We all travel once in a while, and while this used to mean breaking out the map or atlas to navigate, we now rely more and more on modern navigation aids like GPS. We have to admit that it is convenient to have the GPS screen, and pleasant voice, to guide us turn by turn, but sometimes even the GPS gets it wrong, or we simply misread the map on the display. This is exactly what happened to Chris Douthit and his wife on their way from their home in Nantahala, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, when a missed turn had them looking for a place to turn around. As luck would have it, this course deviation led them to a ’73 Plymouth ’Cuda sitting under a tree down a hill below the road they were on.

Once he spotted the ’Cuda, the trip got postponed so Chris could stop to check it out. The owner of the Plymouth had pulled it out of the garage and parked it by the road to advertise it for sale, but hadn’t posted any ads for the car yet. Speaking with the owner, Chris discovered that the car was an original 340 car, but was an unfinished drag race project that currently had a 440 installed in it. After looking the car over and finding all of the original sheet metal intact and in great shape, and no roll cage or other modifications, Chris didn’t even argue with the asking price of $5,000. As an added bonus, the seller still had the original 340 engine and included that and the original transmission in the deal when he sold the car to Chris. Chris returned the next morning with his trailer and retrieved the Plymouth along with the original drive train.

Aside from the aftermarket wheels and missing grille, this ’Cuda is complete and in very good shape for its age. The Plymouth was originally sold at a dealership in Alabama, and then the first owner sold it to his brother who intended to drag race the car. Luckily, the race car project never got going, and the car was then sold to the gentleman Chris bought it from, who intended to restore it, but never got started. Only 94,000 original miles accumulated on the Plymouth over those years, and life in the south kept the floors and body rust-free.

1973 was considered a transition year for the Barracuda, and because of high insurance premiums and ever increasing gas prices, not many were sold with high-performance engines. E-Bodies were also prone to rust issues, especially in the trunk and quarter panels, so finding a clean example is rare these days. Many of these cars ended their lives as rusting heaps in scrap yards, and high-performance models were often crashed by young owners who didn’t respect the power of the 340. For these reasons, we consider Chris lucky to find such a cool example of a later E-Body Mopar.

As a true BS23H coded ’Cuda 340, this car was originally painted Autumn Bronze Metallic, with a white interior. Other options include air conditioning, a rally dash, and Slap-Stick shifted automatic transmission. Chris is currently planning a full, all-original restoration for the ‘Cuda, and is happy that his wrong turn led to such a solid E-Body. We only wish our GPS would lead us to a score like this Plymouth!