$4.8 Million Bid Not Enough For 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Convertible

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Until the next auction...

A typical classic Plymouth Hemi Barracuda wouldn't cost this much but this isn't your typical 'Cuda. Earlier this month we reported about this extremely rare - just one of three - Cuda convertible set to cross the stage at Mecum Auction's Indy 2021 event with a pre-auction estimate of up to $6.5 million. The highest bid was $4.8 million but that wasn't enough to meet the seller's reserve figure. Therefore, no sale was made and the car remains with its owner for now. What makes it so special aside from its insanely low build count?

It's just one of twelve 1971 model year Hemi Cuda convertibles, seven of which were made for the US market while the remaining five went overseas. This one went to France and didn't come home to America until 1993.

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Of the dozen units built, only three were equipped with the factory four-speed manual transmission; the others had automatics. Everything about the car is original and numbers-matching, including the 426 Hemi V8 with 425 horsepower and the gearbox with a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. The original buyer loaded it up with features like the A33 Track Pack consisting of a 26-inch radiator, seven-blade viscous fan, and several suspension upgrades.

The Winchester Gray exterior paint was also a rare and unusual choice, though it does look great with the black Shaker hood and top. Classic muscle car enthusiasts should note another geeky but cool details: the optional side mirrors are body-color painted, for instance.

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Other '71 Cuda styling elements found here are the cheese-grater grille, front fender inserts, chrome rocker moldings, and 'Cuda emblems. Classic muscle car values have been steadily increasing for the past several years. Another 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible with a manual sold for $3.5 million at auction back in 2014.

But none have so far topped Carroll Shelby's first Cobra. Chassis No. CSX2000 went for an astonishing $13.75 million in 2016. Mecum didn't specifically mention when (or if) the 'Cuda's owner plans to list it again but it's clear that individual won't take anything less than the estimated $5.75 million value. Will a Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock ever be worth millions? Possibly, because the build count was relatively low and its Hellcat V8 will soon become part of an extinct engine species.

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