McDonald’s made a brave choice when they adopted a Plymouth Barracuda, rather than the default choice of a Mustang, for the Hamburglar to drive across America.
The relatively rare Barracuda, with a Shaker hood and cheeseburger-themed spare tire, was worked over by Sean Smith Designs much more tastefully than most custom jobs. As a getaway car, it’s probably not quite as useful as a Plymouth Road Runner would have been, but it’s also far more muscular-looking than a Mustang.
The fast food company reported on the reason for the highly recognizable car:
That’s where our fans come in: spot the car and scan the vehicle’s code to get rewarded with an Arch Card – plus Hamburglar-inspired swag* – so you can try the delicious new burgers at your local McDonald’s (before the Hamburglar does). And whether you spy our mischievous friend or not, fans everywhere can enter to win FREE McDonald’s burgers for a year by visiting SpotHamburglar.com.
McDonald’s did not say a word about the actual car, only the modifications (black and white stripes, logo on the head rests, bun-like hubcaps, burger warmer in the center console, “robble robble” license plate). Those who spy the ’Cuda in their neighborhood can scan the QR code at the end of its stripe to get the rewards McDonald’s alluded to in its release.
The interior script proclaims it’s a Barracuda while the name badge on the back says it’s a more-formidable ’Cuda. The transmission appears to be a manual, with a modified pistol-grip shifter. 1970 Barracudas had just about every possible Mopar engine, from the slant six to the 426 Hemi. With a Shaker hood and pistol grip shifter, an unmodified ’Cuda would likely have a 383, 440, or 426 Hemi (the 383 was the base ’Cuda engine). However, being a custom, it’s more likely a cheaper 318 car, which didn’t come with a shaker hood or pistol-grip shifter, but would be far more practical for driving across the country—regular gasoline and far less of it than the other options. Of course, a custom job could just as easily have a Pentastar V6 or for that matter a diesel. The shaker hood, which normally has the engine name, merely says “robble.”
Being a Mopar site, we contacted McDonald’s for more information and will update this story when (or if) it arrives. In the meantime, while Motales doesn’t have a story on the Barracuda, it does cover its origin story in sibling 1970 Challenger coverage.