1971 Plymouth Cuda 426 HEMI
The 1970 ‘Cuda was already a mean-looking muscle car, but for 1971 Plymouth turned up the heat with a revised front end designed to resemble the snarling, toothy smile of its namesake barracuda. And lest you think that this visual treatment was simply hype, right behind the grille resides one of the most mammoth and untamed motors ever set loose on the street—the 426 HEMI. Cudas were instantly legendary, but insurance prices and the lack of a warranty made them uncommon when new, with the result that present-day auction prices for HEMI-equipped Cudas can reach seven-figure selling prices. That shouldn’t be such a shock because E-Body Cudas bring the trifecta of auction value: ludicrous performance, stunning looks, and low production numbers. Don’t expect subtlety, though; with loud colors like purple and orange, big side stripes, chromed fender gills, and a big trunk spoiler, the Cuda demands attention. By fully leaving behind its humble, Valiant-based roots, the Cuda became a full-bore supercar, and a few passes on the dragstrip will leave no doubt in your mind that the ultimate Cuda is a superb machine.