1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda
Above Images ©General Motors Corporation, Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, LLC
From 1966-71, Dodge stuffed their massive Hemi into the small E-Body platform and the 1970 Hemi 'Cuda is widely accepted as one of the most saught after of these. Only 652 were built when new, including 14 rare convertibles, making an original Hemi 'Cuda a rare sight.
The Hemi 'Cuda was forced in scarcity due to the extra $900 it cost to build one-nearly a third of the standard purchase price. At $250, the 390 bhp 440 V8 became the norm and made the Hemi Cuda an exception.
Motor Trend tested the 426 Hemi ’Cuda in their May 1970 issue, reaching 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds at 102 mph.
The long list of options made available for 1970 Barracudas included such goodies as a Track Pak with a 3.54:1 differential ratio, Rallye wheels, a range of exciting colors including Plum Crazy, pistol grip shifters, hockey stick sport stripes, hood pins and a variety of creature comforts. Of all the options, the R-code steet Hemi 426 was the most legendary Mopar engine. It typically delivered 425 bhp through the solid 727 Torqueflight automatic and a 3.55:1 Sure Grip rear axle. That is, unless the car was one of the 284 that got a 4-speed manual.
With their classic shape, tire-shredding American power, limited production and huge popularity a 1970 Hemi 'Cuda can easily fetch over $150 000 USD. This is a remarkable amount for a car with the same build quailty as a mass-produced Plymouth. However, the aggressive sound of Hemi combined with visual street cred and Barrett-Jackson publicity now make these Cudas more expensive than most Ferraris produced in the same era.
Changes for 1971 were minimal and included a more complex 6 inlet grille design and fender gill louvers. Only 100 or so of these were built and the seven ultra-rare 1971 convertibles are the most expensive muscle cars money can buy. In 72, the government and EPA kicked the muscle car in the ass with emissions regulations. After that time, no more Hemi or more big block models could be ordered.
Important Examples and Sales
Documented by Galen Govier as the second '70 Hemi Cuda built on the first day of production and as Press Preview Car, this is #2 of 320 1970 Hemi Cudas in the Chrysler Registry. This car was hand built at factory before line production, and has many unique features as press car. At the 2005 Barret Jackson this car sold for record $329 400 USD.
This is the only High Impact Vitamin C HEMI 'Cuda convertible built in 1970 and is one of only 14 produced in that year. With matching numbers and an original motor with an A727 Torqueflite automatic transmission, it is sure to fetch top dollar at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auction.
Sold at Barrett-Jackson's 2009 Scottsdale auction for $198,000. Described as "Documented by a visual inspection performed by Mopar expert, Galen Govier. The entire report and decoding sheets are included. This HEMI 'Cuda is also listed in Galen's Registry. Powered by a 426/425hp HEMI engine with dual 4-barrel carburetors, factory N96 Shaker Hood, 4-speed transmission, DANA 60 posi-traction, power disc brakes, power steering, Rallye instruments, original AM radio, remote left mirror, black upholstery, rear go wing and factory Rallye wheels. 1 of only 4 known to exist finished in EB3, Mopar's rare Ice Blue exterior finish. An absolutely fascinating, genuine HEMI 'Cuda."
Auction Sales History
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda - sold for $150,000
1970 R-Code 426 Hemi Cuda with believed to be 41,900 miles. Original broadcast sheet and same owner for 17 years.Factory TX9 Black car, factory stereo radio. Super Track Pack 4.10 Dana 60. VIN on cowl and radiator support, original VIN decal in door jamb. Correct 1970 Hemi carburetors. Rare Hemi heavy duty Torqueflite. Vinyl bucket seats and woodgrain console. Rallye dash and instrument cluster. Chrome racing mirrors with NOS driver's remote. ... read more
Auction Source: Kissimmee 2014, #WhereTheCarsAre by Mecum
1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda BS23R0B146640 - sold for $170,000
The Most Celebrated Mopar Muscle Car. One of Only 284 Four-Speed Examples Built for 1970. Highly Optioned and Finished in Classic Rallye Red. Just Three California Owners from New. Carefully Maintained in Unrestored, Original Condition. Complete with Chrysler Broadcast Sheet, MSRP Label, and Vehicle Warranty. Offered with Extensive Documentation, Factory Literature, and Service Records.
Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda 426/425 HP, 4-Speed - sold for $255,000
Very rare original low mile believed to be (16,998) unrestored 426 Hemi 4-speed Cuda. Retains original engine, transmission and rear end. Documented by the original broadcast sheet, 2 fender tags, Govier decoded papers showing it to be 1 of 1 with these options. Triple Black. Still has the original title and the current title which is the second owner.
Auction Source: 2011 Mecum Indy Spring Classic
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda 426/425 HP, 4-Speed - sold for $140,000
1 of only 284 4-speed equipped 1970 Hemi Cudas, New Process A833 4-speed and Track Pak rear end. Correct replacement block. Power brakes. Shaker hood. Twin racing mirrors with driver’s remote. High grade trim interior. Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. AM radio. Rallye road wheels, Goodyear Polyglas GT F60-15 tires. Drip rail, body sill, body belt and rear deck bright moldings. Chrome exhaust tips. Hood pins. Govier Report. Listed in Chrysler Registr... read more
Auction Source: 2010 Mecum at Monterey