Original Hemi: 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Hardtop

Although I am a confessed Blue-Oval fan, I believe the Third Generation Plymouth Barracuda is one of the best-looking cars to roll off an American production line. The company got the styling of its E-Body model nearly perfect, giving it a genuine sense of presence. This impression was accentuated by the 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda, which possessed the muscle to back its good looks. Our feature car is one of those vehicles, and it needs a new home. It is listed here on eBay in Waverly, Ohio. The seller set their BIN at $180,000 but leaves the option to make an offer.

The seller has been this ‘Cuda’s custodian since 2008, and it has spent those years living in a climate-controlled garage. They state it is 1-of-4 ordered in Burnt Tan Metallic and that most of its paint is original. The exceptions are the front fenders and hood, which received a repaint in 2015 as part of a general refresh. It still presents well for its age, with no significant flaws or defects. The panels are laser straight, with the gaps as tight and consistent as you could hope to find on any Plymouth from this era. The underside shots confirm the car is rust-free, with many mechanical components retaining their factory paint markings. The distinctive stripes are crisp, the trim is immaculate, and the glass is flawless. Rounding out the exterior is a set of factory Rallye wheels that help add to the car’s menacing appearance.

The reality was that Plymouth didn’t produce a genuinely slow 1970 ‘Cuda. It’s just that some were faster than others. Top of the tree was the Hemi ‘Cuda, with this car being 1-of-368 Hardtops equipped with the Hemi and an A-727 TorqueFlite transmission. The mechanical package included suspension upgrades that allowed the Hemi ‘Cuda to effectively apply its 425hp to the road. Was the Hemi ‘Cuda fast? I think a ¼-mile ET of 13.5 seconds and a top speed of 144mph answers that question! When the seller purchased this classic, it had 21,500 original miles on the clock. They added 1,000 miles over the past fourteen years, meaning they can’t be accused of wearing it out. They pulled the engine and transmission in 2015 to treat the engine bay to a cosmetic refresh, and it looks as good today as it would have the day the original owner took delivery. The car is a full numbers-matching vehicle with an impressive collection of documentation. These include three original Broadcast Sheets and a written Galen Govier report verifying its authenticity. That means potential buyers can hand over their cash, safely knowing that what they are buying is the real deal.

The original owner complemented the exterior Burnt Tan Metallic paint by ordering the car trimmed in Tan vinyl. It features a center console with woodgrain highlights, a slap-stick shifter, Rallye gauges with a factory tachometer, a Music Master AM radio, and power windows. The seller indicates that only ten buyers ordered their 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda with power windows, raising the rarity of this classic. The interior looks excellent, with no evidence of wear or abuse on any upholstered surfaces. The back seat is spotless, and I doubt it has ever seen use. There are no aftermarket additions, and the seller says that everything works as it should.

Although the BIN on this 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda will place it beyond the reach of most mere mortals, it is not unprecedented. These remain among the most highly sought cars from this era, with prices beyond $200,000 relatively common when one of these rare classics crosses the auction blocks. The statistics tell this car’s story, and as the industry moves toward zero-emission vehicles, preserving cars of this caliber will become vital to allow future generations to gain insight into the world of high-performance motoring. I believe the new owner will continue treating this Plymouth with the respect it deserves, but I hope they don’t lock it away permanently in a garage or museum. Its creators designed this ‘Cuda to be driven and enjoyed, and it deserves nothing less.

Comments

  1. shelbyGT500 Member

    Seems to be the Real McCoy.

    Like 13
  2. Davey Boy

    Love the color combo. Much better looking than the last one posted on BF. Just hope people don’t have the fit with this one as did the last one.

    Like 6
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks like an absolute animal to me, and in great shape to boot.

    Like 6
  4. K Gun Offense

    Love it! Everything looks just right on it! Not a fan of Brown cars but dam it, it’s a hemi!! More and more rare! Not many left. Should have no problem getting the asking price and In all reality with all the documentation and with the Gouvier report makes it that much better. Seen plenty back in the day but In all honesty I don’t ever remember one of these beast with power windows!! The new owner is going to love this car!!

    Like 9
  5. Danny Thompson

    I love this car and only live about an hour or so from it. WAY to rich for my blood.

    Like 2
    • Gary

      Is this the retired dealer that was selling the wing cars awhile back?

      Like 1
  6. Grant

    I have to break ranks with the writer here when he says cars like this need to be preserved for future generations so they can understand high performance. Really? A 340 was a far more over all better package, plus affordable. It is a much more representable example of how things really were half a century ago. This is something one rarely, if ever saw. When I go to history museums, I do not flock to see how the ultra rich rich lived, I crave to see how the masses lived, people like me. Knowing there were pampered, mostly undeserving people then, as now, is not something I care for. I feel people in the future will understand this too. Another example. Take this to a car show. Yes, everyone will gawk over it, but in the end, the guy with the Pinto is going to have a better time when almost everyone old enough to remember both cars comes to chit chat about past experiences. Few of us can personally relate to a car like this.

    Like 14
    • Howard A Member

      Thank you Grant, my “sediments”[sic} exactly. Like my unpopular comments express, all this shows is how out of touch these sellers are to mainstream society. They have a small window of buyers, and simply trade these amongst themselves, as if this was the norm. I saw’r more 440/6 packs than hemis. I suppose that’s the “hemi” attraction. The future trend is toward saving gas, not Niagara Falls down the intake. These people don’t understand, future generations won’t know or care about high performance, and would it be wise to have someone used to an electric car, all of a sudden to have 500 hp on tap? May not be the best thing. 1970 all over again. It’s why these are so rare, most wrapped them around an oak tree,,a bit different than Ma’s Rambler, you know.

      Like 5
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Kids never hung posters of Pintos on their walls. We all knew Ferraris and Lamborghinis were probably not in our future but it was still fun to dream and aspire to something great.

      Like 21
      • Grant

        I suppose, that is true. But, as an elderly man, I would prefer to dream less and spend more time remembering a car I owned or someone I knew had, and all the experience we HAD, not dreamed about. Okay, maybe a Pinto wasn’t the best example of my point.

        Like 1
  7. Tracy

    Great car! Worst color possible. Turd brown! Yuk!

    Like 5
  8. Joe Machado

    WOW, love Caramel, delicious. Thank God it’s not red. NO black interior, ya.
    Daughter’s Pink 70 Convertible, 4-speed, and Factory air would look awesome together.
    I remember when no one wanted pink cars. Now, FM3 Moulon Rouge, Panther Pink are much more valuable.
    Hey Shannon, it was your Birthday Thanksgiving, and there is room in that 6 car garage!
    Enclosed trailer is ready. Could be a Daughter Daddy trip?

    Like 3
  9. Jay E. Member

    Grants comment above reflect the reality back in the day. I was offered a triple black hemicuda for my (very fast) 340 Duster and turned it down. You would have to have been alive back then to understand why, in real day ownership, you wouldn’t have wanted the Hemicuda.
    What does this seller know that the $400,000.00 Hemicuda owner a couple of days ago doesn’t? This car is every bit as nice, perhaps nicer. And except for the eye popping purple color of the other it is hard to see why the other is 2x as expensive. Especially since this one has not sold at half the price? Either this one is a steal, or the other is wildly overpriced (I think it is the latter). Even so, it is hard to believe it hasn’t found a new owner.

    Like 4
    • Grant

      Agreed. I am in my 70s, so I got a chance to drive pretty much everything from that era. Mind you, never really owned anything high performance wise, mostly standard engines, but that was because I have always been a bit stodgy and practical. (ask my wife). Still, I did enjoy test drives from dealers and friends cars. The few hemis I drove were great in a straight line, but scary otherwise. My buddy who had the Road Runner hemi, only kept it like six months. He couldn’t keep it in tune and even at 35 cents a gallon for hi test, it got expensive that way too. Just like you in reverse, he got rid of it (at a loss) and got a new 71 Demon 340 4 speed. Such an improvement to say the least. If you were into performance, the 340 (esp in a small body) was the real deal. Of course I ribbed him saying he should have bought a 225, but I did understand the lure of that car. Chad was an engineer who liked speed, but he liked it refined and controlled.

      Like 10
      • Jay

        I’ts all opinion’s, however, my older brother’s owned 340 Mopar’s, one a Duster, the other a Swinger 340, and I still have my ’71 340 Challenger convertible. All great car’s, but if I had the money, I would jump at a chance to own a Hemi ‘Cuda. Say what you will but the Hemi is an incredible engine and paired with ‘Cuda, magical. I still remember my neighbor’s bright yellow ’70 Hemi ‘Cuda back in 1973 accelerating down the highway at full throttle. I have never seen anything move like that in my life. That car flat out ran. I had a chance to buy that ‘Cuda in the early eighties. I was a day late. I still cry to this day.

        Like 8
      • Jay E. Member

        Yes, the mindset of the 18-15 year old me was much different than the adult one. I earned 1.80/hr. I had to have a car that got me back and forth to work. On dates, to school. Hemi cars were fast when they ran. But there were very hard to keep in tune. And an out of tune hemi was an embarrassing slug. Keep in mind that they had the smog, plus unreliable jetting and a choke on to long or not enough. Fouled plugs, broken valve springs leaks, sagging doors, gas hogs, the big heavy engine just amplified the annoyances and it left you stranded if you thrashed it. There were no hot rod shops that I could ever afford do take a car to, and tune ups were what you and your buddies could do. Not to mention, the ones we all could afford were nothing like the ones you see today!! Big and little tires, air shocks, dual points, questionable paint, sidepipes, whatever. The beat versions were about all I ever saw. It is easy to transpose todays reliable transportation reality onto these pin-up cars, but even take one of these and leave it in the snow overnight and try to get it to start, defog the window and 20 miles of icy miserable driving. Do it every day for a week… The 340 cars could do that, the hemi’s, not so much. It would be very easy to recreate the difficulties in having one as a daily driver, but you just wouldn’t.

        Like 5
  10. Scott

    Born in 1956 I still remember fogging up the windows at the Mopar dealerships in the late 60’s drooling over the new cars every year. I remember laughing at the winged warrior chargers and road runners thinking who would buy one of those. Well here we are in 2022 and the prices reflect the popularity. I started buying and selling cars and building hot rods when I was 15. 1971 was a very good year
    I became a licensed car dealer in Northern California for my income to raise my two sons but really it was a way for me to get more cars for myself on the cheap. Cars in California had to be smog compliant or you could not resell them. As a result at the dealer auctions you were buying really cool hot rods for 50 cents on the wholesale dollar
    I got paid to play and it was great for a gearhead like me. The cars I owned back then man I could have retired fat and happy on just a handful of them. I sold thousands of working class runners and got lots of cool cars for myself. Only sold one original Hemi Mopar in my time. It was an all original one owner 67 dodge hemi charger. Yes they are ugly but this was a fast fast fast car. All matching numbers, engine rebuilt to factory specs with an 0.30 overbore. Tuned right it was a torque monster beast of a street car. Very impressive. Sold it about 6 years ago for 60k Too ugly to get more money at that time. Long live the 426 King Kong Hemi. Best engine to ever come out of Detroit. Ruled the NASCAR oval, and NHRA dragstrips. Great memories of a bygone era of mass produced affordable muscle cars. Yes I love the new Hellcat chargers and challengers but unlike the old muscle cars they are not affordable. Long live American muscle.

    Like 3
  11. Howie

    This might do better at a auction, bought in 2008 and still has CA plates on it. Also has a TransAm for sale.

    Like 2
  12. Steve

    1 of 4? So 4 people have bad taste when it comes to picking a car color.

    Like 1
  13. Gary Member

    What a bunch of hater’s here, lol. I guess if you can’t afford it at least you can hate it? Rather have a 340 than a 426? Palllleeeezzzzzzee! Lol. I wish my ‘69 Roadrunner would have had a small block instead of this crappy Hemi. Not!

    Like 2
    • Cyrus Echols

      Howard and Grant… y’all so right, enough is enough. It’s gotten away from preservation of automotive icon. Now it’s all about$$$… If you can fork out $???,000 for it just to later want more,go for it. Park that bad boy in your environmentaly controlled garage. Preserve the hell out of it. Climate control it to death, keep it perfect not a flaw in sight. Special showings only,watch the weather.. keep it hidden away till bigger bucks convince you to let it go… I’ll just remember what it really meant to ride and drive these monsters. What it was like to pull up to buy tires and watch people trip out on a Hemi ‘Cuda. One used as transportation. So many of this type of vehicles (insert your own list) have been tucked away never to be even mildly driven for fear of lost revenue that a waning interest in high performance from the era is inevitable. It costs to much to play and ” Look what I have” is getting old. Glad y’all can afford it now and collect them all and trade with your friends… just remember next time you’re looking at them parked so nicely stowed safely away….There are a few of us left that actually drove these monsters back in the day and those memories are so much cooler than just looking at ’em behind velour ropes…

  14. George Birth

    This seller is going to have a bit of a struggle to find some one with deep enough pockets to buy this one. Too each one his own, I prefer a car I can afford.

    Like 2
  15. angliagt angliagt Member

    I really don’t get the idea of flooring a car like this over & over (etc.),
    & doing burnouts over & over & over…….
    All I can see is wasting tons of gas & tires,which to me aren’t cheap.
    Smarter to save that kind of driving for the dragstrip.

  16. Mike lanoue

    Well put regular guy’s bought 340 model’s. I never seen a hemi like this on the road. A pinto would attract attention .

  17. 433jeff

    Maybe future generations wont care but last time I checked i had a pulse and BP to match, im not dead yet,

    As far as economy my 6-71 468 running 100 octane low lead may not get the same mileage as my Gl10 turbo. Actually i dont know what niether one gets for mileage so long as i have the money for more gas , So im kinda going green!

    Thank God for the red white and blue, rich in not only natural gas and oil.

    But also Garages sheds and lean toos full of Genuine Detroit muscle. ( will take USA thank you very much)

    I cant Identify with wanting a 318 or 340 over…….King of the freakin Jungle

    This is peak 1970, that’s special.

    Sure the next generation will have thier Electric car Guru with his Marti reports and Canadian pedigrees.

    For now im not Done , by my calculations, there is at least One Barnfind Hemi in each state. Sorry folks they are not all acounted for.

    Thank you Barn find for the plum crazy Hemi, and the information about the different plants and the way data plates were done, truth is stranger than fiction.

    I hope a rich guy gets this brown Hemi, so it has a good , climate controlled life.

    We do have a member here who bought a hemicuda convert , as I remember reading he bought it second hand and the guy he got it from got it with controls for being disabled, ( maybe you were reading years ago)

    This guy and his brother sounded very dedicated, to tuning the Hemi.

    Driving to the track and back home.

    I remember his handle and his friend with a Hemi also

    Thank you Barnfind

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