Whenever Chrysler decides to assemble a purpose-built performer whose mission is to kick asphalt and take names, the results are usually spectacular. And there’s just something about SCCA-inspired pony cars that makes them universally appealing and highly collectable. With their excellent combination of power and handling, broad aftermarket support system and increasingly rare status, these cars enjoy one of the fastest sell-through rates of anything in our showroom. If you are in the market for an AAR tribute that you can enjoy and take to drive-ins and car shows it doesn’t get much better than this 1970 AAR ‘Cuda Tribute.
This piece that is painted in one of the rarest AAR Cuda colors, will likely follow the quick-sale path of its striped and piped siblings. Only 42 Sassy Grass AARs were ever produced, that stat is extremely surprising when you take a look at this ’70 ‘Cuda that is covered in a fresh vibrant coat of Sassy Grass. This AAR ‘Cuda not only looks fantastic but packs some serious power under the Satin Black hood. If you want an exclusive classic that you can take on the open road and not feel guilty about, you’d better hurry up and clear some garage space!
Not surprisingly, this AAR’s track-bred appearance is backed by a long list of correct details. At the front of its glowing profile, a familiar, stainless-trimmed grille hangs a small “PLYMOUTH” script between clear headlights, flush-fit parking lamps, a broad bumper and correct GE driving lights. Behind that grille, a new lightweight, AAR-exclusive hood, which is secured by fresh stainless lanyards, rolls a correct topcoat toward new glass that’s framed in straight stainless trim. At the sides of that hood, bright door handles and correct racing mirrors combine with spotless exhaust tips and correct turn signal tabs to provide an authentic, restoration-fresh appearance. And at the back of the car, a Satin Black valence hangs fresh tail lights and a small “’Cuda” script between a second chrome bumper and correct ‘duck tail’ spoiler.
Pull the hood pins on the long black hood and you’ll reveal quite a step up from the 340’s that were in the original AAR Cuda’s. Powering the recreation is a built 440 cubic inch V8 that has been equipped with Indy aluminum cylinder heads. The block wears a 253643-8 casting number and has an original casting date of 5-29-68. At the top of the engine a chrome air filter sits on a 4150 Holley carburetor that sends the air fuel mixture into an Indy intake. Spark is sent into the cylinders thanks to an MSD distributor and coil. Spent gasses then travel out the wrapped headers and enter into the dual exhausts. The engine bay has been painted in the same sassy green as the exterior and is accented by the orange 440 block. At the front of the engine you’ll find a chrome Powermaster alternator and a chrome wizard cooling radiator. Fire up the engine with the hood open at your local car show and it won’t be long before you have a crowd standing around the potent 440.
Bolted to the 440 is an A727 torqueflite 3-speed automatic transmission that has been equipped with a 3,500RPM stall converter. The transmission that was overhauled in January of 2012 sends power to an 8 ¾ rear axle that according to receipts has been equipped with a 3.91 posi differential. Flanking both sides of the engine is the restored torsion bar suspension and at the rear of the car you’ll find a restored leaf spring suspension anchoring the rear axle. Running the length of the undercarriage is the aforementioned dual exhausts that are equipped with Flowmaster mufflers and exit just in front of rear tires. Stopping power comes courtesy of front manual disc brakes and rear drums, and in front of those brakes you’ll find 15” steel rally wheels. Those rims have been wrapped with performance Radial E/T and at the back you’ll find traction comes courtesy of Mickey Thompson E/T street rubber.
Swivel this Plymouth’s solid-closing doors and you’ll find a black vinyl interior that’s functional, straightforward and very livable. The front bucket and rear bench seats are wrapped in standard vinyl covers that display virtually no signs of wear. Below those seats, stain-free carpet anchors color-keyed and “’Cuda” branded floor mats next to a sculpted, wood-trimmed console. At the sides of that carpet, weather-free door panels proudly hang the ''Cuda name above traditional cranks, integrated handles and small chrome locks. In front of those panels, a clean black dash frames Rallye gauges above an upgraded JVC AM/FM/CD player. In front of the driver, an attractive three-spoke steering wheel mixes subtle form with major function. To the right of the driver an upgraded Faze RPM gauge gives clear indication of what’s happening within the strong 440. Above the seats a taught black headliner finishes off the incredible look of the interior.
The sale of this crisp AAR Cuda includes restoration receipts and product manuals.
All American Racers ‘Cudas are a cool experiment from a time when automakers were willing to try anything to improve their performance credentials. When that purpose-built personality is combined with this coupe’s monster 440 and a top-notch restoration, it creates the perfect recipe for an unbeatable piece that can be enjoyed for many years. In today’s shaky economic climate, investing in something that makes you smile isn’t a bad idea. But remember: nothing with AAR stripes sticks around our showroom for very long!