A special 'Cuda derivative for 1970 was the race-themed AAR. This car, much like Dodge's Challenger T/A, was built to homologate Dan Gurney's All American Racers Trans-Am racing team.
AAR Cuda's featured staggered front and rear tires, a black grille with a matching NACA-ducted flat black hood and fender tops, distinctive "strobe" side stripes and a special trunk lid spoiler. The exclusive AAR engine was a side-exhausted 340-cu.in. V-8 topped with three 2-bbl. Holley carburetors, and it made 290hp when mated to a four-speed manual or three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
The AAR Cuda was only produced during the year of 1970. The AAR ‘Cuda was produced to race in the SCAA road racing and to compete with the Ford Mustang. AAR actually means ‘All American Racers’.
Let’s first look at how the AAR Cuda differed from the regular Cuda. Then we will go into more detail with each of those differences.
The AAR Cuda was different from the regular ‘Cuda in many ways. All AARs had a 340 6 barrel engine. The AAR Cuda had a unique stripe called a strobe stripe, which held the AAR ‘Cuda logo. The hood scoop on the AAR actually took in fresh air. For spoilers, it had front “eyebrow” spoilers and a rear “duck tail “. Unlike a standard Cuda, the AAR’s exhaust came out the sides near the back wheels.
AAR Cuda Engine
The AAR Cuda offered lots of power with a V8, 340 6 barrel engine. The bore and stroke were 4.04 inches by 3.31 inches. The stock compression was 10.5 to 1. For the carborators, they used 3 two-barrel carborators, which amounted to 6 barrels. Documented, the maximum horsepower from the factory was a whopping 290 bhp @ 5,000 rpm, and the maximum torque was 335 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm, but other sources say the 340 Six Pack was closer to producing 325 - 350 bhp. The 340 could accelerate the ‘Cuda 0-60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, 0-100 miles per hour in 14.4 seconds, and race a quarter mile in 14.4 seconds at 100 miles per hour.
AAR Cuda Strobe Stripe
The stripe on the AAR Cuda, called a strobe stripe, is a unique feature. The back side of the stripe is where the AAR logo is located. The AAR logo is make up of four white stars surrounded in blue at the top, then the letters AAR below the stars. The whole AAR logo has a white background with a black outline. Then, right next to the AAR logo there is the word CUDA, hence making AAR ‘Cuda. Then moving forward the stripe starts with small verticle lines then and you get farther forward they get wider, and wider. Finially, at the front it starts to get shorter, and at the front it doesn’t quite come to a point, it rounds out.
AAR Cuda Hood
The hood on an AAR ‘Cuda is something that sets it apart from standard ‘Cudas as well as all other cars. The hood is made of lightweight fiberglass. What really sets this hood apart from all other cars is the hood scoop. The sleek design really blends in nicely with the rest of the car. Some might think that the scoop is “all show and no go”, but this hood scoop is functional and draws in fresh air. The hood was usually painted Organasol, along with the tops of the fenders and doors.
AAR Cuda Spoilers
The spoilers on the AAR Cuda also set it apart from other cars. The front spoilers are what they call “eyebrow” spoilers. As you can see in the image the “eyebrow” spoilers are located on the side of the car, on the front fender in front of the tire. There is a matching spoiler on the passenger side of the car. The rear spoiler is what is called a “duck tail “. It is located on the back end of the trunk lid. The Challenger T/A has a spoiler that is very similar to what the AAR has.
AAR Cuda Side Exhaust
The exhaust on the AAR Cuda came out the side of the car. On most Cudas, Challengers (excluding the Dodge Challenger T/A), and other Mopars, the exhaust exited out the rear of the car in a variety of ways. However, the AARs exhaust came out right in front of the back wheels, on both sides none the less. Before exiting out the side exhaust pipes though, it was routed through the standard muffer (which was mounted under the back seat).
AAR Cuda Production Information
The AAR Cuda was produced during the months of March and April, 1970. Production of the AAR began on March 10 and continued until April 17. There was however the pilot car that was produced February 3rd. Also, according to a couple of AAR Cuda Registries, there were no AARs known to be produced March 10th, 25th - 27th, or the 30th. Also they reported that there has been at least one AAR with the production date of April 20. So those production dates may not have been followed exactly by the factory. There were only about 2,724 AAR Cudas produced in the six week time period. There were 1,120 produced with manual 4-speed transmissions, and the remaining 1,614 had the automatic 3-speed transmissions.