1. 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda

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Lot Number
39
The “Basement Find” Hemi ‘Cuda
1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $450,000 - $600,000
CHASSIS NO: BS23R1B204626
• Verified "born with" all original, numbers-matching drivetrain
• Pure example retaining 100% all original sheet metal
• Just 21,433 miles from new, painstaking four-year restoration to OE-specification
• Highly optioned with 4.10 Super Track Pak with Dana 60 rear end
• Documented with original Broadcast Sheet, fender tag, Dave Wise report, original owner’s manual and delivery documents
• Featured in the September 2016 edition of Muscle Car Review
• MCACN Concours Gold Certification and Sponsor Pick, Nov 2017

426 Hemi V-8 engine, dual inline Carter four-barrel carburetors, 425 HP, 727 Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and sway bar, live rear axle with leaf springs, hydraulic front disc, rear drum brakes; wheelbase: 108”


From their late-1969 launch for 1970, Plymouth’s redesigned “E-Body” Barracuda remains legendary from the heady days when muscle cars reigned supreme. Aggressively styled and designed to accommodate the entire Chrysler engine line, the performance-oriented ‘Cuda version was finally available from Chrysler dealers with the 426 Street Hemi for 1970. Sporting dual quads and a vastly understated 425-horsepower rating, the Hemi ‘Cuda was more than up to the task with skilled drivers clocking 13-second quarter-mile ETs in period road tests. Slicks, basic tuning, and bolt-on modifications yielded monstrous performance. In professional drag racing circles, the Hemi ‘Cuda dominated Super Stock and the new heads-up Pro Stock class from 1970 through 1972 in the hands of legendary racers including Sox & Martin until NHRA weight penalties eroded the Hemi’s advantage.

Not for the faint of heart, the Hemi ‘Cuda was priced to match as Plymouth’s top performer for 1970 at an $871 premium over the basic ‘Cuda’s $3,164 starting price. The Street Hemi now featured a maintenance-free hydraulic camshaft and standard “Shaker” hood scoop, with no-cost heavy-duty underpinnings. 652 Hemi ‘Cuda hardtops were produced for sale in the USA for 1970 and just 107 were built for the final 1971 model year, including 59 four-speed cars and 48 automatics, including this fascinating, freshly restored example, believed 1 of 6 GB5 Blue cars and 1 of 1 with its combination of factory options.

Well-known among Mopar enthusiasts as the “Basement Find,” this awesome 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda hardtop was purchased by the prior owner out of South Dakota in 1978 and then stored in a Kansas City basement until 2014. During the late 2000s, with good intentions for a planned restoration, the car was disassembled down to the bare bodyshell, mounted onto a rotisserie, and then the project stalled. The owner eventually decided to sell the rare ‘Cuda, engaging Paul Christophersen of Suite 426 Restorations in Lincoln, Nebraska, to find the right buyer. At the time, our consignor was seeking a V-Code (440-6 Barrel) ‘Cuda, but he couldn’t pass up the Hemi, especially since it is a factory-original GB5 Blue car – his favorite paint color! Since Paul Christophersen has been restoring Mopar muscle cars since the 1980s, the new owner commissioned the car’s restoration at Suite 426 Restorations where, during the painstaking four-year process, the car was stripped to bare metal, revealing 100 percent original and excellent sheet metal requiring absolutely no corrective metalwork. Of further importance, the factory-original 426 Hemi engine, Torqueflite transmission (with VIN stamping), and 4.10:1 Dana 60 rear end all remained with the car. Correct nuts, bolts, clips, miscellaneous hardware, and numerous date-coded items were sourced, including the NOS (New Old Stock) exhaust system and tips, NOS carburetors, NOS starter, NOS alternator, NOS factory oil filter, super-rare NOS trunk mat, NOS date-coded Goodyear Polyglas tires on date-coded Rallye wheels and even NOS lug nuts.

Complete with an original Chrysler Production Broadcast Sheet and retaining the original fender tag, the ‘Cuda also maintains its VIN stampings on the cowl and radiator support. Factory original features and options are numerous. Among them are an R11 AM Radio, with R31 Rear Seat Speaker, M31 Belt and Hood Moldings, M88 Deck Lid Moldings, N41 Dual Exhaust with N42 Chrome Exhaust Tips, N85 Tachometer, C55 Bucket Seats, J25 3 Speed Wipers, J45 Hood Tie Down Pins, M21 Roof drip rail moldings and M25 Wide sill moldings, A34 Super Track Pak with 4.10 axle, A62 Rallye Instruments, B51 Power Brakes, and C16 Console with Woodgrain Panel. The restoration was completed in Autumn 2017 and incredibly, mileage at the time of cataloguing stands at just 21,433 miles. Given its extreme rarity, captivating history, outstanding restoration, and exceptional integrity, this stellar 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda was featured in the September 2016 edition of Muscle Car Review and displayed at the November 2017 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN), the premier event of its kind, where it earned Concours Gold Certification and the Sponsor Pick award. A 37-page report by Hemi expert Dave Wise accompanies this stunning Hemi ‘Cuda at auction along with the original owner’s manual and delivery documents. Simply put, this 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda is quite likely the finest available and in existence anywhere.

1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
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