Though finding a rare Mopar sitting in a yard or garage in your neighborhood is rare these
There's no doubt that it's harder to find a Mopar these days as most of the cars left sitting in the open, as well as many hidden in back yards and garages, have already been purchased. But as the desirable cars we see while driving around have seemed to dwindle in recent years, there have been many advances in technology that can help us find the car we're looking for. Internet sites such as eBay or Craig's List have really created a worldwide marketplace for cars, so instead of driving around the countryside to find our next project we can simply surf the web.
Surfing the web is just what Lakeland, Florida, native Matt Koops was doing when he found a lead on an AAR 'Cuda that had allegedly been drag raced since it was nearly new. Sensing an interesting story, and knowing the website where he got the lead was pretty reliable, Matt followed up his lead, eventually speaking with the current owner of the car in Glen Cove (Long Island), New York. The owner said that yes, the car was an original '70 AAR 'Cuda, but that the original engine had been damaged and replaced in 1974. The car was then raced until 1976 when it was parked, rolled into the garage, and simply sat for 33 years. Matt asked what the asking price was, and it must have been good because he quickly hooked up his trailer and drove the eighteen some hours from Florida to New York.
When Matt arrived to check out the AAR he found the car to be as described, and sitting in
Upon arriving, Matt discovered the car to indeed have all the signs of an original AAR 'Cuda. Though the Plymouth was originally equipped with an automatic transmission, it had been changed to an A-833 manual when the car had only 1,000 miles on the odometer. Other signs that this car had been raced were the provisions for a tow bar, hood with an aftermarket scoop, and traction aids on the leaf springs. Showing very little mileage and having a clean interior backing the story that this car had been raced and then parked, Matt verified the car by checking the VIN, build sheet, and fender tags then made his purchase.
Arriving back home, Matt found the car to be in fairly good condition overall, with minimal rust in the rear quarters. The interior is in exceptional condition with only a couple of tears in the front seats, and nearly perfect dash, headliner, door panels and rear seat. Like most AAR's, the car has a strange variety of options including quick ratio power steering, optional 3.91 rear gear ratio, radio delete, and bright color, further attesting that this car was likely ordered to race. The floor of the car was cut for an aftermarket Verti-gate shifter, but Matt plans to repair that and has already located a floor section with the provisions for an automatic transmission.
Looking at this photo, we can't question that this car was parked in the '70s. The carpet
Being an original AAR, Matt says he'll resist the temptation to race the car like the previous owner, instead opting for a full restoration to factory specs. He's already located a correctly dated replacement block, and is trying to track down the original 340, alleged to be in a Duster just a few blocks from where the 'Cuda was sitting. Matt plans to finish the car in the original EV2 orange with black interior, using new or NOS components whenever possible. We look forward to seeing the car when it's finished, and congratulate Matt on his rare find.
All Trans Am cars came with three tags, one of which was bent and broken off during assemb
The body of this 'Cuda is in good shape, with most miles clicked off a quarter mile at a t
Though not the original engine, this 'Cuda did come with a 340 and various extra parts and
The AAR's original hood was removed and stored in the rafters of the garage while the car
Along with the parts included in the sale, Matt has already located and purchased many of
.....We look forward to seeing Matt's Plymouth on the road and at the local car shows when