There are impressive muscle cars coming out of Detroit today, but most enthusiasts agree that the segment was at its peak in the 1960s and early 1970s. This was the era that spawned the models we see on sale today, whether that be the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, or the Dodge Challenger and Charger. And while the vintage examples of these cars are certainly sought after, none of them hold a candle to the Plymouth Hemi Cuda in terms of value. Back in 2014, a convertible Hemi Cuda equipped with a four-speed manual gearbox sold at auction for a record-breaking $3.5 million. Ever since, that figure has remained untested by any other Mopar muscle car. That is until now. Mecum Auctions’ Indy 2021 event will see another 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda heading to the auction block, and it’s slated to bring millions more than its sibling.
The $6.5 Million Hemi Cuda
The Hemi Cuda is one of the most iconic muscle cars of its era, thanks in no small part to the 426 Hemi V8 that sits under its shaker hood. Back in 1971, Plymouth only built 108 Hemi Cuda coupes. That figure would already make for a bonafide collector’s item today, but convertible production figures make those numbers seem downright excessive. That is because only 12 Hemi Cuda convertibles were built, and now Mecum is offering one up for sale. Adding to the level of rarity, this car is one of only three of those drop-tops to leave the factory with the A833 four-speed manual transmission. Furthermore, this is the only Elephant V8-powered convertible that left the factory wearing Winchester Gray. It is genuinely a one-of-one offering in that sense.
All of those factors would already make this a highly valuable muscle car, but the backstory of this 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible is also quite special. This was one of only five convertibles that was built for exportation outside of the States, and it is the only manual-equipped car to have been built for a foreign market. This particular car ended up heading to France, where it was owned by Jean Teyssier. It would stay in France until 1993, when its current owner brought the car home with its NASCAR-homologated powertrain intact. Because the car was exported from new, its metric odometer shows a total of 98,553 kilometers. That is 61,237 miles for our freedom unit fanatics. The sale also includes the original broadcast sheet, the car’s original French title, and copies of all the import documents from 1971.
Mecum Indy 2021 Auction
With all of these factors in mind, Mecum Auctions has this Hemi Cuda Convertible currently guided for sale at between $5.75 million to $6.5 million. That is substantially more than any other Hemi Cuda ever sold, and certainly a price tag worthy of this rare Mopar. Should you have this sort of change laying around, the car will sell at the auction house’s Indy event taking place between May 14-22.