, top, dash, engine, transmission, rear end, under the hood, underneath, it has never been wrecked, all original sheet metal except for the driver door. Underneath is dirty, but no rust. When I put the new carpet in, I took pictures of the floorboard as it was. It had a little surface rust, (NO holes or deep pitting), so I did clean it up, wire-brush, prime, and repaint just the areas that needed it. Most of the floorboard still has the original Curious Yellow paint. Did the same with the trunk, as you can see from the pics. I have also posted the before, during, and after pics of the floorboards on the Picture List link, so you can see how rust free it was and is.
This car is SO original, even the Cigarette Lighter works! (I use it for my cell phone.) The 20-second light delay (the small green lamps by the ignition switch and headlight switch, part of the A01 Light Package) even works! Cool! The 'Key-in-the-Ignition' door buzzer works. AM/FM Stereo works, although you have to jiggle the volume switch sometimes to make the left speaker work. Power top works, but is a little slow. (Could be because I haven't raised the top in 3 years, until I took the pics? What's the point of driving a convertible with the top up??!)
As mentioned previously, it was repainted sometime in the 80's, due to a crunch in the driver door. The door is not the original one, no VIN/Mfr Date decal on it. (Although reproductions can be had, I just haven't bothered to buy one yet.) As far as I can tell, the engine and transmission have never been out of the car, and no major engine work has ever been done. Car runs and drives very well. Looks great from 20'. The interior is a little too bright white, due to the re-dye. Seats and the vinyl covers are the original ones, except for the seam piece on the driver bottom, which I had replaced. Convertible top is also original, but it has been re-dyed with the white vinyl spray-dye, to look better. One small tear on the passenger side (approx. 2') which was covered up with a piece of white duct tape, hardly noticeable. Top does shed water, no holes or tears. Convertible top cover is a Year1 repro, but I have the original which will go with the car if you want it. The windshield and back glass are original, and have the Chrysler factory part numbers. Haven't checked the side glass. Body Sill Moldings are new. Carpet and padding is new, but I have the original if you want it. Dash is original with no cracks, which is incredible coming from California. The tinted glass made a big difference, along with the car always being garaged. Trunk mat is a new reproduction, that looks great. Tires still have the little thin rubber 'nubs' sticking out, almost all of the tread, although they are several years old. The road wheels were repainted a couple of years ago, including the reverse side. There is a small crease at the bottom of the LH quarter behind the rear wheel, that was just straightened a bit before the billboards were put back on. Also, the billboards were not very correct (off-brand) and I put the RH one on without any soapy water at 2:00am the day before a car show, since it was raining outside, and I didn't want to get my garage floor wet. (Bad idea.) Oh well, they're decals, easy to remove, and cheap. The small rivet holes where the *#$@*#&%* body side moldings were attached have been filled using bondo, and touched up with a small brush. Not very noticeable at 10' away, but you can see them if you are up close. All of the chrome is in place, and most of it is in great condition. Some will actually look NOS if it is cleaned and buffed. The exception is the LH Rear Wheelwell Lip Molding, which will need to be replaced. The Rear Wing is a correct 1971 Wing, but it is the only item I have added to the car that wasn't coded on the Build Sheet. I just like the way they look on the cars, and I had one laying around. There are a couple of cracks on the bottom surface of the wing near the RH mount that have been repaired, but not perfectly smooth. The floormats are special, they cannot be purchased anywhere, I had them custom-made by a place here in OKC, specifically to fit an Automatic E-body. Also, the stitching is MUCH better than any others, it was computer-created using the 'CUDA logo on the tail panel. Not cheap.
Under the hood, the engine compartment is almost untouched original. Battery is incorrect, as are the belts, hoses, hose clamps, spark plug wires, the usual stuff that people replace over 97,000 miles of driving. However, if you look closely at the pics, everything is where it should be, wiring, wire looms, cowl stuff, etc. I forgot to put the metal tube 'heat riser' piece that goes from the driver exhaust manifold heat shield to the bottom of the air breather snorkel back on, but I do have it. (How many 'Cudas have you seen that still had the heat shield in place!) I had the starter rebuilt, I believe it to be date-code correct, but I can't find the numbers when I did this 3 years ago. (If anyone remembers which issue the starter/alternator date-code articles in MOPAR Collector's Guide, or whatever mag they were in several years ago, PLEASE email, and I'll try to verify this.) A/C was working, but I let it sit too long, so it's too low on freon at the moment to cool. I didn't use it much anyway. I added a Pertronix Electronic ignition, instead of the points. (The kind that fits underneath the distributor cap, can't tell it's there.) Carb has been professionally rebuilt, and I used a special clear poly-type coating to preserve the finish. As you can see from the pics, it looks great, even after 3 years. Air Breather has been repainted with the correct crackle stuff. Pie-plate is new. Passenger Exhaust manifold has a crack on the top between #6 & #8 where they all do. Radiator is the correct #, and was vatted, but not repainted. This was done on the way back from California, as the old radiator was bad and we were overheating. We stopped by to see a friend in Phoenix, AZ who owns a machine shop, and he vatted it for us. (Thanks again, Dave!) We didn't have time to repaint it then, and I just haven't bothered to do it yet. Also on the trip back, I threw a fan belt, which broke off a fan blade, and took out a chunk of the shroud. I have a replacement shroud, and correct part-numbered fan which will go with the car.
You can tell from the seam-sealer that the fenders have never been off the car, nor have the hood hinges. Did I mention NO RUST! Well, a little surface rust on the bottom side of the hood directly over the fan, where the air picked up sand from driving which wore away the surface paint, as you can see from the pics. Once again, only surface rust, no pits. A little surface rust on the portion of the fenders that wraps under the hood, where it is bolted down, but nothing to it. The master cylinder leaked at one time (doesn't now) and the power brake booster, as well as the top of the frame rail under the booster are rusted, which will need a little bit of smoothing before repainting. This is the only area I can think of that has any rust at all that 400 wt sandpaper wouldn't cure in a few seconds, and even this is not major.
One other interesting thing that Galen pointed out when he inspected the car, was that this car didn't have any torque boxes! Did any of y'all notice that from the pics? According to the Plymouth specs ALL Convertibles had these. Maybe they were out of them that week, and had to build the car anyway? Who knows.
Car is a GREAT driver, I have a blast every time I take it out, although I'm a little bit paranoid in any traffic, but I just avoid heavy traffic. The engine has never failed to start, even after sitting for months. Only a very small amount of smoke from the RH exhaust when cold starting. (Hardly noticeable.) Engine does fowl the #6 spark plug too often. I haven't bothered to do a compression test, since I was going to rebuild the motor whenever I redo the car anyway. Engine runs good, but at 97,600 miles, it's time to go through the engine and transmission. I do have a 1-minute video of me starting and driving the car down the street, you can see that there's no visible smoke, engine/exhaust sounds great, and you can hear the transmission shift. If you do want to see it, email and I'll send you a zip file, but *warning* it is several megabytes in size.
In summary, the car looks good and is very original, but not good enough to win any survivor trophies, especially with the repaint. The pictures make the paint job look better than it actually is, there are some small discolorations and flaws here and there. When the car was repainted, the front end of the car was repainted again later, probably due to flaking, and it is slightly lighter than the back half of the car. In some light it isn't very noticeable, but at other times it is. Curious Yellow looks different anyway, sometimes yellow, sometimes the green comes through. As one of the pics show, there is a very small crack at the fold of the RH quarter, (1-3/4' long) just behind the passenger door, that will need a bit of MIG touchup. The car has never been wet since I got it back to Oklahoma City and cleaned it up. I don't even wash it, I just use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Of course, it is always garaged, except for the rare instances when I drive it.
If you are a collector that restores your own car, either for show or to drive, this will be an easy one. I do my own cars (when I have time and money) and to put this car into tip-top 'once-in-awhile driver, but totally restored' condition, you will spend about $15k-$18k, including a $5k paint job, motor/tranny rebuild, new top, interior redone, etc. If you are a collector that sends cars off to someone else to restore, you will not have to spend as much as you normally do to get this car into trailer queen shape, as it is such a great rust-free, original, complete car to begin with. As in other things, your mileage may vary, and this is not a guarantee, it depends on who does the car, and to what level, but plan on about $35k - $40k. If you are interested, I would do it for you for around that or less, or even a parts-cost-plus-fixed amount basis, once it's paid for. I have a 2000 sq ft shop, and all the tools, connections, knowledge, ability, etc. to do the car RIGHT, date-coded correct everything, totally documented, top-notch job. Plus, I'm not doing any other cars at the moment, I only do one at a time, so I will be able to complete the car in a timely fashion, none of these '3-year' restorations you hear about. I have pics of previous cars I've done, and the first-place trophies I've won, and would LOVE to be able to restore this car for you.
Specs & Details
Interior Color: white vinyl
Engine: 383 4bbl V8
# Produced: 374 (unconfirmed)
Price When New: ~$5,200
Miles Driven: 97,600
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