Is a tan in this 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible worth a 1000% premium?


Make no mistake, 1970 Hemi ‘Cudas are rare. Plyouth made just 652 Hardtops total to be exact, and the best one, in the best spec and the best color would be worth just south of $300,000 according to current Hagerty Valuation Tool figures. When new most were ordered with one thing in mind: Going really, really fast in a straight line, either from one stoplight to the next or perhaps 1320 feet at a time. Not many Hemi ‘Cudas were loaded up with heavy or power-robbing options but were rather ordered as lean and mean as possible.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/05/10/1970-plymouth-hemi-cuda-convertible-worth-a-premium

never owned a convertable but did have a 70 r/t challenger with 383 slap stick with 323 posi, and a 71 satelite sebring pus 383 3sp on the floor (swapped 383 for 400hp 440 and 3sp to 4 sp), also had a 70 340 4sp cuda, sure wish I could afford to buy any of these cars today


I haven’t driven a Cuda, but I have driven a 1970 Barracuda convertible with a slant-6 and an automatic. The lack of chassis rigidity has to be experienced to be believed. Driving with the top up at any speed on any surface involved a violent exhibition of cowl shake. The leading edge of the top was constantly trying to free itself from its shackles, the ones that attached it to the windshield frame. This was on a low mileage car owned by an octogenarian in 1988. He had a Cavalier convertible as his daily driver and only drove the Barracuda to his stables. I can appreciate the beauty of the Hemi Cuda, but I doubt I’d want to drive it more than three times.


I would prefer a hardtop coupe to a convertible both from a performance and esthetic standpoint.

Tho I am a bleed Ford blue guy, I would love to have a purple '70 'Cuda 4-speed, but I would be happy with a nicely built 440.

And a shaker hood of course. :sunglasses:


Back in the early 70s I had a 70 Challenger coupe, 383, 4 speed. It was quick but also one of the worst cars I have ever owned. During brisk acceleration in each gear the front of the car would come up and steer to the right from the torque. As you changed gears you had to steer it back in line and do it all again. I do not remember any cowl shake so the top structure may have eliminated most of it. The pistol grip stick was the best part of the car. Sold the car in 1974 for $1200. Amazing what folks will pay today for a car was not even very good in its day! By the way, me included!


To the author: Any E body that had a Hemi automatically received the Dana 60 rear axle. Get your facts straight!!!


In '72 my neighbor had a '71 Challenger R/T 340; I had a '72 Buick GS Stage 1 convertible. I outweighed him by 1000 lbs (3000 - 4100) but I had 390 lb ft of torque, and always beat him in our runs to work on a local street I shall not name. Sometimes on Friday’s he would beat me. I would be broke and forced to put 230 in the car instead of 260 until Friday payday…made a huge difference even in the (detuned from 1970) '72 Stage 1 engine. He said he did not buy a Hemi cause his dad did not want to cover the gas…260 was about 50 cents, I believe, back then, but new cars were 4-5K$, so it was all relative.

Good times, fun cars!


@bobsimpsons - I wasn’t able to find a source that confirmed the Hemi E-body cars were always equipped with the Dana 60 rear axle. Could you refer me to one so we can correct the article?


At the Kissimmee Mecum either 2018 or 2016 auction a restored 1970 copper colored in/out with a black convertible top 318cid sold for 38k. It was beautiful and the owner thought he stole it…….and I agree. Also, to “richopp”, I’m sure you now realize how rare your '72 Buick GS Stage I is…I found a '72 Barracuda%20in%20back%20yard triple black 4-speed in Palm Beach Florida in the early '80’s and did all I could to buy it. The then owner’s father bought it new and just couldn’t let it go. I often wonder where it is today. He was from Kentucky. Back to 'cuda’s, I will start the restoration of my 1970 Barracuda 383cid 4-speed hard top with 41k one owner miles in the next few years (in my retirement). It was a dream of mine to own a '70-'71 and I feel honored to own such a legend even though it’s in poor completely original stock condition.


Check with Mark Worman at Graveyard Cars. He will be able to tell you anything you need to know about any Mopar.


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I’m sorry Bob, but you do not have your facts straight here. Any Hemi “E” Body 4spd came standard with a Dana rear. With an automatic car it would come standard with an 8-3/4, or you could choose the optional track pack and get the Dana rear. The only Cuda’s that came standard with a Dana in both automatic and 4spd. was the 1968 models that were subcontracted through Hurst. I hope this helps.


I’m gonna lean towards the author actually knowing what he’s talking about. He’s experienced and has authored several respected books on the subject of muscle cars.


I own a 68 Convertible Barracuda and it is the best driving car I own. I got what I think is a great deal on it a few years ago 14K


At those prices, they are no longer Cars to be used as Cars.
They are investments in a full-scale model.
The short answer to the question is No.
But if someone is willing to pay that price, The Market shifts.
But it’s still ridiculous.


When I was in the market for my first car, I wanted the Hemi. But could not afford the insurance on my grocery store stocker’s wage. Plus my Dad would never had co-signed for it. So this 318 V02 Code is what I ended up with. 180K miles and still going strong.


That memory is a time warp in and of itself:
A grocery store stocker, paid enough to afford a (nice) new car, back before easy financing was the name of the game.


At the end of the day, despite the rarity and such, you’re paying for paper. Yes, I said it, “paper”. The paper that says it was sold new by plaid-blazer-smooth-talker in Notyourburg, _____ as well as the paper that told Louie and Herman what parts to slap on it in Hamtramck, MI. With a right hand raised I could swear the ability to create this car right down to date coded radiator clamps and even NOS tires. The leading authority would not be able to distinguish it from the one with, wait for it, here it comes…“paper”. The cost would be far, Far, FAR less than the papered version. So that renders it down to why you want it. Do you want and can afford the prestige of the paper? Do want a muscle convertible with excess torque and percieved star power? Not many of those cars were quality controlled very well. I’ve had a few in my day and have earned the right to call them “A Hamtramck Dumpster” full of Big Block HP. I never owned a Hemi but drove enough to say I get it, but I don’t want it. For my seven figures I could own a J Duesy, a Packard 12 roadster, and maybe even a few early V8 Fords for fun, AND probably be able to insure them all for 10+ years with the change. Great Googly Moogly that’s some pricey paper, no?

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Well written! A most eloquent case of sour grapes attempting to spoil the impossible desires of so many - I will keep my dreams - thank you.


All ships rise with the tide. The more someone is willing to pay for the top dog the more attractive the 318 & 273 c.i. puppies and runt of the litter slant sixes become - and we can drive and enjoy them on cruises and weekends (and insure them; thanks Hagerty).

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