Ultra-Rare 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Gets Record $4.8M Bid, Still Doesn’t Sell

This is what the Holy Grail of muscle cars looks like: an ultra-rare 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda that gets a record bid of $4.8 million but still fails to sell, falling short of meeting the seller’s reserve.
1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda gets record bid of $4.8 million, still doesn't sell but is officially the most valuable Cuda in the world 14 photos
Photo: Mecum Auctions
1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda
It happened at the weekend, during the Indy 2021 event held by Mecum Auctions. Now officially the most expensive Hemi Cuda in the world, the car in question is a 1971 example, a convertible that was produced for export. It is still available if you’re on the market (and happen to be a multi-millionaire looking to round up your collection of ultimate toys).

“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.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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