1-of-59: 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

It is hard to do justice to a car like this 1971 Hemi Cuda with words, and that’s why you will find a decent gallery of photos at the bottom of this story. This is a car that owes absolutely nothing to subtlety. It is a car with aggressive styling, power to burn, and an attitude that says, “Are you feeling lucky, punk?” That the Hemi Cuda commands the sorts of prices that it does is no surprise, because they perfectly represent an era when horsepower was king, and no-one gave two hoots about fuel economy or emissions. If you have a spare few (hundred) thousand dollars to spare, you will find this 1971 Cuda located in Chatsworth, California, and listed for sale here on eBay.

The owner refers to this car as a survivor. I take that as meaning that this car is original and unrestored. If that is the case, then it has certainly held up well. He also states that the car has only covered 30,766 miles, but there is no mention as to whether this is documented. It is hard to find fault with the panels and paint on this Cuda, and that Hemi Orange paint is about as in-your-face as it gets. Even in a more subdued color, these are a car with true styling muscle.

It is what’s happening under the hood that sets this car apart from mere mortals. This is a 426ci Hemi engine, and it is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. That makes this 1-of-59 Cudas that were specified with this combination in 1971 and makes for an exciting 425hp under your right boot. The owner lets himself down a bit with his description here, as while he refers to numbers-matching, the way the advertisement reads, it gives the impression that the transmission is, but leaves a question mark hanging over the engine. This would be pretty easy to verify, as the car is being sold with full Galen Govier Documentation, along with two original Broadcast Sheets. Hopefully, this is a numbers-matching car, because that would make it very special.

If this car is a true survivor, then the interior probably best illustrates this. While it is incredibly nice, the creases in the driver’s seat indicate a car that has been used, not a car that has been a trailer queen. Given the character of the car, it seems appropriate that there is something ominous about looking in at a black interior. It’s another indication that this is not a car for the faint of heart. Looking at the interior, the only thing that I can possibly consider criticizing is the carpet just in front of the driver’s seat. It’s hard to tell whether there is an odd fold or fit to it, or if it’s a trick of the light. Given the value of this car, I’m pretty sure that it would be a trick of the light.

I’d be willing to bet that I’m not the only person who is looking at this car right now, and wishing that I had the money to park it in my garage. With only 59 cars of this configuration built in 1971, that makes this a special and very desirable car. Desirability will always have a price, but if this is a numbers-matching car, then that price is not as bad as it could be. The two most recent examples equipped the same as this car that went to auction both sold for over $550,000. The owner is asking $479,000 for this one, but there is the option available to make an offer. I wonder how understanding my local bank manager is.

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  1. TCOPPS Member

    The cars (Enzo Ferarri?) he has in the background probably cost 10-20x more than I make in a year…just to insure…

  2. TAGS

    Hmmm…Is that a missing fender tag? I could be wrong.

  3. Joe Machado

    Was looking for a 71 Hemi Cuda in Moulon Rouge for daughter. Then my son found a 70 factory Moulon Rouge convertible. Bought it. Done. She loves the E’s.
    Hope this 71 finds a drivers home. Enjoy the thing. We do

    • glen

      So,… is she single?

  4. ccrvtt

    Two words like no others in hearts & minds of car lovers: Hemi Cuda.

    ‘Nuff said.

  5. Moparman Member

    Amazingly, it DOESN’T have the Rallye dash w/ full instrumentation! Just the one thing that I MUST have (in addition to the half million dollars to buy it, LOL!) :-)

    • Nick

      I agree, that was optional no matter what was under the hood. No console either, that would have put the shifter on the column if it was an automatic. I had a 1974 ‘Cuda 360 that way. Conversely Challengers had a standard Rallye dash when you bought any R/T.

  6. Tim Wiltse

    My local Classic car dealer has a 71′ Hemi Challenger with around 2,500 miles on it. Documented down to still having the factory oil in the engine. Asking 1.2 million for it.

  7. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Agreed it would be better with rallye dash but its a four speed so who cares about no console, completely irrelevant about automatic configuration. Some curiosity about the woodgrain inserts in the door panels normally associated with gran coupe models. Overall nice car though, happy bidding to those who can afford it.

  8. Greg Nelsen

    Very rare car. But this 1970 Dodge hemi challenger convertible is ultra rare. Only 5 4spd cars ever built.

    • Johnny Joseph

      You would be ‘Plum Crazy’ not to love that ’70! I believe the Plymouth was. ‘In Violet’, though they are the same color. Sweet Hemi.

  9. Keith

    If the seller was selling this back in the hey day of ridiculous Mopar selling prices (Circa 2007 Barrett Jackson) it would have sold for 1.5 Million. Now only 500k LOL!

  10. Stillrunners

    Isn’t this the car out of Oklahoma ? It was listed for sale for a while…..maybe that was a 1970 with that kind of mileage.

  11. Ted

    I would sell the kidneys of my own family to own this car. And the neighbours as well.

  12. Woody

    What’s not to like here,except the price. This car has all the goodies,Hemi,4-speed,Orange paint and “shaker”……

  13. Keith

    Nice car ridiculous price……unless you’re one of those Mopar freaks willing to sell their own kidneys and first born for one of these. Just saying?

  14. Jimmy

    Too pricey to drive so no thanks.

  15. Troy s

    I built a model kit of this car many years ago, an that’s about as close to owning one as I’ll ever get. Sweet ride whether you’re a Dodge/Plymouth guy or not. The color combination is outstanding for a menace to society like this ‘Cuda!

  16. ACZ

    Nice car, for a legend. I’d rather have a 1970 Buick GS Stage 1. It was faster.

    • Ken Member

      They weren’t called “Hemi Killers” for nothing. I’d gladly take a GSX Stage 1 over a Hemi Cuda or Challenger any day of the week. The problem with the E-body cars is that they’re too damned heavy.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Love the color on this.

    Why do you think we are seeing a lot of these right now, just after the big auctions.

    Couldn’t get enough $$ at auction?
    People flipping what they just bought?
    Trying to catch the person that lost out on their dream car at auction?

  18. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    I too have been wondering why these hemi e-bodies we’ve been seeing are hitting ebay and not more prominent auctions. Maybe they are and people still think they should fetch a million so they won’t sell them. Who knows, markets go up and down all the time…. As far as road tests go from back in the day, lets not forget that all cars presented were warmed up to some degree. Also there was very little consistency in those tests. Weather varied, trans were both stick and auto, most cars seemed like either 3.55 or 4.10 ratio. Don’t get me wrong, I love Buicks as well as most other cars but if you want a true test, these types of things should all be the same. All stick or all auto, all the same gearing, all same type of tire, size obviously varies, all in same weather. Closest you get is the “pure stock” drags. Still variables play in, you’d have to walk the field and hand pic ’em. JMO….


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