Lot 100
1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda



• Iconic American muscle car
• 38,458 documented original miles from new
• 1 of only 368 Hemi automatic ‘Cudas built in 1970
• Rallye gauges and tach
• 410 gear Dana 60 option
• Fully documented by Mopar expert Galen Govier

426 cid OHV Hemi V-8 engine, two four-barrel Carter AFB carburetors, 425 HP at 5,000 RPM, 727 TorqueFlite transmission with 4.10 Dana 60 axle, front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, front torsion bar suspension, rear live axle suspension

Originally, pony cars were based on compact cars intended to be powered by thrifty sixes or small V-8s. But throughout the 1960s, the buying public was hot for horsepower, and the Big Three were tasked with cramming ever larger engines into places they were never designed to go. Chrysler was able to stuff the huge 383 and 440 “raised block” engines into the Valiant-based Barracuda, but there was no room left for the simple comforts off power steering, power brakes, or air-conditioning.

The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, and its Dodge Challenger sibling, had a different approach. Basically, Chrysler engineers took the width and height of the fabled 426 Hemi and worked around it. Instead of starting with a compact car, Chrysler engineers reworked the mid-sized “B-body” platform. The Plymouth GTX/Road Runner and Dodge Coronet/Charger already housed the Hemi comfortably, so they morphed the Barracuda/Challenger from this architecture. Nine inches from the floor-pan, a few inches off the cowl, a bob of the tail, a new roof, and a whole new beast emerged, the “E-body” platform.

Low and wide, the E-Body was one of the best-looking bodies to come out of Detroit during the muscle car era. John Herlitz, who was only 27 years old at the time, is credited with much of the Barracuda’s style. Years later, Herlitz told Muscle Car Review magazine: “I wanted to pull the rear quarters as high as possible and spank the roof down as low as possible and just get the very high-hunched look in the rear quarters, allowing the front fenders to become the long, leading design element that ran out past the power plant to give a very dynamic thrust.”

By 1970, the performance car sales were on the decline, yet Barracuda sales were almost double that of the previous year. Brock Yates summed it up well: “It was a breakout car for Detroit and certainly Chrysler. They were slick, fast and cute.” But the Hemi ’Cuda was an expensive car — the engine option cost $871 on top of the ’Cuda’s $3,164 base price, and that, along with being a little late to the muscle car party, meant that few were ordered. Of course, that has only made them more desirable to today’s muscle car collectors — especially those in the market for what is considered to be one of the most powerful muscle cars ever produced.

Finished in Rallye Red with optional matching color-keyed front bumper and shaker hood scoop, plus accented with black Hemi “Hockey Stick” graphics, this 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda is striking. The 63rd ‘Cuda Hemi produced in 1970, it has been driven only 38,458 documented miles since it was new and presents in exceptional condition having scored 293 out of 300 points against tough competition at the Mopar Mini Nationals 2013. Factory equipment includes Rallye wheels mounted on Goodyear Polyglas GT tires, black vinyl bucket seats separated by a console with woodgrain trim that houses the shifter for the rugged TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. Its optional Rallye dashboard houses a full complement of gauges, and an AM radio rests below. Documented and entered in the Hemi/Govier Registry in 1985, this icon of American muscle cars is among the most desirable of them all.

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