The Pony Wars in the 1960s were the real deal. What at first seemed like market dominance by the Ford Mustang in 1964 quickly turned into an all-out battle for the biggest and baddest engine around. From Chevy’s Camaro to Pontiac’s Firebird to Plymouth’s Barracuda, American marques were desperately trying to outdo one another. However, with the debut of the ‘Cuda trim package of the Barracuda in 1969, Plymouth was finally on top. The ‘Cuda became an official variant in 1970 when the third-gen Barracuda was introduced, which saw a big redesign of the body. Paired with Plymouth’s most powerful engine offering, the big-block 426 HEMI, the ‘Cuda was the de facto king of the road. Of the 652 offered that year, the very first one off the production line is now up for grabs for a cool $2 million.
The owner of the HEMI ‘Cuda, an Indiana-based barber and car collector named Gary Dodane, bought the car in 1983 for $500 from an acquiescent seller who needed the money. Upon further research, he discovered that the vehicle, which only had around 17,000 miles on it, was the first one built. And of the 652 built, only 284 were four-speed. Despite putting out 425hp and 490lb.ft of torque, the car had changed hand four times before him due to the expenses that came with the racing fuel required. He’s put fewer than 1,000 miles on the ‘Cuda in just 40 years.
With the debut of the Plymouth Barracuda in 1964, Chrysler had officially beaten Ford at releasing the very first pony car by just two weeks. Apparently, Ford was working on a compact sports car (the Mustang) to compete with the vehicles coming out of Europe at the time, and Chrysler aimed to beat them to the punch. The Barracuda was a compact, sportier version of Chrysler’s own Valiant. However, it was quickly overshadowed by the Mustang, which offered a trio of V8 options to the ‘Cuda’s one. Unlike the Mustang, which is still being produced today, the Barracuda only ran its course in just ten years.
If you want your chance to own this incredibly unique and special Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda, you can contact Gary from his dedicated website.