The Plymouth ‘Cuda is an offshoot of its famous Barracuda line, but retains its own name. For 1971, the ‘Cuda featured the 426 Hemi engine backed by a heavy-duty version of the 727 TorqueFlite transmission or a four-speed manual. It was also treated with suspension upgrades and chassis reinforcements, but disc brakes were an option. The giant engine produced substantial torque and propelled the car to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, but it could also handle a few turns, which was difficult for other muscle cars of the time. “Cudas also received cosmetic treatments including special paint, graphics and decorative air vents above the front wheel arches (via Gear Patrol). To be frank, they are beautiful cars.
The ‘Cuda arrived just as the party was winding down. It would only be a few years before the EPA was created and the days of the big, dirty power were numbered. But if, as a car manufacturer, you wanted to end the era of muscle cars in style, then Plymouth has done it brilliantly. This second generation Barracuda was a smash hit for Chrysler, selling tens of thousands of units over its four-year run. However, Hemi ‘Cuda sales were much more limited as the company’s high performance packages made them significantly more expensive. Consequently, only 652 Hemi ‘Cudas coupes were built with an additional 14 convertibles. As a result, in 2021, according to Fox News, one of the convertibles was auctioned off with Mecum and failed to reach reserve with a bid of $4.8 million.
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