Countdown to Barrett-Jackson: A quartet of Hemis

Cars from the Ron Pratte Collection

Editor’s note: This is the 20th in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Ron Pratte Collection that will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January.

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1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop | Barrett-Jackson photo

1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop

This 1970 Plum Crazy Plymouth (Lot #2026) may be the best example of the breed you will ever find. A complete restoration of this unique 4-speed Hemi coupe has returned it to original glory. This matching numbers ‘Cuda is an outstanding example of the brand flaunting some of the smoothest curves ever applied to a muscle car.

This third-generation Barracudas E-body architecture was based on a shortened B-body chassis. Its styling captured the excitement of the new decade and catapulted the Barracuda name from a decent-looking and reasonably quick second-tier pony car to a devastating bulldozer of the competition — all the while flaunting great style, extravagant horsepower and a classy menace.

This 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop (Lot # 2026) is scheduled to  cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Tuesday, January 13.

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1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop | Barrett-Jackson photo

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop

This 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda (Lot #2519) underwent a complete rotisserie restoration in 2006 using only original and NOS parts, and has been driven only 16,000 mies in its entire existence.

Original matching numbers throughout make it a blue-chip example of one of the most desirable classic muscle cars. Only three Curious Yellow ’71 Hemi ‘Cudas were ever sold. This car is one of only two of them with pistol-gripped 4-speeds.

This 1971 model also happens to represent the only quad-headlight version ever produced by the factory. The authenticity has been verified by Mopar guru Galen Govier.

Naturally this specimen is listed in his official Chrysler registry.

This 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda 2-door hardtop (Lot # 2519) is scheduled to  cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, Jan. 17.

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1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird | Barrett-Jackson photo

1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird

This 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird (Lot #2520) is what happens when outrageous horsepower and exotic aerodynamics are blended together in equal but generous portions. Designed to shut up the Ford and Chevy guys once and for all, the Hemi-powered Plymouth Superbird was built, if not destined, to dominate stock car-racing’s superspeedways. Chrysler was required to make a certain number of these cars before NASCAR would recognize them as actual production vehicles.

Coincidently, the car remained a thorn in the side of NASCAR officials, and the drivers of other brands, during all of 1970. The Superbird and its Dodge partner won 38 of 48 major NASCAR races that year.

Superbirds were banned after that one year of stardom for the best reason and the worst reason of all: They were just too darn fast.

The often-quoted build figure is 1,935 and includes those powered by the 440 4 barrel, the 440 Six Pack and the Street Hemi. It is normally agreed that only 135 of these cars were delivered with the 426 Hemi. That puts this particular Superbird at the outer edges of the stratosphere on the desirability scale.

This 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird (Lot # 2520) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, Jan. 17.

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1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda | Barrett-Jackson photo

1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda

After a complete rotisserie restoration of an original sheet metal ‘Cuda, this Hemi (Lot #2522) has been stored in a climate-controlled museum.  During that time, this ‘Cuda was featured in Mopar Magazine and was proclaimed as “The Ultimate Hemi ‘Cuda.”

It is documented with a Broadcast Sheet and decoded by Galen Govier. The attention to detail is amazing. All of the factory production line markings have been authentically reproduced. Even the tension springs inside the brake drums are factory correct.

Other outstanding features include the high-impact B5 Blue paint, Shaker hood, Rally wheels, hockey stick stripe, road lamps, 727 TorqueFlite transmission, AM/FM radio and body “fish gill” rocker moldings. All of the glass, drivetrain and interior are original and matching numbers.

With only 368 cars ever produced and only 30,130 original miles, this is likely the most well-known, rarest documented original Hemi ‘Cudas in existence.

This 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda (Lot #2522) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.

Ron Pratte’s prestigious collection of automobilia will kick off the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction beginning Saturday, Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. and running through Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and will continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 on Saturday, Jan. 17.

 

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