If you’re seeking an automotive example of history repeating itself, look no further than the muscle car segment. The current horsepower wars that have taken things past 700 and even 800 ponies in recent years are about to come to an end—and be replaced by EVs—just like the original muscle cars were tamed by more stringent fuel efficiency standards in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Given the said history, you can imagine the special aura of machines such as the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda, which was only produced between 1970 and 1974. And this 1970 example is here to deliver a proper restomodding tale.
The Gen III Barracuda was a departure from its predecessors, which were based on the economy car platform of the Valiant. The final iteration of the Plymouth received the new E-Body platform together with the also-introduced-for-1970MY Dodge Challenger. And this came in three versions: the standard Barracuda, the more luxurious Grand Coupe, and the hooning machine that is the Cuda we have here.
Meet the “70 Fish” Plymouth Cuda
Nicknamed “70 Fish”, the classic muscle car was showcased last September at the Frankenmuth Autofest in Michigan and brings what can be labeled as a well-balanced restomod approach.
In other words, while the coupe now sports a myriad of modern tech goodies and looks spotless inside and out, there don’t appear to be any eccentric details here (e.g. carbon fiber panels or a four-figure output).
Under the hood, we find the 6.1L HEMI that used to sit at the top of the modern Charger and Challenger ranges before the 2011 revamp, while this also used to be offered as a crate engine.
And, as you’ll notice in the video below (lens tip to Show Cars Illustrated), the V8 has kept its naturally aspirated form and its factory output of 425 hp, a tribute to the Gen II 426 HEMI offered as the most potent engine back in the day. However, the motor features a Magnaflow stainless-steel exhaust and TTI headers, which means its soundtrack is quite a thrill.
The unit is mated to a Mopar four-speed automatic transmission while sending the power to the rear wheels via a Dana axle with 3.73 gears and a limited-slip differential.
There are Reilly coil overs at all four corners—a four-link setup serves the rear—while stopping power comes from Willwood Brakes (12-inch rotors with four-piston grabbers for the front axle).
A tastefully restrained makeover that goes deep
The two-tone exterior has custom Mopar written all over it, while the custom wheels, which sport a chrome finish, come in a 19-inch size up front and in a 20-inch size at the back.
As for the cabin, this has also been completely overhauled, featuring a custom leather finish, Dakota Digital instruments, and AC, along with a solid sound system featuring components from Kenwood and Kicker.
All in all, the 70 Fish Plymouth Cuda looks like the kind of machine one that can fully enjoy out on the road these days.