The hottest car to buy in today’s collector car market is a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda. Arguably the “Magic Mopar” Hemi car is the car every collector would like to own. Having a Hemi Cuda in your collection separates the top collectors from the also rans. That is why Cars-On-Line.com , the collector car hobby’s most popular website, featured a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda in their newsletter this week. (Follow this link to see more photos and history.)
When this Hemi Cuda came from the factory it was Tuxedo black (now Tor-Red.) Although the color has changed, it still has its Hemi 4-speed transmission and Super Track Pack option. Both the ’70 Hemi engine and original Hemi 4-speed are said to be freshly built. It is being offered for sale now on the Cars-On-Line.com website by a private collector from Cobourgh, Ontario, Canada.
A factory original black, 4 speed Super Track Pak Hemi Cuda. 1970 engine and the original hemi 4 speed are both freshly rebuilt. The front K-member and front suspension have been rebuilt (see photos at this link.) The Canadian seller tells us it is a very solid and rust-free body with one quarter having been replaced. It comes with its original fender tag (see photo) and original interior with an older repaint.
Our records show that this Hemi Cuda would be one of 284 produced with a 4-speed manual transmission in 1970. The 426/435 hp Hemi motor would have come with dual 4-barrel carburetors, Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, factory shaker hood and A34 Super Track Pak option with 4.10 gears.
History Judges Plymouth’s Hemi Cuda
The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda just changed everything when it turned up the volume in weekend drag races that year. The 1970 E-body Cuda was totally different from its forebearer, the A-body Barracuda, a variant of the Valiant. No longer was the Cuda based on an economy car model. The E-body Cuda was a swashbuckling muscle car, shorter but with a large engine compartment that would accomodate the 7.0L 426 Hemi engine. The look and stance of the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda remain an iconic symbol of the whole muscle car era.
The Hemi cars were set up from the factory with upgraded suspension components and structural reinforcements to get all that power to the pavement. Hemi cars would also have a special Hemi 4-speed to hook up to the Dana 60 rear end. With the Track Pack option you were all ready for racing right off the showroom floor. How one of these cars made it to today in this kind of condition is amazing.
There were only 652 Plymouth Hemi Cudas built in 1970, the first year for the E-body. Fourteen of that number were convertibles. The 426 Hemi engine was an R code with dual quad carburetors rated at 425 horsepower.
In all, 16,710 ‘Cuda hardtops were produced in 1970. There were fourteen different drivetrain combinations available. All ‘Cudas were V8’s. There were only 368 Hemi ‘Cuda hardtops with the special Hemi Torqueflite automatic transmissions; 284 Hemi ‘Cuda hardtops were Hemi 4-speeds. They say the Hemi automatic Torqueflites were a little faster at the track.
There were 548 convertible ‘Cudas produced. Hemi ‘Cudas were available with both 4-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Of the 14 convertibles built, nine were automatics and five were 4-speeds. But the convertible 4-speeds are the most rare.
In the May 1970 issue of Motor Trend magazine they reported on the new 426 Hemi ‘Cuda. They recorded a Hemi ‘Cuda doing 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds during their test. Their quarter-mile time was 14 seconds at 102 mph.
Hemi ‘Cudas with the Code A33 Track Pak were equipped with the Track Pak option had the 3.54:1 ratio differential. Track Paks in 1970 were 4-speed packages. The Code A33 Track Pak was a 4-speed Heavy-Duty manual tranmission with Hurst shifter with wood grained shift knob and reverse warning light. It was the Heavy-Duty 3.54 gear with the 9 3/4″ Dana rear end. It had a 7-blade Torque Drive fan and dual breaker distributor. The radiator was a 26″ performance version with fan shroud. It had the Sure-Grip differential. (There was also a Code A34 Super Track Pak like the one shown here which had the 4.10 Heavy-Duty 9 3/4″ Dana rear axle. That package came with power disc brakes.)
In 1980, my parents were going to financially help me buy my first car. Per the influence of a friend who was a Mopar fan, I decided to get one of the associated muscle cars. I was living in Denver and got an Auto Trader magazine. Someone in Cheyenne was selling a 1970 Hemi Cuda. The engine was out of the car, it was the original engine, could and needed to be rebuilt, and they were asking $2,000 for it. I presented the idea to my mother and her exact words were “I’ll never help my son buy a car that’s going to kill him.” So, I “settled” on a 1969 Charger. When the 1971 Hemi Cuda in the Mecum auction on June 19, 2014 sold for $3.5 million, I called my mother and said “Mom, you owe me $3.5 million,”
Thank you for the nice article. I am selling this Cuda and would like to point out a small error I believe is in the article. The 652 production number is often quoted as the total production of 1970 Hemi Cudas when, in fact, 652 is the number of 1970 Hemi Cudas sold into the USA Market. There were known to be another 44 1970 Hemi Cudas sold into the Canadian Market. I am not certain of the number sold to the rest of the world although I am aware of a few that were sold to France.
Thanks again and keep up the informative Newsletter.