Eye-Catching Classic: 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda in Vibrant Green Boasts Rare 440 6-BBL Shaker Option!

The Plymouth Barracuda's transformation from a 1964 pony car to a bona fide muscle car in 1970 was nothing short of remarkable. Although Plymouth introduced a HEMI-powered Super Stock version in 1968 and offered the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) Super Commando for 1969, it wasn't until the third-generation redesign that these big-block engines became standard fare.

Unveiled as a fiercer, two-door model, the 1970 Barracuda shared several elements with the then-new Dodge Challenger. While still offered with a Slant-6 and 318- and 340-cubic-inch (5.2- and 5.6-liter) V8 engines, the third-gen 'Cuda finally gained access to the formidable 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8, which Mopar had been offering since 1966. Plymouth also added the 3x2-barrel version of the 440 RB V8 to the lineup.

However, the thrill was short-lived. By 1972, most high-performance big-block V8 engines had fallen victim to new emissions and fuel economy regulations. Plymouth ceased production of both the 440 and the 426 HEMI, leaving the Barracuda to continue with a maximum of 245 horsepower until 1974.

Fast forward to 2023, and the 1970-1971 models are considered the pinnacle of the Barracuda lineage. Unsurprisingly, the HEMI 426 and 440 iterations are the most coveted. These rare and highly-prized vehicles, particularly those in pristine condition with their original, numbers-matching engines, command top dollar.

The HEMI 'Cuda is the rarest of them all. Skyrocketing insurance rates in 1970 meant that only 666 buyers opted for a 'Cuda with the company's flagship engine. A mere 14 of those were convertibles. In 1971, sales dwindled to just 114 units, including seven convertibles. Today, these automotive gems often fetch upwards of $500,000, with drop-top versions surpassing the $1-million mark.

The 440-powered 'Cuda, while not as elusive as its HEMI counterpart, remains a sought-after Mopar treasure. In 1970, Plymouth produced a mere 986 vehicles with the four-barrel V8 and 1,784 with the 6-BBL option. By 1971, only the latter was available, with just 254 units sold.

Naturally, with many Barracudas lost to wrecks or abandoned in junkyards, even fewer remain today. This dazzling green example is a rare survivor, meticulously restored to museum-quality standards.

Discovered at a public auction, this Mopar stands out as a shining example of the muscle car golden age. Adorned in Chrysler's iconic Limelight High Impact color, it features a striking white interior with bucket seats, a center console, and a Hurst pistol-grip shifter. A factory Shaker hood, the A33 Track Pak, and a numbers-matching engine complete this desirable package.

While not a 426 HEMI, this 'Cuda boasts a 440 6-BBL V8, rated at an impressive 390 horsepower straight from the assembly line – a mere 35 horses shy of the HEMI's power (at least on paper). Restored in the 2010s, the 'Cuda radiates perfection from every angle and is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with on the quarter-mile.

The 440 engine is paired with a four-speed manual, making this 'Cuda one of only 919 units sold with this configuration. Factor in the Limelight paint, white interior, and additional options, and it's likely one of fewer than 20 examples in existence.

So, what's the value of such a remarkable vehicle? This 'Cuda fetched an impressive $137,500 at auction. While pricier than any new Dodge available today, including the Challenger SRT Super Stock, it's not quite as costly as its convertible sibling.

The even rarer drop-top 'Cuda, sporting a 440 6-BBL under its hood, typically commands around $200,000.

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