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This 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda in Plum Crazy Purple Is Classic Mopar Perfection

Introduced in 1964 as a pony car, the Plymouth Barracuda did not develop into a full-blown muscle car until 1970. Sure, the 1967 redesign saw the nameplate get Mopar's high-performance V8 engines, but they didn't become full-time options until the third-gen 'Cuda debuted.
1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible 6 photos
1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible
The mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI, for instance, was only fitted in a small run of Super Stock drag cars in 1968. The 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB didn't make it into the Barracuda until 1969. And Plymouth didn't sell many of them.

That changed when Mopar introduced the third-generation 'Cuda for the 1970 model year. Not only did the 440 V8 remain on the options list from the year before, but the 426 HEMI also became a regular in the lineup. The latter turned the Barracuda into one of the hottest muscle cars of the early 1970s.

But because it was an expensive option, the HEMI wasn't exactly popular with buyers, so the 426 'Cuda is now a rare classic. While Plymouth delivered almost 49,000 examples in 1970, only 666 of them were fitted with the HEMI V8. This figure can be further split into 377 automatics and 289 manuals.

But if you narrow it down to body styles, the majority of these cars are coupes and only a few of them were ordered with folding tops. For some reason, the convertible wasn't very popular among 'Cuda buyers, with only 2,501 examples ordered in this configuration in 1970. That's only 5.1% of total Barracuda production.

But this number includes cars fitted with almost every engine available that year. If we narrow it down to the 426 HEMI, Plymouth sold only... wait for it... 14 of them. And while nine left the factory with an automatic gearbox, only five were fitted with the four-speed manual.

Yup, the 1970 HEMI 'Cuda Convertible is the kind of car you won't see in the metal anytime soon. And even if you do, it's almost impossible to buy one. Not only do they rarely show up for sale, but they go for seven-figure sums. I've seen only a couple of them cross the auction block in recent years, and both changed hands for more than $2 million.

Well, YouTube's "Mopar John" got lucky and spotted one of these unicorns at a local event. And not only it's a HEMI 'Cuda convertible that appears to be in excellent condition, but it's also finished in Plum Crazy Purple. I have no idea how many of them were finished in this hue, but this one might be the only one out there.

A white interior and a matching top would have made this drop-top perfect in my option, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. This thing is gorgeous enough as is.

Oh, and before you hit the play button below to hear that 426 HEMI sing, here's a bit of trivia you might enjoy. First, the 1971 HEMI 'Cuda Convertible is also rare with only seven units built. Second, you probably didn't know that the 1970 drop-top with the uninspiring 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) inline-six is also incredibly scarce with just three cars sold.

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