Featured Car Of The Month – September 2010
1971 PLYMOUTH 'CUDA
The '71 Plymouth 'Cuda (and sister dodge Challenger R/T) was the Chrysler Corporation's last serious entry into the muscle car craze of the 1960's and early 1970's. The year 1971 marked the last year for the Chrysler "Elephant" 426cid/425hp Street Hemi, and fewer than 110 such "HemiCudas" were built. 10 of which were the ultra-rare "Holy Grail of Mopars" HemiCuda convertible. Almost as rare was the 440 Six Barrel Cuda Convertible. Production figures on these cars are only slightly higher than the Hemi, and in the quarter mile, are just as fast! Interestingly, the Hemi convertibles are currently valued at about $2,500,000+ while the six Barrel Convertibles are valued at about $600,000+, and Hemi Hardtops such as this one are valued at $750,000.
Rising insurance rates, a looming oil embargo from the Middle East, and more strict emission laws were responsible for the death of the Hemi, along with the 440-6 barrel, 440 Magnum and the 383 Magnum. De-tuned versions of the new 400 (an over-bored 383) and the 440 were still available on other Chrysler muscle cars (Road Runner and Charger) from 1972 to 1974, but because of restrictive heads, low compression, and a mild camshaft, they laced the blistering performance of their predecessors. Unfortunately, this was also the last year for the 'Cuda to have many other high performance goodies, such as the legendary "Shaker" hood scoop, elastomeric color-keyed bumpers, all "Track Pac" packages, 15" wheels, 60 series tires, any big block V-8's, rim-blow steering wheels, road lamps, "high impact" exterior colors, Go-Wings and wild body stripes that "screamed" out engine displacement. These features, combined with the fact that 1971 was the last year for Chrysler convertible, was the only year that the 'Cuda sported dual headlights and "gilled" front fenders and had VERY low production figures, all make the 1971 'Cuda the most sought after Chrysler muscle collectibles of all time! Read more