“Ultimate” is how this Cuda was described when news broke that it would cross the auction block: the ultimate muscle car, though not the most valuable in the world. It is, however, the most expensive Cuda; after failing to sell for $4.8 million, it is now estimated to go for anything between $5.7 million and $6.5 million, which will officially grant it that number one distinction.
This example is one of the 12 Cuda Convertibles produced for that model year and one of the five meant for export. It is also one of the three equipped with factory A833 4-speed manual transmission, which it still has, and the only 1971 Cuda painted in Winchester Gray. It has “rare” written all over it, and it’s still original and still in excellent condition.
Initially exported to France to its original owner, it has been in the care of the same U.S. owner for the past two decades. It returned to its home country in 1993 with the original drivetrain intact and still has the matching numbers 426/425 HP Hemi V-8 engine and the matching numbers transmission. The odometer, which is metric, shows 98,500 km (61,200 miles).
The Winchester Gray exterior is paired with a black Shaker scoop, a black top, a black bucket-seat interior, and black billboard graphics. This particular Cuda has been carefully maintained, and it shows. So it’s not just the “ultimate” Cuda and perhaps the “ultimate” muscle car; it’s also “rare,” “desirable,” “final-year” and “incredible,” Mecum would wager. Now, all it needs is for a rich car collector who’s looking precisely for these attributes to make it his next collectible.