World's Last Surviving Ramchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda Is Up for Sale

Ramchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda 9 photos
Photo: tjkaz13/eBay
Ramchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'CudaRamchargers 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda
All-new for the 1970 model year, the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda moved nearly 49,000 units in its first year in showrooms. And that was an impressive figure compared to the previous years. However, only a few thousand units were ordered with the big 440- and 426-cubic-inch (7.2- and 7.0-liter) V8 engines, which made the 'Cuda expensive to insure at the time.
Specifically, Plymouth sold only 3,436 units equipped with these powerplants. That's less than 1% of the total production and a number that makes RB- and HEMI-powered 'Cudas very rare. If you like numbers, we can split the figure above into 986 four-barrel 440 cars, 1,784 six-barrel 440 vehicles, and 666 HEMIs.

The HEMI 'Cuda is arguably the rarest of the big-block 1970 Barracuda bunch. And because the 425-horsepower lump is also desirable, buying an authentic HEMI 'Cuda will set you back well in excess of $100,000. If you want a drop-top, of which only 14 were sold in the US, that number could jump beyond the $300,000 mark.

Still not exclusive enough for you? Well, then, how about one of the HEMI-powered 1970 Barracudas raced by the iconic Ramchargers team back in the day? Not only is this 'Cuda a fully-fledged R-code car, but it's also the only surviving rig from the Ramchargers 'Cuda lineup. And even though it's unique, it's a bit more affordable than a HEMI 'Cuda convertible.

Up for grabs in Torrance, California, this drag-ready Cuda was sold new in Michigan and used as a street car until 1973. Retired from public roads and converted for quarter-mile duty, the Cuda made its racing debut at the NHRA Gatornationals in 1975. It immediately broke the existing national record by running 10.63 seconds at 130.81 mph (210.51 kph).

It was just the tip of the iceberg. The 'Cuda was raced extensively through 1988 and amassed several wins and records, including 37 Super Stock D Automatic Championships. It also won the NHRA Division III Super Stock championship in 1980 and topped the Super Stock Eliminator IHRA Summer Nationals twice. This Cuda was also the last race car run under the Ramchargers banner.

Lucky enough to survive more than a decade of racing without getting totaled, the Cuda was eventually restored to its as-raced condition in the mid-1990s. The restoration was completed by drag racing icon Dean Nicopolis, who built it and raced it back in the day. Dean also rebuilt the HEMI engine.

Amazingly enough, the vehicle was never cut up or tubbed. In 1997, as soon as it emerged as a restored classic, the HEMI 'Cuda won the Detroit Autorama. It was also inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame and displayed at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

Come 2024, the 'Cuda looks mighty impressive for a vehicle restored more than 20 years ago. And it appears ready to tackle the drag strip again if you like spending your weekends at the track. How much for this unique piece of Ramchargers history? The seller will let it go for $225,000 or the best offer.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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