1-Of-5: 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440-6 Convertible

It’s easy to see why so many enthusiasts focus on the 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible. In 4-speed manual form, the company built a mere three examples. That makes them a rare and desirable classic that will command stratospheric prices when they come onto the market. This ‘Cuda Convertible isn’t one of those cars, but it is nearly as rare. The owner has just completed a meticulous restoration of this muscle convertible and has decided to place it up for sale. Potential buyers will need to have a fat wallet, but the fact is that cars like this don’t pop up out of the woodwork every day. Located in Carrollton, Texas, the ‘Cuda has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $899,000, but there is the option to make an offer. Barn Finder Larry D certainly knows how to spot desirable classics, so thank you so much for referring this one to us, Larry.

Vehicle styling will always be a subjective thing, and a car that appeals to one person can often leave another feeling cold. I have always professed a soft spot for anything wearing the blue-oval badge, but a 1971 ‘Cuda will always stop me in my tracks. Especially in Convertible form, these are cars that look good from any angle. This is a car where Plymouth’s styling department got it right, and you can’t help but think that they must have felt a sense of pride the moment they stepped back and admired their creation for the first time. This ‘Cuda looks stunning in its original True Blue Metallic, and it looks factory fresh because it has clocked a mere 10 miles off the back of a meticulous restoration. The owner didn’t take any half-measures with this classic. The bodyshell was virtually rust-free, but any issues were addressed to the highest standards. When it came to a matter of choice, the owner let his wallet do the talking. Any component that didn’t meet his exacting standard was replaced with a NOS part to help retain the vehicle’s authenticity. The result is a Convertible with laser-straight panels and paint that you can almost sink into. The Black power top is new, while every square inch of chrome and trim sparkles beautifully. There’s no doubt that this ‘Cuda would attract more than its share of attention wherever it went, but all of this is merely the entree.

The ’71 ‘Cuda Convertible was already a rare car when new, with Plymouth producing a mere 374 vehicles. Many view the Holy Grail as the Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible with a manual transmission, of which only three rolled off the production line. Our feature car isn’t one of those vehicles, but it does give them a run for their money in the rarity stakes. This Convertible features the 440ci 6-Pak V8 that is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. Plymouth built 17 Convertibles with a 6-Pack under the hood, but only five of them also came equipped with the 4-speed manual transmission. So, not as rare as the Hemi, but not far off it. This brute of an engine produced 385hp in its prime, which was enough to rocket the ‘Cuda through the ¼ mile in 13.8 seconds. Interestingly, this was faster than the Hemi-equipped version by one-tenth of a second, but the Hemi hit back by being able to achieve a top speed of 134mph versus the 6-Pack’s 125mph. This ‘Cuda is a numbers-matching vehicle, and the presentation of the engine bay is as impressive as the rest of the car. The only downside of the listing is that the owner doesn’t indicate how well the Plymouth runs or drives. It has only accumulated 10 miles on its odometer since the owner completed the restoration, so you’d have to think that the news would be nothing but positive. For those who doubt the authenticity of this car and its drivetrain, the owner has that covered. He has managed to piece together both the original Build Sheet and Broadcast Sheet. These verify every aspect of this classic, so there can be no doubts in the minds of potential buyers.

There’s really not a lot to say about the interior, because it presents in as-new condition. The seats are upholstered in their original Black leather and vinyl combination, with every upholstered surface appearing to be perfect. There is no wear on the carpet or wheel and no evidence of deterioration on either the dash or pad. The original owner ordered the ‘Cuda with the Rally gauges and factory tach, along with the pushbutton AM radio. All of these features remain intact, along with the awesome pistol-grip shifter. This adds a sense of purpose to the interior, and the fact that they look so cool is the icing on the cake.

This 1971 Plymouth is not a Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible, and some people will be disappointed by that. However, it is nearly as rare as a Hemi, and it will cost its next owner a fraction of the price. This is a classic where the owner has left no stone unturned during the restoration process, and mediocrity had no place in this owner’s world. I can’t help but harbor a fear that the person who buys it will hide it away as a long-term investment, and I probably wouldn’t blame them if they did. However, that is not what cars like this should be about. They should be treated with care and respect, but Plymouth designed them to be driven and enjoyed. I hope that the buyer does get out to enjoy this classic from time to time. It deserves nothing less.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1965-1967 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for a father/son project car. Engine/no engine. Running/not running. Contact

WANTED 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe ORIGINAL Steel Body Style .The body should have a rusty texture rather than a clean state. Contact

WANTED 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne Looking for a 1961 Biscayne in decent shape for an everyday driver. Will also consider Bel-Air Contact

WANTED 68 Chevrolet chevelle no 4dr car a Contact

WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Steve Clinton

    $899,000 a fraction of the price of a ‘Hemi’? HOLY MOLEY!

    Like 15
    • Bamapoppy

      If you ever see one on the auction block you better prepare yourself and sit down. The Hemi convertibles start at auction with 2 commas and can rise up to a high bid with more fingers than you have on your left hand. (Yeah, I’m a southpaw).

      Like 4
      • BleedNRed

        BamaPoppy,

        I’m a southpaw, too. If the bidding starts with two commas, the digits is already more than I have on my left hand. You must be a very special individual if the bidding goes higher than the digits on your left hand. ;)

        Like 2
  2. MoragaPulsar

    Very nice, but the fan base for these is dwindling, and growing elsewhere. Maybe a good time to sell.

    Like 15
    • Curt Lemay

      Doesn’t matter. This is no longer in the realm of the car enthusiast, it now resides firmly in the land of the super rich. I suspect we will always have these kind of people, with more money to spend no matter how much the spend, so the prices will just keep going up long after all the Baby Boomers are pushing up daisies. Future buyers will buy these not because they have a love for what it is, just because it is rare and something most people can’t afford, and that is what motivates them. Just my opinion, and I hope I am wrong. It would be nice if some regular person could own something like this as the prices have dropped, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

      Like 39
      • robert semrad

        Curt, by regular person, I assume that you mean the underachievers or maybe the envious of those who are over-achievers who did well in their field? Let us know….thanks

        Like 5
      • robert semrad

        Chester…..why is it so painful for you to come to the realization that there are some people that can drop a million on a toy and have been so successful in their lives that they do not have to work in the same manner that perhaps you do? What you’ve stated smacks of envy. Sorry to have touched a nerve.

        Like 2
  3. Burger

    How many 440/6pak/4-speed 71 ragtops were built in 1971 ?

    Like 1
    • Chris M.

      Again 5.

      Like 7
      • Burger

        I hit “send” before I added the key part of the question, which was “in this color ?”.

        Like 3
  4. Steve R

    This is a beautiful car. I’ve always liked 4spds without consoles, especially on Pony cars. About the only thing that could make this car better is a shaker hood.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  5. sYc

    This car is nice, but this is a LOT of money for this car. The paintwork has a lot of orange peel, and the doors (if not both repainted) were likely painted off the car (a no-no for most metallics). It looks like this was the case given the remarkable color difference on the doors on both sides of the car. This car also has incorrect GRAN COUPE interior panels (with the GC-only wood trim inserts).

    Like 15
    • Bill McCoskey

      sYc,

      I hate to tell you, but I was around Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships when this car was new, and I can tell you these cars suffered from far worse paint problems back then. Orange peel was just one problem. I remember seeing lower body panels without any topcoat, already rusting while the cars sat unsold on the lot. Same with the front door hinge areas, bereft of any color coat in crucial areas.

      In less than one model year [1968 to 1969] MoPaR vehicle quality took a huge nosedive. The new “Fuselage” styling, along with labor problems, meant it was several more years before the company’s vehicles started to come close to GM, Ford, or even AMC quality levels. This isn’t just my opinion, it’s a common belief held by most of the automotive media & car buyers, back then & right into today.

      So in possible defense of the owner, perhaps his attention to detail meant he created a car so well restored, that it meant maintaining even poor paint quality?

  6. Mikefromthehammer

    Although I am poor (relatively speaking) and could never afford such a beast it does not quench my lust for this particular vehicle. Gotta start saving my pennies and dimes.

    https://youtu.be/GHRJCcCYAF4?t=15

    Like 2
  7. Burger

    Sorry, left out a key part of my question, …. how many 71 Cuda ragtops with this engine/trans combo were built in THIS color ?

    Like 1
    • Mikefromthehammer

      It is quite likely this is the only one. If so it is a unique vehicle and well worth the asking price for that reason alone. I would have said to Mae West “No, that isn’t a gun in my pocket” if I was gazing at this ‘Cuda at the time.

      Like 2
  8. JoeNYWF64

    I would think the price of these would come down if a dynacorn cuda convertible body is released.
    A Challenger body is currently avail, but even that not yet as a convertible.

    Like 3
  9. Peter W Fee Member

    It’s just a shame, even if you could afford the asking price you can’t drive it unless you’re in the process of divorcing Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. It will show up now and again on the “circuit” but don’t sit waiting for it to pass by on the Woodward Cruise, Hot Nights or Power Tours!

  10. charlie Member

    Beware NOS parts that deteriorate with time, like belts, hoses, and gaskets. My 2002 Audi A-4 got a NOS timing belt at 160,000 miles and it broke (interference engine – V6) at 180,000. Dead car, looked for an engine swap out of a wreck but could not find one. Junk for an otherwise great car in great shape – no wear showing on the pedals or upholstery.

    My ’69 Camaro had a succession of floor shift boots, NOS, that lasted about a year each, when the car, and they were more than 12 years old. I finally made one out of a scrap of leather and laced it, as was the kind that came with my old MG.

    Like 5
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Why did you put a NOS timing belt on your 2002 A4, when it literally is a part nobody ever sees and a 2002 model anything is not a classic car in the first place? I am puzzled by your decision on that. Please explain.

      Like 4
  11. Bamapoppy

    BleedN, I re-read my post and I simply blew it. I was actually referring to the FIRST number of the high bid because I’ve seen one of these Hemi convertibles go for over SIX million! And, to be clear, I am NOT in that rarified air of wealth.

    • bucky66

      A 71 Hemi Cuda went through the Mecum auction today and was bid to $4,800,000 which would be $5,280,000 with premium if accepted. The bid was refused.

      Like 1
      • Howie Mueler

        I guess that was also a convertible with a manual? Was it green?

  12. tom sherwood

    How about color sanding the entire car??

  13. Bamapoppy

    BleedNRed, I re-read my post and I simply blew it. What I MEANT to say is that the FIRST number in the high bid would be more than the number of fingers on our left hand. I have seen a Hemi convertible go for over SIX million. And to be clear I am NOT in that rarified air.

  14. Howie Mueler

    Is Feebay the best place to sell a high end car? Maybe it is listed in other places? They do have other vehicles listed.

    Like 4
    • bucky66

      Yes, the Cuda that was bid to $4,800,000 was a 4 speed convertible. I don’t recall the color but the announcers said it was the only one made in that color. However since they only made 12 hemi convertibles that year and offered probably 8 colors I would think there would be other colors they only made one of.

  15. SDJames

    Almost the best of the best, but $899,000? That’s a big number. However, people are buying NFTs of an NBA player’s slam dunk for over a million now. At least you can touch this!

    Like 1
  16. Mikefromthehammer

    I may have found one I love even more. Is it true blondes have more fun?

    https://barnfinds.com/original-340-1971-plymouth-cuda-convertible/

    Like 1
  17. JP

    For the lifestyles of the rich & famous!

    Like 3
  18. David Ulrey

    My comment isn’t about THIS car but it sure brought back a memory! In the mid 80s I worked in a body shop. A customer (he used to be the the service manager in a Dodge dealership I worked for, for awhile) had a Cuda he put together strictly for himself and he put in a 440 with the 6 pack. It already had a 4 spd with the pistol grip. Anyway, one night I couldn’t resist the temptation. Please remember I was 25 at the time and our shop was in an industrial area of town so it was like a ghost town at night. I fired it up and took it for a drive. No I did not even come close to redlining it and never went past 3rd gear. Didn’t need to. I got such a total rush just from the way it accelerated that I felt no need to try it to it’s limits. Should I have taken it out? No. But seeing as nothing bad came of my ‘joyride’ I can’t say for one second that I regret it. Helluva rush!

  19. charlie Member

    Why fix a 2002 Audi A4? Yes, it had no market value, but neither did my ’69 Camaro when it was 18 years old. The A4 had only one small rust spot where a door got scratched. Upholstery and interior were still just about perfect. And, with the V6 it was an incredibly good handling car, better than my 2014 Q5 T (although the Q5 has more guts), my Allante, or my 4Runner, all of which are good vehicles. So it was worth routine maintenance. Belt was changed at 85,000, book said 110,000 but repair shop had seen them go at 90,000, and replaced again at 165,000 since I was about to drive it cross country. Which I did. Over 4000 miles with various detours. And I did not choose the NOS belt, the dealer parts dept. sent it over to the independent repair shop that installed it. We both know better now. My wife still misses it, the only car she liked better was a ’94 Saab 900, which was really a GM mishmash, an Opel in Saab clothing with a Vauxhall V6 engine.

    Like 1
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Thanks for the explanation. It makes perfect sense. Sorry for your loss.

  20. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Been trying to sell it for a long time……..

    Like 1
  21. charlie Member

    Many who can buy these toys for these prices do not work for a living, but quite a few did, particularly those who were in the forefront of the digital world, and created something new that the big corporations bought out for handsome sums. I have several acquaintances who bailed out in their forties and fifties, and have more cash than they know what to do with – fortunately they realize they were in the right place at the right time and donate fiercely to charity for those less fortunate and do not buy $4 cars.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.