In theory, neither the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda nor the Lamborghini Gallardo make ideal drag strip machines—the classic muscle icon is simply too expensive for this sort of activity, while the otherwise respectable quarter-mile performance of the ex-gen V10 Raging Bull is no longer that impressive nowadays. However, there are drivers from both camps who ignore these ideas and, fortunately, two such enthusiasts recently got together on a drag strip.
The straight-line hooners brought their machines to the Mission Raceway Park over in Canada and decided the four decades that set their machines apart shouldn’t get in the way of lining up next to each other.
For the 1970 model year, the Plymouth Barracuda said goodbye to its Valliant economy car base, switching to the new E-Body platform shared with the Dodge Challenger. And while buyers could get the base Barracuda and the more luxurious Gran Coupe, it was the Cuda performance iteration that captured the imagination of most enthusiasts. And, for two brief model years (’70 and ’71), this was available with the NASCAR-inspired 426 HEMI, a 7-liter monster that delivered 425 hp.
Returning to the point about the price of the Hemi Cuda, this is one of the most worshiped classic muscle cars, with all-original, low-mileage examples sometimes selling for over $2 million.
However, as shown by the classic.com auction monitoring specialist, the five-year average price for a 1970-1971 Plymouth Cuda (these were the only model years) currently sits at just over $300,000. Interestingly, that’s the kind of money you’d pay for a brand new Lamborghini V10 monster, namely a Huracan in well-loaded form (think: derivative and options).
Then again, you can grab a facelifted Gallardo with the superior 5.2L V10 N/A motor (no, not this 2JZ build) delivering in excess of 560 hp for half the money—this appears to be the case with the Italian model that raced the classic muscle icon.
The game was “rigged”, but that doesn’t have to take away the fun, does it?
However, while the quarter-mile time of the Italian exotic tells us this is (mostly if not entirely) stock, the opposite is true for the Cuda.
Wheels, the YouTube channel that delivered this drag race and has featured the Plymouth on many previous occasions, mentions that the muscle car had been taken down the modding route. As such, the HEMI wielder now packs at least 900 horsepower, with at least some of that power believed to have come via a serious nitrous setup.
Now, while the Hemi Cuda driver one-ups his opponent at the starting line, we’ll remind you the clock doesn’t start ticking until the vehicle gets off the line. So, even if the Lambo guy had a sharper reaction time, he would’ve still been left staring at the taillights of the iconic Mopar.