The Barracuda didn’t get the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 until 1970. Well, Plymouth built 50 HEMI cars in 1968, but we’re talking about a drag-prepped vehicle and not a typical muscle car available in showrooms.
But some of them cross the auction block for much more than that. I’m talking about the HEMI ‘Cuda Convertible, arguably the rarest Barracuda out there. That’s because Plymouth made only 14 in 1970 and just seven in 1971. How expensive can they be, you ask?
Well, one changed hands for $3.5 million in 2014, and another one failed to sell despite a $4.8-million high bid in 2021. Yes, “daaamn!” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Come 2023 and many of them are no longer around or spend their retirement years in junkyards. As a result, restored examples have changed hands for more than $100,000 in recent years, while some have been auctioned off for almost $200,000.
Well, Mecum’s Kissimmee 2023 auction just set a new benchmark for the AAR ‘Cuda, moving an unrestored, all-original example for $308,000 (including fees).
Still wearing its factory Moulin Rouge paint and white upholstery, this AAR ‘Cuda packs a numbers-matching 340-cubic-inch (5.6-liter) V8 under the hood. It’s also a one-family-owned example with lots of options and the only known example in this drivetrain and color combo.
It’s actually the white interior that makes it a one-of-one because all the other surviving pink AAR ‘Cudas have black upholstery. Or at least that’s the case with other examples I know of.
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