1969 Plymouth 'Cuda
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1969 Plymouth M Code 'Cuda 440 Super-Performance Package

By 1967 Grand Spaulding Dodge looked at the competition and realized that Mopar was seriously behind the 'eight ball' in the newly formed Pony Car segment. Plymouth drew first blood with the Barracuda, but Ford won the public with superior styling and big budget promotion. So, Chrysler took their argument to the one place they always won, the race track. Mr. Norm Kraus showed the boys at Chrysler engineering that it was possible to stuff a 440 Super Commando motor into the economy minded Dart in 1968 with the help of Hurst/Campbell. By 1969 Chrysler took these conversions in-house to benefit both the Dodge and Plymouth lines. So, the 'Cuda 440 Special super-performance package was born. This is also the first time the now legendary 'Cuda name was ever used on a vehicle.  According to the 1969 Plymouth Performance Packages brochure, "The 'Cuda 440 Special Package includes: •440-Cubic-Inch V-8 with 4 barrel Carburetor making 375hp and 480lb/ft of torque•3.55 Sure Grip rear axle•Heavy-Duty Suspension (HD Torsion Bars, HD Leaf Springs, Front Anti-Sway Bar)•Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers, 1" Diameter, Front and Rear•14" x 5 1/2" Heavy Duty Steel Wheels•E70 x 14" Wide Boot Red Streak tires•Dual Hood Scoops and Tape Stripes-Black•Lower Body Stripes - Black•Black Grille•'Cuda 440 callouts Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes; disc brakes were not available with the 'Cuda 440 Special." 360 Plymouth 'Cuda 440 Specials were built for the U.S. and Canadian markets. All of them were 727 Automatics, perfect for launching the light "A" body down the 1/4 mile in winning fashion. They were not, however, considered a 'regular' production vehicle. Similar to the GM COPO program, you had to know how to work the system to get your hands on one of these beasts. They were NOT covered by the normal full factory warranty. Truly, this was a 'use at your own risk' vehicle. This is #08 in VIN sequence of the approximately 67 'Cuda's 440 fastbacks left known to exist. As Mopar folks well know, vehicles weren't build in strict VIN sequence. The "Special Car Order" document found under the carpet is dated 1/9/69 at the top, the plant approval signature at the bottom dated 1/16. This 'Cuda is listed as "Order no. 1", selling to Johnson Chrysler/Plymouth of New Bern, NC. In the strictest sense, this is the first Plymouth 'Cuda ever ordered. The vehicle's provenance unequaled, documented by the original Broadcast sheet, original Special Car Order Sheet, original Warranty Book, original "Cuda 440" Warranty Addendum, Original Fender Tag, Galen Govier Fender Tag Decode, Galen Govier Registry Letter, and extensive owner history, including 'Cuda 440 Registrar and M-Code 'Cuda subject matter expert, Tom Wenstadt.

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