- Serial No. 4 Pilot Car
- The first 1970 Cuda Convertible produced with the V-Code 440 Six Pack engine
- Built August 1, 1969
- Restored in 2005 by Rocket Restorations, LLC in Olympia, Washington
- N96 Shaker hood
- Dual exhaust
- Dana rear axle
- Power steering
- Power front disc brakes
- 956 radiator
- EW1 Alpine White with side stripe delete
- PRX9 Black leather bucket seats
- Pistol Grip shifter
- Power windows
- Premium sound
- Driver’s side remote mirror
- Rallye wheels and Goodyear polyglas tires
– Copy of Chrysler Registry report
– Restoration invoices
- A 10% buyer premium applies
The Barracuda went upscale in 1970 when the new E-body models showed up. Sister to the Dodge Challenger, both types of vehicles were built at the Hamtramck assembly plant. As VIN sequence 100004 shows, this unique Plymouth pilot car was job No. 8 and one of the first-ever to bear the Cuda name. That it is the first such convertible created with the V-Code 440 Six Pack engine under the hood makes it even more impressive.
The Cuda, which was marketed as a standalone version of the Barracuda, was Plymouth’s showcase entry into the dynamic muscle-car marketplace that existed at the start of the 1970 model run. Of the several options the Cuda now sported that had not been available prior to this release, most impressive on the outside was the new Shaker coming up right off of the engine through a wide hood opening. Stylists had aggressively sculpted the body, and this iconic hood scoop blended right into that design.
Beneath it, the recently developed 3×2 Holley carburetor layout boosted the power of the 440 Super Commando to 390 HP. For many buyers, this was a less expensive but almost-as-powerful street alternative to the Hemi. Still, the cost of these options pushed Cuda convertibles out of the price range of many buyers back in the day, and huge insurance increases that went into effect starting that year dissuaded others. By the end of 1970, there had only been 17 440 Six Pack 4-speed Cuda convertibles built; 16 of them were built sometime after this one came off the line on Saturday, August 1, 1969.
Pilot cars are unique, often having certain features and components production vehicles did not. For instance, the Dutchman panel between the rear window and decklid is not the standard part and is slightly smaller than the production piece. Code-V68, to delete the side stripes, was also not used once production began, and two other codes on the tag were stamped erroneously. Still, this particular car is quite singular in its appearance, and it is quite possible it was specifically created to test appearance and option combinations on the new model.
Painted in EW1 Alpine White, in addition to the stripe delete, it also received a power-operated black convertible top, a stunning contrast when combined with the blackout tail panel, inset grille and subdued use of chrome and color. The Rallye wheels use F70-14 tires to touch the pavement, and other exterior options include road lamps and a driver’s-side remote outside racing mirror. Chrome exhaust tips emerging from the rear valence complete the look.
The inside of this car is also unique, due to the upscale options that were placed on BS27V0B100004. This included PRX9 premium-grade leather seats, P31 power windows and the aforementioned P37 power top. It had power steering and power front disc brakes as well. The car further benefited from the deluxe R22 AM/8-track stereo system. Of course, the crowning touch for 1970 muscle car fans was the new Hurst Pistol Grip, which beautifully matches the wood-grain steering wheel. The Pistol Grip was standard on 4-speed models that year, and this one is backed up by a Dana 60 differential. The Cuda also has performance cooling equipment like the 26-inch radiator. Again, due to the very early nature of this car, the Track Pak is not coded on the fender plate but has been documented as correct for this vehicle.
There are only two white 440 Six Pack 4-speeds known to have been built. Restored in 2005, this color combination understated the extreme performance aspect of this vehicle. Perhaps that allowed it to be used by someone of executive-level taste who appreciated the possibility of very rapid travel. The mileage on the odometer reads 8,835. This is a wonderful opportunity to own a historic, rare and, most importantly, first-ever example of one of Plymouth’s most-desirable vehicles.