After owning several Mopars over the years, I decided I wanted to find an AAR 'Cuda. I had always liked the 'Cuda's lines-the striping, the spoilers, and, of course, the Six Barrel induction. After taking a new job in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1998, my search began. I first came across a Lime Lite AAR with a four-speed, owned by a gentleman in Palm Harbor, Florida. After getting descriptions and pictures, a price was agreed upon. I rented a trailer and headed off non-stop to Florida. In my haste and un-rested condition, I neglected to compare the body stampings to the VIN and fender tags. If I would have verified all the numbers before I rented the trailer and gave my money to him, I would have found these were mutilated, but partially readable. After getting home and finding the numbers altered, I phoned him and tried to get my money back, but he refused. so I turned him in to the local police. I later found out the car was re-bodied by some guys in Indiana. Indiana doesn't care about numbers switching, just that the title and VIN plate match. at least I have a good engine and transmission. I found out later, this T/A engine came out of a '71 model.
I decided to see if I could find a correct body to put the engine into (I gave the Lime Lite body to my brother-in-law Troy). I found a B-5 Blue AAR in Pennsylvania. This time the body stampings matched the VIN and fender tags. After the picture and description exchange, I sent my money off to Pennsylvania. Since I didn't have the time to pick it up right then, the owner wanted the full amount up front. A few weeks later, I rented a trailer and headed off to the great white North. When I arrived, it had snowed a day or two earlier and was threatening to do so again. There sat the body, covered with snow and sitting in about 2 inches of water-not very good conditions to inspect a car. I opened the door, and the entire interior was in a pile in the middle of the car. Actually, the pile was from several parts cars. Since I was going to take it all apart anyway, I figured that saved me the job. We loaded up the body, and I headed back to Oklahoma. After getting back to warmer weather and letting the ice melt off the car, I started a thorough inspection. Here we go again-I found out it had been put together from, at least, one other car and not very well. It had the roof from another car tack-welded in place inside the door frame. I stopped looking at the car after that, I was afraid of what I would find. I should have figured it out earlier from the several sectioned cars he had sitting around the property. Anyway, that was number two. That brings us to the FYI AAR I own today.
I found this one on the AARchives Web site. It was located in Ronan, Montana. This time I decided to be extra cautious. I went as far as making the seller, Ken Lozeau, put a statement on the paperwork that this was a true and correct AAR with nothing hidden. If not, I would get my money back. It had about 42,000 miles on the odometer, and, according to Ken, you could drive it anywhere. This time I was going to drive it home. With my plane ticket in hand, I fly off to Big Sky country. There were a few things that weren't quite as advertised, but they were not enough to keep me from taking delivery. The little surface rust in the trunk were actually holes the size of a 50-cent piece. Apparently, the owner previous to Ken had planned to restore the car, and he removed the trunk seal and parked the car beside his garage. He passed away, and the car sat for many years filling up with water, which led to the holes in the trunk and rear quarters. What he called a small door ding was, in fact, a 5-inch-round dent. Other than that, everything was as he said. It was supposed to come with a six-way adjustable seat, and the additional original seat was to be sent along later with a car cover and some other odds and ends-that never came.