In 1971, the Belvedere name was retired and the Road Runner (along with the GTX) was based on the Satellite body. The car came only in hardtop form. The shortened decklid and rounder fenders and quarters gave it a sleeker, more 'Cuda-ish look. Chrome-loop bumpers made their debut, but color-keyed elastomeric bumpers were also available. While the 383 was still the standard mill, 13 percent of Road Runners were built with the 275hp 340, and less than 100 were ordered with Hemis.
The once best-selling Road Runner managed just under 7,000 in total production in 1972 as part of the pared-down RTS. The Hemi was gone, as was the Satellite-bodied GTX. However, a Road Runner ordered with a 440 engine was dubbed a Road Runner GTX.
'CudaThe year 1970 marked the last major restyle of the Barracuda and yielded three different models: the Barracuda, the Gran Coupe, and the 'Cuda. The latter earned a spot in the RTS lineup with a multitude of high-performance options. If the idea behind the RTS was to give performance buyers a variety of selections to suit their tastes, the 'Cuda was the poster child. Five different engines were available. Want a modest street car that can handle? Your choice would probably have been the 340, which only rated at 275 hp, but included rear anti-sway bars.
At the other end of the spectrum was the 426 Hemi. This was the ship you wanted at the strip. A Dana 931/44 rear was standard with the four-speed Hemi, as were extra-heavy-duty shock absorbers and rear springs, a dual Carter AFB four-barrel carb, and fat 15-inch tires. Not sure what you wanted? Then you would probably go with the standard 383 mill. Rated at 335 hp with a Holley carb and 9.5:1 compression ratio, it was no slouch. Also, like the 340, it could be ordered with the optional heavy-duty four-speed or high-upshift TorqueFlite transmission.
The 440s were in between. For those who couldn't pony up the cash for a Hemi, the 440 was the next best thing; some even found it the preferred choice. The 440 came in two varieties. In addition to the basic setup, the 10.5:1-compression 440 featured three Holley dual carbs, better known as Six-barrels. The Six-barrels breathed through Air Grabber intakes, which poked through hood cutouts. What Plymouth referred to as a "quivering airscoop" back in 1970, we now acknowledge as a Shaker. The Shaker was optional on the Six-barrel and standard on the Hemi.
Plymouth wanted the 'Cuda's beefed-up suspension to set it apart from its ponycar competition. All 'Cudas were fitted with torsion bars (.90-inch or .92-inch), shock absorbers (heavy-duty or extra-heavy-duty), and rear springs (six-leaf on 440s and Hemis). Rear antisway bars could be ordered with a 340 or 383, and 11-inch drum brakes were standard (discs were 10-inch).
The 'Cuda got the chance to show its stuff in the Trans-Am racing series as part of Dan Gurney's All-American Racers team. The AAR 'Cudas were special-edition 340s, with standard four-speed, Sure-Grip rear, heavy-duty suspension, front and rear sway bars, power discs, and Rallye wheels with 15-inch tires.
The '70 'Cuda came as either a convertible or a hardtop, but only 550 convertibles were made. The exterior was marked by hood pins, a blacked-out rear taillight panel, and optional hockey-stick side stripes that indicated what was under the hood. Color-matching elastomeric bumpers could be ordered to enhance the car's smoothness. The interior consisted of high-backed vinyl bucket seats, which could be upgraded to leather or switched to bench. Also available was the Rallye instrument cluster, which included a tach, variable-speed wipers, electric clock, 150-mph speedometer with trip odometer, and an oil-pressure gauge.