The revolutionary ‘Pony Car’ wars began in the early 1960’s changing American muscles forever. This new class of American muscle quickly became established and resulted in increased competition on all fronts. Not one to back down from a challenge, Plymouth began to revise what engine options were available for the Barracuda. For 1967, a plethora of V-8s ran the gamut, from the 2-barrel and 4-barrel versions of the 273 to a seldom-ordered 383 ‘Wedge’, the latter available only with the Formula S package. At the top of the pile, there was even a limited production of 50 Super-Stock, non-street-legal, Hemi-powered Barracudas that were built solely for drag racing use; with fiberglass front clips, these Hemi-powered Barracudas were capable of quarter-mile times of less than 11 seconds at top speeds of over 130 mph.
Such influences inside and outside of Chrysler by 1970 resulted in the development and birth of the ‘Cuda – when Barracuda finally lost all commonality with its humble A-body underpinnings. The short-lived production of what is now a top-tier collectible Plymouth muscle machine really began with the all-new 1970 model built on Chrysler’s entirely-new E-body platform, derived more from the B-body than from its predecessor. This aspect in particular resulted in the E-Body’s engine bay gaining a significant increase in available space than prior Barracudas. This one factor alone allowed the introduction of Chrysler’s hydraulic-lifter Street Hemi for the ‘Cuda, a 426ci, 425 horsepower powerhouse for the street. The dowdy fastback A-body was soon forgotten as new Barracudas – and ‘Cudas – were available only as stylish hardtop coupes and convertibles.
Not surprisingly, all of these improvements were the culmination of many dreams of the ultimate muscle car. Before the stranglehold of emissions regulations detuned American street performance cars for all time, the 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda was arguably the car to beat – and remained so for many years to come.
The 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible that is offered at Russo and Steele’s 11th Annual Scottsdale auction event is one of the only 14 examples of a built 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertibles and one of only 9 of these to have left the factory with an automatic transmission. Finished in its correct and authentic FC7 white over a red interior, this Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible is a verified, one-of-one, top-tier collectible Mopar muscle machine with its 425 horsepower 426 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 and Hemi-specific Torque-Flite 727 3-speed automatic transmission.
The car has covered but 19,000 miles from new and remains as well-optioned today as it did when it left the factory with power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, the Rallye gauge package and more, all documented by three fender tags. This numbers-matching Mopar masterpiece received a top-flight nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration just over two years ago – far and away beyond that of its original production standards; conveying with documentation that covers its entire history.
Russo and Steele Scottsdale Auction is January 19-23, 2011. The 11th Annual auction event will feature over 600+ European sports, American muscle, hot rods and custom automobiles. Check the Russo and Steele website for updates and additional information. For additional information or images please contact Stephanie Quinn at Stephanie@russoandsteele.com or 602.252.2697.