Power and Performance: The Resurrected 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 – A HEMI-Free Sensation

With perhaps the exception of the 1963 Corvette Stingray or the 1969 Charger R/T, no other American muscle car is more lauded for one singular model year than the 1970 Plymouth Cuda.

Experience the Beauty of the Restored 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Without Requiring a HEMI

Granted, a HEMI-Cuda would serve better as a dog whistle for how amazing this muscle car is by virtue of the considerable mythos around the brand. But no HEMI finds its way under the hood of this classic Cuda due for auction at Mecum in Kissimmee, Florida, this coming January.

In fact, the engine’s even bigger than a HEMI. It’s a 440-cubic inch (7.2-liter) Chrysler RB V8, jetting a probably underrated 375 gross horsepower from the factory.

Experience the Beauty of the Restored 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Without Requiring a HEMI

Further trinkets like a 4.10-geared Dana 60 rear axle, power front disk brakes, power steering, and a throaty twin exhaust, this is a package that screams the early 70s. In the years after 1970, an oil crisis coupled with new emissions regulations effectively ended the first muscle car renaissance.

So it’s more than likely the first owner of this purple beauty wasn’t aware the car they were purchasing was a piece of American history. But being a relic of the distant past, inevitable entropy eventually had its way on this classic car.

Experience the Beauty of the Restored 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Without Requiring a HEMI

To add to the amazingness, this particular Cuda Hardtop is one of 902 models that left the factory with the Chrysler A833 four-on-the-floor manual transmission for the 1970 model year on the planet. Even with all the extra accolades, no 1970 Cuda isn’t worth saving.

Experience the Beauty of the Restored 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Without Requiring a HEMI

That’s why when John’s Body Shop of Nicollet, Minnesota, did nothing short of the Lord’s work with their meticulous body-off-frame restoration of this car.

We wouldn’t blame an average restoration shop for cutting out as much deeply rust-pitted bodywork and praying they’re good enough with a MIG welder to make everything look presentable.

Experience the Beauty of the Restored 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Without Requiring a HEMI

But John’s Body Shop is clearly a cut above. From the shiny Violet paint color that somehow isn’t Chrysler Plum Crazy Purple to the plush, vinyl interior with the period-correct wood grain-wrapped shifter. It all adds up to something that equals big bucks on the auction floor.

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