Giant Plymouth Cuda Gallery!
The ’70 – ’74 Plymouth ‘Cuda is arguably the best-looking muscle car ever built. Here’s some of our favorites!
Although the Plymouth Barracuda—a lightly modified Plymouth Valiant built on the A-Body platform—was technically the first ponycar to hit the market in the fall of , it was the Ford Mustang, and later the Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird, that defined this new small-car performance segment. By the time Plymouth (and Dodge with the Challenger) got up to speed with the whole pony car thing, the segment was fairly well defined. That is, until the Plymouth 'Cuda came along. What Dodge stylists penned on the new E-Body platform would become arguably the sexiest, best-looking muscle car ever to roll out of Detroit. Taking advantage of the latest space-age design cues, staying true to them with sleek body lines, and combining those with a best-in-class suspension and some of the best V8 engines ever offered, Plymouth had a clear winner on its hands. The fact that this gorgeous shape stayed in production longer (five years!) than its siblings at Ford and GM is testament enough to that.
Here are some of the best E-Body 'Cudas we've seen over the past couple of years. We think you'll agree that Plymouth's E-Body is a stunner for the ages!
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As blue-chip muscle cars go, the Hemi-powered Plymouth ’Cuda lies at the top of the heap. In fact, it’s the only muscle car we included on our list of 10 Cars to Drive Before You Die. In convertible form, it’s the only muscle car besides the Shelby GTlisted on Hagerty’s indexof postwar blue-chip collectible cars (Corvettes and Cobras aren’t muscle cars, okay?), where it stands alongside vintage royalty such as the Aston Martin DB5, the Ferrari GT California Spyder, the Lamborghini Miura, the Mercedes-Benz SL Gullwing, and the Tucker Solid company.
Hemi ’Cudas come up for sale quite infrequently at best, as they’ve long been prized collectibles and fewer than were built in and ’ But if you think is a low number, consider 81—that’s how many miles are on the gem shown here. Mecum Auctions, which will offer the “Tor Red” coupe at its Indianapolis sale in mid-May, boasts that it’s “the lowest-mileage Hemi ’Cuda known to exist.”
For as virginal as this car appears, it started life the same way as many big-block muscle cars—as a drag racer. The story goes that the original owner started modifying the Plymouth immediately after driving it home from the dealership in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He swapped in upgraded parts for the intake, carburetors, exhaust, suspension, rear end, and tires. The owner made about 30 passes at the strip (that’s racing miles), sometimes breaking into the 10s. For reference, Car and Driver didn’t record a subsecond quarter-mile time from a street car until decades later, with the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo in , although keep in mind that we don’t test on sticky drag strips or with special tires. The quickest quarter-miler we’d tested when this ’Cuda was new was easily this Shelby Cobra , which did the deed in seconds.
This unrestored Plymouth remains about as close to new—and stationary—as possible. The original owner died after just one season of attacking West Virginia drag strips. In , his son sold the car to a man who reinstalled all of the factory-stock components when the odometer read 42 miles. That guy was so intimidated by this elephant, apparently, that he drove the car less than one mile over his 16 years of ownership.
We typically have little interest in vintage cars that are unlikely to be properly exercised ever again. But there’s no denying that this minty Plymouth is truly special. Mecum estimates that this car will sell for between $, and $,; if it had a manual transmission, a convertible top, and/or a VIN it’d definitely be higher (witness this lovely purplish-blue ’71 four-speed droptop, which Mecum sold last year for $ million). In , at the height of the muscle-car market, Barrett-Jackson sold this very car—with 74 miles on the clock—for $, If this car beats that price, has the once-burst bubble officially been reinflated?
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Plymouth Hemi Cuda For Sale: $3,,
In the muscle car world, the Plymouth Hemi Cuda is a by-word for the Holy Grail, hen's teeth, or free beer. In other words, it's elusive and highly sought after. But if you're in the market for one, look no further: there's a pristine example up for sale, and all you need is the $3,, asking price.
Yes, you read that right. This Hemi Cuda, with just 17, miles on the clock, will set you back the price of roughly limited-edition Bugatti Veyrons. What makes this car so special? It was rare when it was built, and it has a storied history in Trans-Am racing at the hands of legends like Dan Gurney and Swede Savage--though not this particular example, of course.
What really makes this car special is that it's the first E-body Hemi Cuda, build by hand at Chrysler's Claire Point, Michigan facility. It was a prototype never intended for sale, but it eventually found its way into private hands.
If you have the cash, and already have your own private island, hit the link below to see the auction site.
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Plymouth HEMI Cuda
From , Dodge stuffed their massive Hemi into the small E-Body platform and the Hemi Cuda is widely accepted as one of the most saught after of these. Only 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 $ it cost to build one-nearly a third of the standard purchase price. At $, the bhp V8 became the norm and made the Hemi Cuda an exception.
Motor Trend tested the Hemi ’Cuda in their May issue, reaching in seconds and the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds at mph.
The long list of options made available for Barracudas included such goodies as a Track Pak with a 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 was the most legendary Mopar engine. It typically delivered bhp through the solid Torqueflight automatic and a Sure Grip rear axle. That is, unless the car was one of the that got a 4-speed manual.
See full Plymouth Hemi Cuda Image Gallery
With their classic shape, tire-shredding American power, limited production and huge popularity a Hemi Cuda can easily fetch over $ 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 were minimal and included a more complex 6 inlet grille design and fender gill louvers. Only or so of these were built and the seven ultra-rare 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.
Plymouth Hemi Cuda Image Gallery
See full Plymouth Hemi Cuda Image Gallery
Plymouth Hemi Cuda Videos
See full Plymouth Hemi Cuda Image Gallery
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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 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 Barret Jackson this car sold for record $ USD.
This is the only High Impact Vitamin C HEMI Cuda convertible built in and is one of only 14 produced in that year. With matching numbers and an original motor with an A Torqueflite automatic transmission, it is sure to fetch top dollar at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auction.
Sold at Barrett-Jacksons Scottsdale auction for $, 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 Galens Registry. Powered by a /hp 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, Mopars rare Ice Blue exterior finish. An absolutely fascinating, genuine HEMI Cuda.
Auction Sales History
Plymouth Hemi Cuda sold for $, R-Code Hemi Cuda with believed to be 41, miles. Original broadcast sheet and same owner for 17 years.Factory TX9 Black car, factory stereo radio. Super Track Pack Dana VIN on cowl and radiator support, original VIN decal in door jamb. Correct Hemi carburetors. Rare Hemi heavy duty Torqueflite. Vinyl bucket seats and woodgrain console. Rallye dash and instrument cluster. Chrome racing mirrors with NOS drivers remote. Rallye wheels, Goodyear Polyglas GT tires. Rotisserie restoration completed by Ray Younkin of Milton, Florida with nothing left off, including transmission cooler, steering wheel lock linkage and carburetor solenoid. More than $, in restoration receipts. Auction Source: Kissimmee , #WhereTheCarsAre by Mecum
Plymouth Hemi Cuda BS23R0B sold for $, The Most Celebrated Mopar Muscle Car. One of Only Four-Speed Examples Built for 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
Plymouth Hemi Cuda / HP, 4-Speed sold for $, Very rare original low mile believed to be (16,) unrestored 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: Mecum Indy Spring Classic
Plymouth Hemi Cuda / HP, 4-Speed sold for $, 1 of only 4-speed equipped Hemi Cudas, New Process A 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 F tires. Drip rail, body sill, body belt and rear deck bright moldings. Chrome exhaust tips. Hood pins. Govier Report. Listed in Chrysler Registry. Fully restored. Excellent throughout. Auction Source: Mecum at Monterey
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15 Photos Of Old Plymouth Hemi Cudas That Are Still Stunning Today
As time has gone on we've mimicked many animals to improve our technology, streamline our energy use and invigorate our imaginations. In the modern world of cars think of how many have taken on beastly names.
The Stingray, Mustang, Jaguar, and Viper come to mind. Even the mightly Lamborghini Miura was named for a famous batch of, particularly noble and fierce fighting bulls. No matter where you go in the world though, the Plymouth Barracuda has made its name known as well as any other.
This muscle car was born in the mids and slowly grew into one of the most fear-inspiring sports cars of the early '70s. Originally it was a response to the Mustang and shared much of its body with the Valiant but starting in the "Cuda" as it was affectionately referred to became a beast all its own. Let's take a look at some of the most stunning examples around today.
15 Take Your Pick
Sometimes it can be easy to forget that in the late '60s and early '70s, not every muscle car had a drop-top version. The Cuda took full advantage of the gap in the market and sold both while maintaining that stunning look.
This early example isn't considered the most desirable body style but the owner has certainly upped its value with the incredible restoration and improvement that has been made here. Power brakes and steering, as well as a bigger carb, make this a much-desired ride.
One of the most special optional features of the Cuda was this paint scheme that could feature the word HEMI there on the door. Far before plastic badges were stuck all over our cars Plymouth made a clear statement to anyone lined up next to this car about what it had under its hood.
12 More Power
This Barracuda features a set of aftermarket front end parts. The hood scoop shown here was never sold on the original factory cars. That said, it looks fantastic and you can see that air filter through the hood scoop. Great to see someone making their scoop totally functional in an age where that's rarely the case.
11 Movie Car
This car is actually featured in one of the final scenes of Fast & Furious 6 as one of the family's cars. It's clear why the producers would want something like this. The paint is subtly aftermarket as is the hood. It's tastefully customized.
RELATED: Fast And Furious: What Fans Don’t Know About Dom’s Dodge Charger
Sometimes you just need more power. This Cuda owner decided he needed a lot more power and as we can see he stuck a blower the size of a small house on his engine. I don't know how he can see anything out of the car but we'll leave that to him.
9 Daily Driven
One of the best features of the Barracuda is how reliable it is. Regardless of the engine installed, all of the options from the factory were known to be solid powerplants. This monster has been upgraded with a horsepower engine and gets driven every day.
8 An American At War In France
The Cuda wasn't just fast here in America. This particular car was imported to France in and went on to be one of the winningest cars motorsport has ever known. Even wilder, it was a barn find in that had been lost to history until then.
This Cuda looks ready for a black-tie affair, doesn't it? This color combination is one of the rarest ever made. Pair that with the vented fenders and you're looking at one of the most uniquely optioned Barracudas ever produced.
This HEMI goes about its business in a slightly more relaxed way. The convertible top and matching yellow wheels are a great expression of that attitude and when compared to the other cars on this list it's easy to see why this might be a lovely choice for a slow cruising night out on the town.
RELATED: 15 Little Known Details About The Dodge Barracuda
This Cuda was professionally built by a company with an endless budget. It packs a modern Hemi, Chrysler mirrors and Corvette seats. They went all out to create something you could go anywhere in and enjoy to the fullest.
4 Blood Red Barracuda
Let's face it. When we talk about Barracudas we're talking about a sincerely ferocious-looking fish and this example exudes that same confidence. The lowered stance, the bright red paint, and the oversized wheels complete the effect.
Another of the older Cudas, this one has been built to the max. The pinstriping and lowering kit gives it an ominous look. The color and wheels complement one another well too.
2 Street-Legal Racecar
This famous Sox & Martin racecar is one that many have heard at a racetrack near them and countless more have seen. While it could actually be registered and driven in some states, it's unlikely it will be considering it sold for more than $, recently. I wouldn't want to risk it either.
The AAR Cuda was built especially for Time Attack events and packed a mean punch. Lower weight and a big engine meant it was more than capable of taking down any competition at the time when the right driver was behind the wheel.
NEXT: Hemi-Powered Plymouth Barracuda SS/AH Drag Car In Focus
Cadillac has remained a strong influence in the luxury car market for more than a century producing a wide range of exotic motor cars.
Read NextAbout The Author
Rivers is an automotive enthusiast and writer working for our news and features team. He loves all things built with passion and can be found both on twitter and Instagram at SRiversCars.
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