The Hemi Cuda is a legendary ride and generally regarded as the quickest of the American muscle cars. Car Craft ran 13.1@107mph with a stock Hemi Cuda during their November ’69 road test, putting it just ahead of the SS 454 Chevelle and the ZL1 Camaro. For Chrysler fans, the Hemi Cuda is the holy grail of Mopar muscle, and it’s a name that is well-respected throughout the rest of the scene. If you pulled up at a set of lights in 1970 and looked over the see that Hemi Cuda badge on the shaker scoop, it’s a fair bet that when the lights turned green you drove off like Miss Daisy was in the back seat.
What makes this car even cooler is the story behind it. According to Mecum, in 1970 the car was purchased by 62-year-old Bill Reardon just as you see it: Tor Red, shaker hood, slap-stick 727 auto, colour-coded steel wheels and Polyglas GT tyres. Bill decided to race the red beast, and so he replaced a few parts to make it faster, but made sure he stashed all the original gear away to return the car back to stock when he’d had his fun.
They reckon Bill made around 30 passes with the Cuda before he passed away a year later. After Bill’s wife died in 1977, their son sold the car to a collector who returned it back to stock using those parts Bill had stored away. At that time it had just 42 miles on the clock. Over the next four decades the car has been through the hands of three more collectors, and they’ve all strived to maintain the car’s originality.
It’s probably the most correct and best-documented matching-numbers, low-mileage Hemi Cuda in existence, and Mecum estimates it will bring between $600,000 and $800,000 at auction next month. We reckon it’ll be at the upper end of that scale. Hemi Cudas are among the most collectible of Mopar muscle cars; only 652 were made in 1970 and just over 100 made in 1971. Just last year, a 1971 Hemi Cuda convertible sold for $3.5 million.
Check out the auction listing and some of the other cool cars available from Mecum Auctions at www.mecum.com.