An original 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda has been featured in the latest edition of the Cars-On-Line.com newsletter this week. If you are looking for the most desirable muscle car ever produced, the Plymouth Hemi Cuda arguably fits that definition. It is at the top of the food chain for Mopar muscle cars. Of that there is no doubt. But even more interesting, this one has claim to being an unrestored original.
An Oklahoma collector posted his original 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda for sale on the Cars-On-Line website this week. (Follow this link to view his ad on Cars-On-Line.) He says it has been documented by Roger Gibson, considered to be a top Mopar restoration specialist who has done award winning Hemi Cudas. In addition to being rated as original and authentic, the seller says it has only 36k original miles from new. It also comes with a report done by Mopar historian Galen Govier.
The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda is said to retain all its original sheet metal, and comes with documented ownership history since it was purchased new. It is one of 284 Hemi Cudas produced with a 4-speed manual transmission in 1970. The seller says it comes with its original numbers matching drivetrain, excellent original floors, trunk floor and excellent original seat covers, carpet, seat belts and headliner. The tires have been changed once, and it now sits on 1976 dated Goodyear Polyglas tires.
To a Mopar guy, here is what makes this car stand out: 426/425 horsepower Hemi engine, dual 4-barrel carburetors, Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, factory shaker hood, A34 Super Track Pak with 4.10 gears, power brakes, black bucket seat interior and Rallye wheels. That is the perfect setup for a high end Mopar muscle car.
How important is it for a muscle car to be original? Car collectors will continue to debate whether purely original muscle cars in well preserved condition with low miles are more valuable than fully restored versions of the same car. It seems that there are more muscle cars in today’s collector car market that have been restored than ones that remain in original survivor condition.
Some muscle car collectors subscribe to the theory that a car is only original once. They may go to so far as to devalue a particular car just because it has had the paint refreshed.
Hagerty Insurance, which maintains one of the largest databases of collector car values in the hobby, has indicated that, “As a general rule, for regular production cars the premium over a condition #1 (restored) car for unassailable and very well preserved originality is between 25% and 50% depending on the rarity and desirability of the car and the state of preservation.” In short, an original muscle car might be worth 50 percent more than a fully restored nut and bolt restoration. There are two prerequisites that must be met however. The unrestored original would have to be in very well preserved condition and be a desirable car to begin with.
Although this original 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda from Oklahoma will not score as high in many judged national events as a fully restored No. 1 condition Mopar, it may fair differently in a Survivor Class comparison. And because of that, to a very discreet Mopar collector, it may be worth more than that No. 1 condition car.
Find it featured in the Cars-On-Line.com newsletter.