In the mid-1960s when the muscle car segment was born, introducing such a model could still be quite a gamble. As such, many of the original heroes were based on economy cars, with the Plymouth Barracuda being no exception. However, for 1970 when the Gen III came about, Mopar left behind the Valliant underpinnings of the two-door, switching to the new E-Body platform shared with the also-debuting Dodge Challenger. So, when one comes across one of these hiding in a barn nowadays, with the vehicle also happening to sport the 426 HEMI top dog, the excitement is impossible to contain. And this ’70 HEMI Cuda has a captivating story to tell.
The 1970MY range included three models: the base Barracuda, the more lavish Gran Coupe, and the dynamic Cuda we have here. So, what more could a Mopar fan have asked for back in the day if not a Cuda with the 426 ci (7.0L) HEMI, which was rated at 425 hp and 490 lb-ft (664 Nm) gross hp (this meant no accessories such as the air cleaner and open headers)? Oh, and let’s not forget the four-speed manual present on this example.
The prohibitive price of the said Gen II HEMI meant these bad boys are rare. So, when YouTuber The Auto Archeologist (his real name is Ryan Brutt) was tipped on an example gathering dust in a barn over in Arkansas, he went to visit the vehicle before the car would be picked up by a new owner (more on this below).
Sleeping for four decades
The 1970 Cuda had been sitting for around 40 years, even though it entered the barn captured in the video below back in 2011, when its previous owner Danny relocated from Memphis to Arkansas.
As the enthusiasts happily explains in the clip, he saw the vehicle in a newspaper ad back in 1978—with the 1973 oil crisis having determined many drivers and the industry altogether to switch to less muscular machines and this Cuda actually missing its HEMI and its factory bucket seats, Danny only paid $2,000 for it (that would be $8,624 in today’s money).
Of course, with such a treasure in his possession, the man was diligent over the years, grabbing a September 1969-build 426 V8 crate engine off eBay back in 2011—the car rolled out the factory gates in December 1969. He also collected various parts for the vehicle, from the cylinder heads to a shaker hood.
Now, at the time when this story was published (the video had just been taken out of the YouTube oven), the description of the clip stated the 1970 Hemi Cuda was now with Billy Harman, listing his contact for those who wish to take the Mopar home.
A Quadruple Black 1970 Hemi Cuda with the Code A34 Super Track Pak
This is a quadruple black Plymouth, which means we’re talking about a black exterior with a (now gone) black vinyl top, black elastomeric front bumper, and (you guessed it!) a black interior.
However, the YouTuber took the time to explain the fender tag in the clip below, so you can check out the impressive spec. This includes bits such as the rallye dash and the Code A34 Super Track Pak involving hardware like the 4.10 Heavy-Duty 9 3/4-inch Dana rear axle and power disc brakes. A rare bird indeed.