Benefitting from a professional rotisserie restoration completed 25 years ago, this 1970 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda – originally painted Rallye Red – is finished in R4 Red. The condition is nothing short of spectacular all the way around with no rust and carefully documented condition of all panels and components
Highlights include chrome trim, hood pins and the new original stock (NOS) Shaker hood setup. This car came from the factory with this exposed Argent-colored air-intake assembly (N96). Normally, Plymouth would have displayed the engine displacement figure on the shroud, but an exclusive aspect to the 426 HEMI ‘cars was the “hemicuda” badge.
The car features fog lamps, elastomeric body-color bumpers front and back (A22), body-color mirrors, body belt moldings, black HEMI hockey-stick stripes, rear window louvers, and dual exhaust outlets integrated within the rear fascia.
15” Rallye wheels, in excellent condition, featuring chrome trim rings are sized 15×7” up front and 15×10” out back. They are shod in 235/60 BFGoodrich Comp T/A front rubber and serious 275/60 Mickey Thompson ET Street rubber on the rears.
As seen in the gallery, the undercarriage condition is pristine, showing off the results of that rotisserie restoration. Though it took place 25 years ago, only 5,000 miles have been added since.
Love That Pistol-Grip Shifter
Inside, the all-black cabin matches the exterior with excellent overall condition, including the vinyl front buckets and rear bench. The original dash pad and door panels have all been refurbished, the latter of which contains window cranks, ‘cuda badges, and driver-side remote mirror adjustment.
Both the Rim Blow steering wheel and ‘cuda center cap are NOS pieces. Along with the woodgrain rim and killer barracuda fish emblem, these Rim Blow wheels were special because the horn could be activated anywhere on the inner surface, versus the more common suspended ring or button-type horn at the time.
It frames an Auto Meter 8,000-rpm tachometer with shift light and the original Rallye Instrument Cluster (A62) with woodgrain applique. The central 150-mph speedometer has an inset odometer reading 40,049 original miles. Controls for the headlights, wiper-washer and panel dimmer sit to the left.
Additional instrumentation includes a combination oil temperature, fuel level, coolant temperature, and alternator gauge, clock, and liquid-filled oil pressure and water temperature under-dash dials from Auto Meter.
Factory heater controls are retained while an Alpine AM/FM/CD player head unit has been added. Other highlights include the NOS Hurst pistol-grip shifter, dome light, and correct trunk-mounted jack and spare tire with original jack instructions decal.
Pop that beautiful long red hood and remove the Shaker shroud to reveal the orange 426 HEMI air-cleaner cover. Under that you will find a pair of four-barrel Carter carburetors feeding a thundering 472 cubic inch V8 built by Larry Shepherd that replaces the factory 426 HEMI V8.
This balanced and blueprinted motor features a block with the highest nickel content Chrysler ever produced. When Mr. Ambrose commissioned this 472 build 25 years ago, these reproduction blocks were brand new and arguably the most robust ever offered by the automaker.
With a 10.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic cam, and timing set to 32 full, this power plant will run on pump gas though the owner prefers race fuel and uses it exclusively. Other highlights of the build include electronic ignition with built-in rev limiter, special Wilson intake, pressure plate by Mr. Shepherd, blow-proof bellhousing, and custom drive shaft.
This car came from the factory fitted with the Super Track Pak (A34), a package that included power brakes with front discs, 9.75” Dana 60 rear axle with 4.10:1 Sure-Grip differential, maximum cooling content, and the S15 HEMI suspension. This upgraded suspension consisted of a 0.94” front sway bar, stiffer dampers, HEMI torsion bars, and heavy-duty rear leaf springs.
As part of the build, the rear end was overhauled with Mopar gears, bearings, and seals. Additionally, the 18-spline HEMI four-speed manual transmission was completely rebuilt by Joe Liberty with hardened steel shift levers and O-rings.
On top of all this, the motor features correct 1970 HEMI carburetors, hoses, belts, radiator, shroud, clutch fan, power brake booster and master cylinder, ignition wires, and Mopar battery. The owner has added approximately 5,000 miles since the powertrain was completed.
This setup produces a tremendous 600 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, all of which is routed to the rear wheels via the enthusiast-favorite four-speed manual transmission. If this isn’t gearhead heaven, I don’t know what is.
Rare, Clean, and FAST
Located in Hereford, Arizona, this fully restored 1970 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda has been in the personal collection of Mopar expert Jim Ambrose for the past 28 years. The restoration was completed approximately 25 years ago, during which Mr. Ambrose has added approximately 5,000 of the original 40,049 miles.
Galen Govier performed a detailed decode of the original fender tag, which can be seen in the gallery. This particular ‘Cuda was built on December 12, 1969 at the Hamtramck, Michigan factory. Only 284 HEMI-powered hardtops with the four-speed manual were built that year, with only 177 known to exist as of 1998 when the report was created.
The winner of many Best of Show awards, this 1970 ‘Cuda comes with two keys and the original intake components. An absolute animal, it is a true wolf-in-sheeps clothing with that 472 lurking under the hood. This incredible piece of Mopar history is just waiting to deliver smoky burnout-inspired grins to its next caretaker.