CALIFORNIACLASSIX 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Big Block Coupe

1971 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe

Technical specifications of Plymouth Barracuda 1971

Price: -
Item location: Ventura, California, United States
Make: Plymouth
Model: Barracuda
Trim: Gran Coupe
Year: 1971
Mileage: 21046
VIN: BP23L1B395119
Engine size: 383 Big Block
Transmission: Torqueflite 727
Vehicle Title: Clear
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Car description

An all original 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, now for sale at! 1 of 161: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda
Big Block Coupe!
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Arguably one of the most desirable pony cars ever built, the '71 Plymouth Barracuda is a rare specimen.

Mouse Over the Photos to Enlarge.

From a high of almost 50,000 E-Bodies made in 1970, production dropped to just 16,492 in 1971, due partly to pressure from the insurance industry. Apparently, those white-collar bean counters were getting sick and tired of seeing 16-year old teens create mayhem on the streets with their cheap and plentiful Detroit muscle. Thus, finding an unmolested, original '71 survivor today, almost half a century later, is like winning the lottery. What are the odds?

The incredible '71 Barracuda Gran Coupe presented here, VIN *BP23L1B395119* was sold new at venerable MOOTHART Chrysler - Plymouth, Inc. on Candlewood St. in Lakewood on September 5th, 1971 to Mr. Charles Nicks, electronics tech at McDonnell-Douglas aircraft in Long Beach. Chuck always cared very well for his pride and joy. After his untimely passing in 1997, the family held on to the car for more than two decades until the decision was made to relinquish it.
Note small, original Calif. "pink slip."
Please, also view our video #1 below, titled "History."

The 'cuda originally wore the California blue-and-gold license plate # 144DUY. In 1984, the patriotic Mr. Nicks acquired a set of special, one-year-only vanity plates issued in commemoration of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. They simply read "CUDA" and have remained with the car to this day.

Being a proper survivor, the car's all-important data plate is still mounted to the driver's side inner fender.

And, yes, the original "broadcast (build) sheet" still resides in its original location tucked under the rear seat bottom. We had a good look at it and decided to leave it where it belongs.

It deciphers as follows:

  • BP23: Plymouth Barracuda Premium, Gran Coupe 2 Door Hardtop.
  • L1B: 383 275HP 1-2BBL 8 CYL 1971 Dodge Main, Hamtramck, MI, USA
  • 395119: Sequence number
  • E61: 383 cid 2 barrel V8 290hp
  • D32: Heavy Duty Automatic Transmission
  • GY8: Gold Poly Exterior Color
  • P6Y3: Trim - Premium, Vinyl Bucket Seats, Gold
  • 000: Full Door Panels
  • 518: Build Date: May 18
  • 055665: Order number
  • V1Y: Full Vinyl Top, Gold
  • U: USA Specifications
  • B51: Power Brakes
  • C16: Console w/Woodgrain Panel
  • C26: Consolette w/Formed Headlining
  • C55: Bucket Seats
  • G11: Tinted Glass (all)
  • H51: Air Conditioning with Heater
  • J41: Pedal Dress Up
  • M21: Roof drip rail moldings
  • M25: Wide sill moldings
  • M31: Belt Moldings
  • N95: Emissions Control
  • N98: Exhaust Emissions Standards Label
  • R11: Radio Solid State AM (2 Watts)
  • V7Y: Accent Stripes, Yellow
  • 26: 26in Radiator
  • EN2: End of Sales Codes

A plethora of documents accompanies the Barracuda, starting with old registrations, on to credit card receipts for fuel purchases, to muffler and tire warranties and mechanic's invoices for repairs and maintenance, all neatly placed inside clear sheet protectors and collected in a tidy 3-ring binder.

Old CHP inspection sticker on windshield.

Built on May 18, 1971 at the Hamtramck plant, this car is one of just 161 Barracuda Gran Coupes manufactured with the "L" code big block engine.
Needless to say, after 22 years of storage, we went through the fuel delivery system, installed a brand new fuel tank and sending unit and had the original Carter carburetor expertly rebuilt. Now, the car starts and runs as new.

Engine compartment presents itself clean and almost 100% stock. Even the original underhood sound pad is still present. This 'cuda is fully loaded with the heavy duty 727 Torqueflite auto trans, power disc brakes, power steering and even air conditioning!

Extra clean and dry underneath, too.

Having always resided in sunny Southern California, the Gran Coupe has remained 100% rust free. not a small feat, considering the model's propensity for corrosion! Apart from one ding on the left front fender -- that most likely could be taken care of by a good paintless repair guy -- the car's coachwork is arrow straight and smooth. There are no bubbles under the paint, no prior fender benders to note.

Chestnut brown boar grain vinyl top is original to the car. Miraculously, there is not a single bubble to note underneath the fabric! This beautiful top truly looks "as new." Anodized window trim looks and fits perfect, too, without any age-induced deterioration to the seals.

Vinyl top details.

Original MoPar Rally wheel. Love those raised white letter tires!

Discovering that this '71 E-Body still features about 95% of its original, factory-applied Leaf Gold (factory code GY8) paint made us very happy, as finding a "first paint" Barracuda seems to be almost impossible. The authentic period colors, once shunned and often replaced with "resale red" or some easter egg hue, are making a comeback now. Original paint cars in unusual, rare colors like this one are highly sought after.
Please, refer to our video #2 below, the one titled "Paint" where we perform a walkaround using an electronic paint metering device.

Barracuda's interior presents itself in a fantastic state of preservation. The "consolette with formed headlining" looks pristine and even the warning lights for low fuel etc. still work. Sun visors wear protective plastic covers.

Sporty cockpit, one of the design highlights of Plymouth's flagship performance car. Note woodgrain console featuring the famous Slap Stik shifter, whose ingeniously engineered mechanism allows the driver to speed shift 1 - 2 - 3 manually by simply slapping the wide shifter head without fear of accidentally hitting reverse or neutral. Everything was better in 1971 . . .

Very rarely do you see a completely original interior, without modifications to steering wheel, added gauges, or "upgraded" stereo equipment.

Pristine steering wheel and gauges. All lights and switches work.

Above, left to right: the factory AM radio works beautifully and sounds great! Close-up of MoPar's famous Slap Stik shifter. Detail of overhead console.

Thankfully, front and rear seats have been preserved from new by a set of old-fashioned, embossed, see-through plastic covers, preventing harm.

Just like the front buckets, the rear bench presents itself free of rips or tears. It's quite rare to find an E-body featuring its original, intact upholstery, including its original carpeting.

When we removed the rear seat to look for the broadcast sheet, we also discovered that the vulnerable floor area below the rear seat is 100% free of corrosion. Amazing!

Plymouth's sexiest rear end!
Note working taillights and backup lights.

another positive surprise awaits when unlocking the trunk. (By the way, this 'cuda comes with its original MoPar keys.) Car still features its original trunk mat, jack and spare, jacking instructions decal, and a repair manual.

The best part is lifting the trunk mat, though. There is no scaling, no rust. Almost unbelievable! Definitely proof that this California MoPar has no leaky rear window or trunk seals and has never been exposed to the elements. We salute its one and only owner for always garaging and covering it! (Cover comes with the car.)

We've left the undercarriage in its natural state of preservation. To you East Coast guys, the total absence of rust must be quite a revelation, as 99% of all the period Challengers and Barracudas you encounter today seem to be either very rusty or have been "retrofitted" with murky black undercoating. Not this one!

Pristine floors in their natural state - nothing added, nothing taken away!

Tuesday, May 18, our Barracuda's 48th birthday, was another fine day here in the Southland and we were excited to go for a test drive.

This E-Body starts, idles, runs and drives amazingly well. The Torqueflite shifts imperceptibly, brakes are strong, and steering effort very light, as in all contemporary MoPar products. A couple of aged suspension bushings seem to be the cause of a slight rattle now and then but the car handles well, so no biggie.
Note period curb feeler -- another tell-tale sign of a caring owner.

Piloting the 'cuda is sheer delight. Seating position, visibility, ease of operation are unrivalled by any of its contemporaries. The E-Body was definitely one of the best products to emerge from Chrysler Corporation's design studio.

The sound and the fury. MoPar or no car!

Returning home, we are in lust with our Gran Coupe. This car is a reliable, fun performer, fully able to participate in today's often hectic traffic, be it in the city or on the highway. Plus, a classic Barracuda always elicits plenty of attention and goodwill.

With an extremely limited supply of original cars, it's becoming harder and harder to find a quality E-Body Barracuda. Especially the '71 is a coveted specimen.
This particular example of a rare breed -- one of 161 made -- can only become more valuable as time passes. As the new caretaker of this unrestored, one-owner SoCal garage find, drive it to any car show or "cars and coffee" gathering and you'll fully understand why MoPar enthusiasts feel the kind of pride that derives from exclusivity.

Link to videos on YouTube:



Interior and Startup

You are most welcome and encouraged to view this fine automobile in Ventura, by appointment, during the auction, or have someone inspect it for you. Please, perform your due diligence before you bid.

Please, note that this car is currently advertised on our Web site and on display in our Showroom. We reserve the right to accept a satisfactory offer and close this auction at any time.

Please, direct all inquiries to or call us at 805-653-5551.

  • By bidding in this auction, you declare that you have read and accept the Terms of this Sale as outlined below.
  • If you have any questions, please ask them before you bid. After the auction has ended, the sale is final.
  • Please, only bid on this car if you are serious about owning it and have the necessary funds readily available!
    We require a $1,000 deposit to be paid via PayPal within 24 hours of the end of the auction and the balance to be paid via bank wire transfer (or in cash) within 5 business days, unless other arrangements have been agreed upon during the auction.
  • The car comes with a clear California Certificate of Title. It is smog exempt and sold "as is, where is" with no warranty stated or implied. Mileage stated above is the current odometer reading.
  • You fully understand that you are not bidding on an "option to buy" this vehicle. You bid to own! There are no contingencies.
  • We ship worldwide.

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