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Preserving the Barracuda Legend
American Muscle
Project Cars

AAR Plymouth 'Cuda Project Car


             














This 'Cuda Brothers Tribute AAR Plymouth ‘Cuda was purchased as a partially completed project. The previous owner put a lot of money into the car and took no shortcuts. It is our job to continue with the project; turning it into a heavily modified custom Super AAR Tribute Plymouth ‘Cuda. Plans include changes to the suspension and brakes. The interior will be upgraded with new custom gauges that we designed to match the theme of the car. Other interior modifications are being discussed.
Plymouth Cuda 340

The engine is already modified putting it somewhere around 400 Horsepower. The stock AAR ‘Cuda had 295 Horsepower. Next up will be more modifications to the current motor with a goal of somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 Horsepower.

Upgrades to the Tribute AAR

Several things were done correctly before we bought the car making it a good example of a true AAR ‘Cuda. It has the correct paint scheme with a flat black hood and the black across the top of the front fenders and along a small strip at the top of the two doors.  It also has the correct side stripe, split front spoilers, and the 340 cubic inch engine with non-TA block, fiberglass AAR hood, and the antenna mounted on top of the rear deck area.

AAR Plymouth Cuda

In Need of Attention

Since purchasing the ‘Cuda, we made a few minor repairs. They included fixing a leaky oil pressure gauge and a loose connection to the electric fan. We had to buff out the paint job, which had a lot of water spots. Now we are working on repairing the broken rear end gears.  Adding Mopar friction lube to the rear end was a temporary fix to the loud clunking noise we were hearing when cornering. It finally broke when taking a trip to a car show at the beach. At least the car won a trophy but it had to be towed back.

AAR Plymouth Cuda in tow

Differences to the Original

There were a few things that were not done that would make it a closer replication of the real AAR ‘Cuda. The original classic was a 1970 and this car is a 1974. It is an E-body car but some of the obvious differences include some changes to the front grill and taillights. The interior also has similar style but different seats. The rear spoiler is not factory correct and will be replaced which requires a new trunk lid that will have to be painted. The original AAR ‘Cuda has side exhaust in front of the rear tire. We will be adding a modified exhaust similar in style to the AAR ‘Cuda.

Future Plans

There are a few differences between an original AAR ‘Cuda vs. this 1974 ‘Cuda and not all differences are covered here yet. Some of the future changes are still in discussion as we decide on an overall price point for this ‘Cuda which will be going up for sale. It is our opinion that when we get done with the car, it will be a custom AAR Tribute that will not be exactly like the original, but better in many ways.

Enjoy the Ride,
'Cuda Brothers - Preserving the Barracuda Legend
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1963 Plymouth Valiant Convertible Restoration Project

A 1963 Plymouth Valiant convertible is a rare car that you just don’t see on the road anymore. 50 years since it was first driven and here it is, a survivor that appears to have lived a pretty good life even though it is need of a full restoration.  This is a slant 6 with a three on the tree stick shift transmission.  Our plan is to restore it to its original condition makiing it a very nice reliable daily driver.

1963 Plymouth Valiant Project Car

Three Owners Back

Several years ago a young lady from California owned this Valiant convertible. She always wanted a white car so she talked her dad into painting the car, which is how the car looks today. Her dad went all out and painted everything including the floorboards, door jambs, trunk, under the hood and even behind all the interior door panels. There were just a couple of small clues that the car may have been red at one time.  Sadly, the girl’s dad passed away before he could complete the restoration and she sold the car.

White floorpans & red where radio once was

Two Owners Back

The next owner lived near Yakima, Washington and the car sat garaged for about 10 years which explains the expired California license plate dated 2002.  He decided that the car was going outside because he needed garage space. The convertible top had a rip in it so this would not be good as it quickly would become a victim to the weather.

Car sat in garage for 10 years

Previous Owner

Then came the car enthusiast we bought the car from. He rescued the car from the previous owner who was a friend of his because there was no way he was going to let it rust away outdoors. He had several garages on his property and his wife still had to park in the street. With a car in every garage there just was not enough room for the Valiant.

Previous owner had too many cars

Current Owners - 'Cuda Brothers

Three owners back and the car is still not restored. Now it is our turn to rescue the car and this time it is going to get done. We are taking on the responsibility to complete the restoration to as close to like new as possible.

'Cuda Brothers - Just getting started

From our initial inspection, the car is rust free with a straight body. The white paint is thick and has a few runs. After tearing the car down, we discovered that the original color was blue. Our plan is to strip the paint and repaint to the original blue. We believe that the original color was blue for two reasons. The discovery of the paint chip shows blue as the final layer and the black seat covers were put on over a blue seat. There is no fender tag on the car so we plan on sending in for a new fender tag and go from there to determine more about this Valiant before making a final decision on the color.

There were a number of parts the car needed and that is why we went into a Nationwide search for the parts. Many of the parts were located at one auto salvage yard right here in Oregon. The video shows what we went through to get the parts we needed including documenting things like how the wire harness was originally installed in a factory Valiant. The wiring in the Valiant we bought was an aftermarket mess, which you will see in this video.

Wrecking Yard Adventures - In Search of Parts

Before doing a complete tear down of the Valiant, it is a good idea to baseline test everything on the car to determine what is and is not working. That will help later when determining if we screwed something up or whether it was already broken. If you have never restored a car it might be a good idea to watch this next video, which provides some ideas that we think might help make for an easier restoration in the long run.

Baseline Testing Before Restoration Begins

We have started the process of doing a complete tear down of the car. When done we will have taken out the seats, carpet, side panels, and gauges. There was no radio in the car. We have already taken off the front grill, bumper, lights, turn signals, hood ornament, front fenders, and gas tank. Next will be the rest of the chrome and the engine along with all 3 wire harnesses. We are planning on a complete tear down as we get it prepared for paint.

Beginning the Tear Down

Future videos will include the tear down and removal of the gas tank, engine, prep for painting, the paint job, installing new engine gaskets and paint, and even a video when we had to rebuild the three on the tree steering column with spare parts. This next video is an example of what comes out of a gas tank that has been sitting for 11 years.

1963 Plymouth Valiant Convertible steering column

Steering Column Rebuild

Finally you get to see the fun part when we start the newly restored car for the first time and take it out for a drive.

Enjoy the Ride,

'Cuda Brothers - Preserving the Barracuca Legend and a Valiant



Work and Fun

Periodically check this webpage to track our progress, which will be documented through entertaining and informational videos.

Enjoy the Ride,

‘Cuda Brothers

Preserving the Barracuda Legend

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