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Hemi Cuda expected to bring big bucks at auction

by Bill Cawthon on

An ultra-rare 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible with the factory four-speed and matching numbers is expected to bring a seven-figure bid at the Mecum Seattle auction scheduled for June 13-14. Current estimates peg the selling price at around $4 million.

The B5 Bright Blue car was one of only two Cuda convertibles with the HEMI engine and four-speed stick sold in the U.S. in the 1971 model year and it is documented as the only matching numbers example in existence as well as the only one with its original drivetrain. It was built at the Hamtramck assembly plant with a New Process 4-speed, Dana 60 rear end with 4.10 Super Track Pak, 26-inch radiator and power brakes.

The car has been restored and still has most, but not all, of its original sheet metal. It has Goodyear raised-white-letter tires, painted steel wheels and dog-dish hubcaps, a pinned Shaker hood, and a black convertible top. Inside, one will find the Rallye Instrument Cluster with an 8,000 RPM tach, 150 MPH speedometer, and the real ammeter, oil and temperature gauges Chrysler used to put in its cars instead of idiot lights. To top things off, there’s a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter.

To learn more about the car’s history, or to dream about what could be done with a quick lottery win, visit the Mecum website.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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