Louise S 1971 Plymouth Cuda 2dr Convertible

Love At First Sight

I was raised in a "Chevy Family." Growing up we only owned Chevrolets. Then I met and married my husband, Richard. He is a Mopar guy and at the time was driving a 1971 Plymouth Duster. It was a great little car. As the years went by, he found a car advertised in our local newspaper: a 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda convertible. Well, with my limited knowledge of Plymouths, the only 'Cuda I was familiar with was the original little Barracuda fastback cars. Trying to picture this as a convertible, needless to say, left me quite unimpressed. I figured it has to be one ugly car! I had no idea that in 1970 they had drastically altered the body style into the magnificent E-Body format. He insisted on going to look at the car, while I stayed at home with our year-old son. He came home later in the day to tell me that had purchased the car. Oh, I wasn't really impressed. But, to keep the peace, I told him I couldn't wait to see his new toy. A few days later, he went with a friend to pick up his new car. He pulled into the driveway that afternoon, and I must say, it actually was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!. It was a beautiful blue with white interior, a white convertible top, and sounded fantastic! We drove this wonderful car as a daily driver for about a year, not realizing just what we had. We later attended a meet in Northern Virginia; a meet of E-body cars ('Cudas and Challengers). It was there that we found out just how rare the 'Cuda convertibles are. We were one of only two convertibles in attendance. The other was a gorgeous 1971 'Cuda convertible in Tor-Red, with black interior and a white convertible top. Both cars were a big hit at the meet. There were only 19 convertibles made like ours in 1970 with a 340 engine and 3-speed transmission. There were only 8 made like the 1971 with a 383 HP engine and a 3-speed transmission! We returned home to deliberate the future of our '70 as a daily driver.

About three weeks later, my husband noticed another ad in our local newspaper, this time for a 1971 'Cuda convertible. Could it be the beautiful orange one we saw at the meet? As it turned out it was! We contacted the owner and made arrangements to go to see the car. It was in a town about an hour drive from us, and I was excited to see the car again.

We met up with the owner and traveled to a garage where he kept the 'Cuda. He drove it out through the doors of the garage as the theme from "Jaws" played in my head. An offer was made and the 1971 'Cuda was ours. That was in 1985. We were, and are, the proud owners of two 'Cuda convertibles. The 1971, as it turns out, is a survivor car! It is totally original with the exception of the top, the tires, and the battery. It is in show condition and catches the eye of all who see him.

We continue to drive our 'Cudas and have added two little Barracuda convertibles as companions-- a 1967 and 1968. Looking forward to obtaining a 1969 to complete the collection. My favorite is still the 1971, but it was really setting my eyes on the beautiful blue 1970 that convinced me to become a Mopar Girl! I was President of our local Mopar club for 17 years, and my husband and I are still charter members. I drive a PT Cruiser and my husband drives a Dodge Dakota pickup as our daily drivers. For us, it is truly MOPAR OR NO CAR!

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