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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 14th – 18th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
From their late-1969 introduction for 1970, Plymouth’s all new “E-Body” Barracuda and high-performance ‘Cuda models remain absolute legends from the heady days when muscle cars reigned supreme on North American streets. Aggressively styled and designed to accommodate the entire Chrysler engine line, the ‘Cuda was finally available from Chrysler dealers with the top 426 Street Hemi for adrenaline-seeking buyers intent on ruling the street and strip with equal amounts of ease.
With dual quads and a vastly underrated 425-horsepower output, the Hemi ‘Cuda was more than up to the task with skilled drivers regularly clocking 13-second ETs over the quarter-mile during period magazine tests. Slicks, basic tuning, and mild modifications quickly raised straight-line performance to monstrous levels. In professional drag racing circles, the Hemi ‘Cuda dominated Super Stock and the new Pro Stock class from 1970 through 1972 in the hands of legendary racers including Sox & Martin until stiff NHRA-imposed weight penalties eventually nullified the Hemi’s advantage.
Not for the faint of heart, the Hemi ‘Cuda was priced to match as Plymouth’s top high-performance car for 1970 at a premium of $871 over the basic ‘Cuda’s $3,164 starting price. The new Street Hemi for 1970 now featured a maintenance-free hydraulic camshaft with a similar lobe profile to the prior mechanical unit for greater ease of operation. The menacing “Shaker” cold-air hood scoop was standard on the Hemi-equipped cars, while heavy-duty underpinnings including carefully selected rear leaf springs carried no additional cost. Only 652 Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtops were produced for sale in the USA for the 1970-model year and 368 of them were ordered with Chrysler’s tough A-727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission, including the vehicle offered here.
This 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda is believed the sole example retaining its original FJ5 Limelight Hi-Impact paint finish today. With its VIN decoded by noted Chrysler expert Galen Govier, this Hemi ‘Cuda was scheduled for production on Monday, October 13, 1969 at Chrysler’s Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plant and built to perform – at very high speeds – with its highway-friendly 3.23:1 Sure-Grip rear end and absence of power-robbing luxury options. Nonetheless, the Hemi ‘Cuda was equipped new with power brakes (with front discs) and steering, the famed ‘Shaker’ hood, competition-style hood pins, High-Grade trim including black vinyl bucket seats, dual outside mirrors, a black vinyl top, chrome exhaust tips, a floor console, and a Music Master AM radio.
While the near-mythical Hemi ‘Cuda was a very rare beast when new, precious few available today can match this exceptionally original example, which retains the matching numbers drivetrain and all-important fender tag, plus the original non-Rallye dash, door panels, vinyl top, glass, and more. Excellent documentation includes a copy of the original Chrysler Corporation Production Broadcast Sheet and the aforementioned Galen Govier decoding report. As such, its offering represents a truly significant opportunity for knowledgeable collectors to acquire a confirmed, no-stories, and incredibly original example of the ultimate American supercar.