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970-71 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertibles: Rare Muscle Car Icons in the Automotive World

970-71 Hemi 'Cuda Convertibles
970-71 Hemi 'Cuda Convertibles

Dodge may have the Challenger and Ford the Mustang, but Plymouth staked its claim on the muscle car throne with a limited-production Barracuda variant.

Unlike the mass-produced pony cars flooding dealerships, the 1970-1971 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible stands out as a fleeting masterpiece. This drop-top wasn’t just about wind-in-your-hair thrills; it unleashed the earth-moving fury of a Hemi V8 nestled beneath its sculpted lines.

Owning a Hemi ‘Cuda convertible isn’t just about acquiring a car; with a mere 21 manufactured, it’s a passport to an elite club where enthusiasts hold the keys to a true automotive icon.

These drop-top bruisers marked the final chapter for the second-generation Hemi V8, solidifying their place as not just powerful machines, but rolling testaments to a bygone era of automotive excess.

The early quest for high-performance in the Plymouth Barracuda highlighted the limitations of its existing platform. Sharing the A-body platform with the Valiant kept engine options in check, with the 383 cubic inch V8 representing the practical limit.

In 1969, the mighty 440 Super Commando, a 7.2 liter leviathan, was shoehorned into the Barracuda. This proved a cumbersome solution, as the A-body architecture buckled under the immense power and weight of the engine. This engineering incompatibility became the impetus for the E-body platform.

970-71 Hemi 'Cuda Convertibles

970-71 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertibles (Plymouth)

Designed from the ground up to accommodate Chrysler’s most fearsome engines, the E-body platform promised to unleash the unbridled potential of these powerhouses, forever altering the muscle car.

Back in the 1970s, Mother Mopar had a few colors that it called High Impact (Plymouth) or High Performance (Dodge), and Lemon Twist (Top Banana) was one of them.

That’s exactly what this rare bird of a fish pony car boasts. Not original, but identical the vehicle has been through a rotisserie restoration at some point.

Following the complete overhaul, it became a solid investment and began changing hands  or, at least, making star appearances at various motoring events.

In 2019, at Indianapolis, it sold for 1.98 million bucks. Three years later, in 2022, the high bid of 2.1 million didn’t convince the owner to let the car go. However, this past January, it was auctioned off for 1.95 million.

The 1971 Hemi Cuda convertibles, though slightly less rare, are no consolation prize. These later convertibles remain incredibly valuable, routinely reaching astronomical figures at auctions.

Owning any 1970 or 1971 Hemi Cuda convertible is akin to holding a priceless artifact from the golden age of muscle cars. It’s a rare and valuable treasure that embodies the era’s unbridled quest for speed and automotive dominance.

These convertibles weren’t just cars; they were rolling testaments to the engineers’ audacity and the pinnacle of muscle car design.

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