What most collectors fail to realize is that equally exclusive small block cars, like this Rallye Red AAR ‘Cuda, are just as hot and sometimes a better investment. With their excellent combination of power and handling, broad aftermarket support system and increasingly rare status, these classics enjoy one of the fastest sell-through rates of anything in our showroom.
And this fully documented coupe is a factory-correct gem that’ll likely follow the quick-sale path of its striped and piped siblings.
Formerly part of the well-known Wayne Schmeeckle collection, this spectacular pentastar rolls much nicer than when it left Chrysler’s Hamtramck assembly plant thanks to a detailed nut-and bolt rotisserie restoration. During that thorough rebuild, the car’s tight body, which includes solid-closing doors on top of excellent panel alignment, was stripped bare, massaged to form and thoroughly sanded into virtually flawless surfaces. Once those surfaces were completely clean and fully prepped, correct Rallye Red 2-stage was accented with correct strobe stripes and dressed in correct war paint. And today, this precise Plymouth rolls as one world-class collector car that’s primed for a serious investor.
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 head lamps, flush-fit parking lights, an elastomeric bumper and requisite road lamps. Behind that grille, a lightweight, AAR-exclusive hood, which is secured by fresh stainless lanyards, rolls a correct suede topcoat toward new glass that’s framed in straight stainless trim. At the sides of that hood, bright door handles and painted racing mirrors combine with spotless exhaust tips to provide an authentic, factory-fresh appearance.
And at the back of the car, a Satin Black valence hangs fresh taillights and a small “’cuda” script between a chrome bumper and a familiar ducktail spoiler.
Pull the pins on this coupe’s matte-finished hood and you’ll find an original, 340 cubic inch LA V8 that’s authenticated by a familiar 3577130TA casting number, a November (11) 24th (24), 1969 (69) casting date and a matching partial VIN. Although SCCA Trans Am racecars were limited to 302 cubic inches, Plymouth stuck to the tried and true “no replacement for displacement” rule for street applications. That means this car received a powerplant that was specifically designed for high performance turnpike warriors. And, thanks to Holley tri-power carburetion, a hot Edelbrock intake, a high performance points distributor, high-flow cylinder heads and unique internals, it turned hefty 10.5 to 1 compression into 315 fire-breathing horses. That said; SCCA regulations and increasing insurance costs forced Chrysler to actually underrate the mill’s output to just 290. But, in reality, the car easily disposed of most ‘equally powered’ stoplight challengers. Whatever the number, this engine’s spotless bay is in brilliant, show-ready condition, displaying immaculate detailing and exact finishes throughout. Vivid Rallye Red fenders provide excellent contrast to a glossy layer of Hemi Orange skin. A bright air cleaner looks great peeking through the aforementioned hood. And, as with most of today’s investment grade MoPars, every detail on this SIX BARREL beast has been returned to a convincing level of factory authenticity.
Park this impressive ‘Cuda on a lift and you’ll find primer gray floors that feature a correct pattern of overspray. The high-winding small block churns power through an original A833 4-speed, which is authenticated by a March 18th, 1970 build stamp and matching partial VIN. That transmission spins a correct 8.75-inch axle. The car’s suspension has been fully rebuilt to include factory power steering and correct power front disc and rear drum brakes. As expected, those 11-inch, AAR-exclusive drums are accompanied by specially tuned shocks and re-cambered springs that tilt the car to accommodate its unique exhaust pipes. Speaking of that exhaust, the usual ‘muffler shop special’ look has been exchanged for a clean, OEM-style appearance. And hooking all that mechanical prowess to the pavement is freshly restored Rallye wheels which spin E60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GTs in front of G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GTs to employ one of the first applications of staggered tire sizing.
Swivel the car’s solid-closing doors and you’ll find a correct interior that’s functional, straightforward and very livable.
The front bucket and rear bench seats are wrapped in standard vinyl covers that display hardly any signs of wear. In front of those seats, a clean, wood-trimmed dash frames correct Rallye gauges above a correct Chrysler Solid State. Fade-free carpet, weather-free door panels and a fresh headliner frame those components in a sea of serious black. The driver navigates the course through a wood-rimmed steering wheel and beefy Hurst Pistol Grip. And behind the cockpit, a fully finished trunk centers a correct jack and space saver spare tire between a correct mat and fresh decklid decal.
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 original drivetrain and triple-digit exclusivity, it creates the perfect recipe for an unbeatable collector’s piece.