The Amazing History Of The 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda

The 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda has an undeniable influence on the auto world. It took the muscle car craze by storm in its heyday and changed the industry forever. This classic American ride was made to be a thrill-seeking powerhouse, equipped with special options that are now highly sought-after by car enthusiasts around the globe. From its signature two-tone paint job to its formidable engine power, every detail of this ride is just as impressive today as it was fifty years ago.

With such a storied history, it’s no wonder why devotees of all ages consider this Plymouth model one of their dream cars. If you’re looking for ample power combined with timeless style, then you can’t go wrong with owning a piece of automotive greatness — the 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda!

Overview of the Plymouth AAR Cuda – History and Design

The Plymouth AAR Cuda is a legendary American muscle car that was produced by Plymouth, a division of Chrysler, in the early 1970s. It was a high-performance variant of the popular Plymouth Barracuda model and was specifically designed for Trans-Am racing homologation purposes.


In 1970, Plymouth wanted to compete in the Trans-American Sedan Championship (Trans-Am), a popular road racing series that featured pony cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. To meet the requirements for participation, Plymouth needed to produce a limited number of street-legal versions of their race car. This led to the development of the AAR Cuda.

AAR stands for “All American Racers,” which was the name of Dan Gurney’s racing team that partnered with Plymouth for this project. The AAR Cuda was named after the team and was intended to promote Plymouth’s involvement in the Trans-Am series.


The Plymouth AAR Cuda featured a unique and aggressive design that set it apart from the standard Barracuda models. It had a sleek and aerodynamic body with a pronounced hood scoop, bold side stripes, and a rear spoiler. These styling elements not only gave the car a menacing appearance but also improved its performance on the race track.

Under the hood, the AAR Cuda was equipped with a special version of Chrysler’s 340 cubic inch (5.6-liter) V8 engine. This engine featured three two-barrel carburetors, a high-flow intake manifold, and a performance camshaft. It produced 290 horsepower, which was impressive for its time.

Other performance enhancements included a unique dual exhaust system, heavy-duty suspension components, and power-assisted front disc brakes. The AAR Cuda also featured wider tires and rallye wheels for improved grip and handling.


Plymouth produced the AAR Cuda for the 1970 model year only. It is estimated that around 2,724 units were built, making it a relatively rare and collectible car today. The AAR Cuda was available in a range of vibrant colors, including Vitamin C Orange, Sassy Grass Green, and Moulin Rouge.


The Plymouth AAR Cuda is highly regarded among muscle car enthusiasts for its distinctive looks, limited production numbers, and performance capabilities. It played a significant role in Plymouth’s participation in the Trans-Am series and left a lasting impression in automotive history.

Today, the AAR Cuda is a sought-after collector’s car, and well-maintained examples can command high prices at auctions. Its iconic design and association with the golden era of American muscle cars have solidified its place as a highly desirable and memorable automobile.

Performance Specifications Of A 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda

The 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda was a high-performance muscle car designed for both street and track use. Here are the performance specifications of this iconic vehicle:


– Engine Type: 340 cubic inch (5.6-liter) V8

– Carburetion: Three two-barrel carburetors

– Compression Ratio: 10.5:1

– Horsepower: 290 horsepower at 5,000 RPM

– Torque: 335 lb-ft (454 Nm) at 3,400 RPM

– Redline: 6,000 RPM


– Transmission Type: 4-speed manual transmission

– Optional Transmission: 3-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite)


– 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) Acceleration: Approximately 6.3 seconds

– Quarter-Mile Time: Approximately 14.5 seconds

– Top Speed: Approximately 130 mph (209 km/h)


– Front Suspension: Independent torsion bars

– Rear Suspension: Leaf springs with staggered shock absorbers


– Front Brakes: Power-assisted disc brakes

– Rear Brakes: Drum brakes


– Wheelbase: 108 inches (2,743 mm)

– Length: 186.7 inches (4,742 mm)

– Width: 76.4 inches (1,940 mm)

– Height: 50.9 inches (1,293 mm)

– Curb Weight: Approximately 3,600 lbs (1,633 kg)


– Front Tires: F60-15 Goodyear Polyglas

– Rear Tires: G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas

These specifications give you an idea of the performance capabilities of the 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda. It was known for its quick acceleration, respectable quarter-mile time, and an impressive top speed. The combination of its powerful V8 engine, enhanced suspension, and aerodynamic design made it a formidable competitor both on the streets and the racetrack.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda

Owning a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda, like any classic car, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some factors to consider:


– Iconic Design: The AAR Cuda is known for its striking and aggressive design, which turns heads wherever it goes. Owning one allows you to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of a true muscle car from the golden era of American automotive history.

– Performance: The AAR Cuda was designed for performance, featuring a powerful V8 engine and enhanced suspension components. Driving one can be an exhilarating experience, with quick acceleration and impressive handling capabilities.

– Collector’s Value: The limited production numbers and historical significance of the AAR Cuda make it a highly desirable collector’s car. Its value has the potential to appreciate over time, making it a good investment for car enthusiasts.

– Community and Events: Owning a classic car like the AAR Cuda opens up opportunities to connect with fellow enthusiasts and participate in car shows, rallies, and other events. The sense of camaraderie and shared passion for automotive history can be rewarding.

– Personalization: Restoring or modifying a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda allows for personalization options. You can customize the car to your preferences, adding modern upgrades or restoring it to its original factory specifications.


– Cost and Maintenance: Classic cars, especially rare and collectible ones like the AAR Cuda, can be expensive to acquire and maintain. The initial purchase price, restoration costs, and ongoing maintenance can add up. Availability and cost of replacement parts may also be a challenge.

– Limited Comfort and Convenience Features: Compared to modern cars, the AAR Cuda may lack some comfort and convenience features. It may not have power steering, air conditioning, advanced sound systems, or other amenities commonly found in today’s vehicles.

– Fuel Efficiency: Classic muscle cars are notorious for their fuel consumption. The AAR Cuda’s powerful V8 engine may not offer the fuel efficiency of modern vehicles. Regular visits to the gas station and higher fuel costs are factors to consider.

– Safety Features: The AAR Cuda was produced at a time when safety regulations were less stringent. It may lack modern safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, or traction control. Precautions and driving awareness are essential to ensure safety on the road.

– Limited Daily Use: Some classic cars, including the AAR Cuda, are better suited for occasional drives or display rather than daily use. Factors like reliability, weather conditions, and availability of specialized maintenance can limit the practicality of using it as a daily driver.

Owning a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda is a passion-driven choice that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons. It offers a nostalgic and thrilling ownership experience, but it’s important to understand the responsibilities and costs associated with owning and maintaining a classic muscle car.

Popular Restoration Projects for the 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda

Restoring a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda can be an exciting project for muscle car enthusiasts. Here are some popular restoration projects that enthusiasts undertake to bring these iconic vehicles back to their former glory:

– Body and Paint Restoration:

Restoring the body and paintwork is often a crucial part of the project. This includes repairing any rust or damage, straightening panels, and applying the correct paint color and finishes to match the original factory specifications. Attention to detail is important to maintain the car’s authenticity.

– Engine Rebuild:

The 340 cubic inch V8 engine in the AAR Cuda may require a thorough rebuild to ensure optimal performance. This involves disassembling the engine, inspecting components, cleaning or replacing parts as needed, and reassembling it with precision. Upgrading to high-performance components or adding modern fuel injection systems are also popular options.

– Interior Restoration:

The interior of the AAR Cuda can be restored to its original appearance or customized to suit the owner’s preferences. This includes reupholstering the seats, replacing carpets, restoring the dashboard, and refurbishing or replacing the instrument cluster. Attention to detail in recreating the original interior design is important for a period-correct restoration.

– Suspension and Brake Upgrades:

Restorers often choose to upgrade the suspension and brakes for improved handling and safety. This can involve replacing worn-out components with high-quality aftermarket parts or restoring the original components to their factory condition. Upgrades may include performance shocks, sway bars, and modern disc brake systems.

– Electrical System:

Restoring the electrical system is crucial for the proper functioning of the car. This includes repairing or replacing wiring, switches, relays, and lights. Upgrading to a modern electrical system with improved reliability, while keeping the original aesthetics intact, is also an option.

– Authenticity and Documentation:

Paying attention to authenticity is a key aspect of a restoration project. Researching and sourcing correct parts, decals, and trim pieces is important to maintain the car’s originality. Documentation and paperwork, such as original build sheets, broadcast sheets, or fender tags, can also add value to the car and provide historical accuracy.

– Performance Upgrades:

While some restorers aim for a completely stock restoration, others choose to incorporate modern performance upgrades. This can include installing aftermarket fuel injection systems, upgrading the exhaust system, or enhancing the suspension for better handling. These modifications can improve overall performance while still respecting the car’s heritage.

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FAQs About 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda

How many 1970 Plymouth AAR Cudas were produced?

It is estimated that Plymouth produced approximately 2,724 AAR Cudas for the 1970 model year.

What does AAR stand for in AAR Cuda?

AAR stands for “All American Racers,” which was the name of Dan Gurney’s racing team that partnered with Plymouth for this project.

What engine is in the AAR Cuda?

The AAR Cuda is equipped with a special version of Chrysler’s 340 cubic inch (5.6-liter) V8 engine.

How much horsepower does the AAR Cuda have?

The AAR Cuda’s 340 V8 engine produces 290 horsepower.

What kind of transmission does the AAR Cuda have?

The AAR Cuda came with a 4-speed manual transmission as standard, and a 3-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite) was available as an option.

What were the unique features of the AAR Cuda compared to other Barracuda models?

The AAR Cuda had distinctive design elements, including a prominent hood scoop, bold side stripes, a rear spoiler, and a unique dual exhaust system. It also featured performance upgrades like heavy-duty suspension components and power-assisted front disc brakes.

Can I still find original parts for the AAR Cuda?

While some original parts may be difficult to find, there are specialized suppliers, online marketplaces, and salvage yards that offer original and reproduction parts specifically for the AAR Cuda.

How much does a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda cost?

The cost of a 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda can vary significantly depending on factors such as its condition, originality, rarity, and market demand. Well-preserved and fully restored examples can command high prices.

Is the AAR Cuda a good investment?

The AAR Cuda’s limited production numbers, historical significance, and desirability among collectors make it a potentially good investment. However, it’s essential to carefully consider factors such as restoration costs, maintenance expenses, and market conditions before considering it solely as an investment.

Are there any modern cars similar to the AAR Cuda?

While there are no modern cars that directly replicate the AAR Cuda, various modern muscle cars pay homage to the classic designs and performance characteristics of vehicles from that era. Examples include the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, which offer powerful engines, aggressive styling, and modern amenities.

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The 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda is truly one of the most remarkable cars of its time. Its combination of performance, iconic design, and reputation as the very first muscle car from Chrysler makes it a standout classic, and highly sought after amongst vintage car collectors. Even if you can’t bring yourself to part with this automotive legend, taking a ride in one on the open road would be sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that offers more than just looks and power, then the 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda is definitely worth considering. With its unique history and impressive performance credentials, it provides all the thrills and fun that enthusiasts could ever ask for in a retro model. So why not check out what two million dollars can buy — drive home in a Plymouth AAR Cuda today!

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