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AJ's Car of the Day 1969 Plymouth 'Cuda 440

Driven by Precision Tune Auto Care & Vogue Performance Exhaust

Car: Plymouth 'Cuda 440

Year: 1969

What makes it special:  The 1969 Plymouth 'Cuda 440 had the largest engine of any same year pony car, and that was the problem. After feeing the pressure from rival big-block pony cars, Plymouth cooperated with Hurst/Campbell to shoehorn the 375 bhp, 440 cu in 4-barrel Mopar V8 into a bunch of 'Cuda Fastback and Coupe models.

What made it famous: On the plus side, Plymouth grabbed bragging rights to the largest-displacement pony car of the day. Its 440 Magnum brought the E.T's  occasionally into the high 13's. But the 440's engine bay was too crowded to allow power steering hardware. With a large portion of the 'Cuda 440's weight over the front tires, it caused problematic low-speed maneuverability. Also, the 440 didn't leave space for a disc brake booster, so the 440 had to made do with drums all around, so it lacked stopping distances and control.

Why I would want one: Despite it's problems, it's a cool looking, iconic body-styled badass. So, it doesn't corner of stop on a dime. On the drag strip, it's going to kick some major butt. Worry about the rest later. A good driver will know how to stop a speeding rocket once he knows the car he's in. I'll STILL take it !

Fun fact:  Mopar engineers feared a 4-speed manual transmission would encourage speed shifts and destroy the 440 car's rear end, so 440 'Cudas came only with TorqueFlite automatics.

( 1969 Plymouth 'Cuda 440 photo from autotraderclassics.com )

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