The Plymouth Barracuda, or more specifically the Cuda incarnation, was one of the heavy hitters of the muscle car wars back in the 1960s and early 1970s. As with its opponents, people associate the Cuda with America because here is where the muscle car war was fought.
But muscle cars were made for export as well, although in extremely limited numbers. Back in 1971, for instance, Plymouth produced five Cuda convertibles for export, and the one we have here is one of them.
This particular car was exported to France, where it stayed until 1993 when it made it back home complete with the original drivetrain. But the fact that it knows the roads on two continents, and was part of a select batch meant for export, are not the only things making it rare.
According to the listing on Mecum, where the Cuda is featured as part of the Indy auction in May, this car is also 1-of-3 fitted with the factory A833 4-speed manual transmission that year. It’s also the only one wrapped in a color called Winchester Gray.
Most importantly, the Cuda still pairs the transmission with the same 426ci (7.0-liter) HEMI engine it shipped with from the factory back in 1971, rated at 425 hp. There are enough kilometers on it to prove it was not kept as a museum piece but used the way it was meant to be used: 98,500 km is what the metric odometer reads, which is about 61,200 miles.
Sporting touches the likes of which you’ll probably not get in this combination on other cars of its kind—things like a 240-kph speedometer, black Shaker scoop, black top, and black bucket-seat interior—this HEMI Cuda will probably be a real turner at the event, even if Mecum does not give an estimate on how much the car is expected to fetch.