Written by Nicole Ellan James
Picture this: You’re driving. Your left foot holds the clutch pedal against the carpet while your right foot steadies the tachometer at 3,000 rpm. The Shaker hood air scoop vibrates as your right-hand places the pistol-grip shift handle into first gear. You’re behind the wheel of a rotisserie-restored 1971 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda, one of only 59 4-speed cars built in the HEMI ‘Cuda’s final year.
Widely admired for its cleanly executed long-hood and short-deck styling, many whimsically named paint colors and broad range of engines at its Fall 1969 debut, Plymouth’s E-body pony car came in three trim levels. Still, Mopar fanatics only wanted one: the race-proven 426 HEMI.
While the 426 HEMI was primarily offered in midsize (B-body) Road Runners, GTXs, Chargers and Super Bees, the “King Kong HEMI” performs best under the hood of the smaller 1970-71 (E-body) ‘Cuda, which was shorter and up to 200 pounds lighter.
The Chrysler Corporation’s slightly detuned NASCAR race engine became a little more civilized due to the hydraulic valve lifters. Topped by a pair of Carter AFB four-barrel carburetors, the engine took deep breaths through the standard Shaker hood scoop, combining the air intake and air cleaner. The Shaker scoop is manually controlled with a lever under the dash and often quivers with the HEMI’s idle.
Representative of the end of the Plymouth’s E-body Elephant dynasty, Lot #752 is heading to the 2022 Las Vegas Auction and selling with No Reserve.
Complete with its original Fender Tag and Build Sheet, the car offered has a four-speed manual gearbox hooked to the HEMI “elephant motor.” It’s controlled inside the cabin with a pistol-grip Hurst shifter. This HEMI ‘Cuda also came with the Super Track Pack (option A34), which replaced Dana’s standard-issue gear set with aggressive 4.10 gears and front disc brakes. As a result, it could be said that you need a set of sticky drag slicks and a prepared racing surface to harness its power.
Though a casualty of the new Clean Air Act regulations, the HEMI ‘Cuda made its mark in NHRA Super Stock racing, only to meet its end in 1971. Consequently, it’s no secret that 426 HEMI-powered Mopars are one of the muscle-car era’s most sought-after street machines, and all these years later, we’re still raving about them.
To complete this vision quest, all that’s left is to turn imagination into reality and bid on this beautiful Rally Red 1971 HEMI ‘Cuda. See you in the West Hall, June 30 to July 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
For up-to-date information on this vehicle, click HERE.
You’re behind the wheel of a rotisserie-restored 1971 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda, one of only 59 4-speed cars built in the HEMI ‘Cuda’s final year. To complete this vision quest, all that’s left is to turn imagination into reality and bid on this beautiful Rally Red 1971 HEMI ‘Cuda. See you in the West Hall, June 30 to July 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.