Photos & text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
There were just 34 Plymouth Cuda convertibles constructed with Chrysler’s big U-code 440 Super Commando engine in 1970. Coupled with the FJ5 Lime-Light paint, options, and power accessories, the car being shown here is more exclusive than one of 34, but one-of-one built. In the presently charged collector world of high-horsepower cars, this one is special, with options like power windows and a power top. It also received air conditioning from the factory, which is why it was not equipped with a Six Pack or the Hemi. If personal comfort in a big-block classic droptop is how you roll, read on.
At 375 HP, the 440 RB-series powerplant was already a legend of Mopar street and track performance efforts, and featured 9.7:1 compression and a 4-barrel carburetor. Producing a big 480 lb-ft of torque in 1970 trim, this numbers-matching tire burner is under the factory twin-scoop scalloped hood with “cuda 440-4” callouts, backed by an A727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic and highway-friendly 3.23:1 Sure Grip-equipped 8 ¾ rear end. Power steering, power front disc brakes, correctly date-coded 15-inch Rallye wheels with trim rings, and Goodyear E60 Polyglas rubber all help make ownership and driving pleasurable.
Beyond the scooped hood, the car features lanyard-anchored hood pins and white hockey-stripe graphics denoting the 440 displacement on the rear quarter trail-offs. The top and interior are both white for a refreshingly bright, clean appearance, while inside are the top-optioned Rim-Blow steering wheel with fish-center cap, console with Slapstick shifter, wood grain-applique accents, Music Master radio, and Rallye instrument cluster. More recently, this machine has gone through a two-year concours-grade restoration completed by Greg Thomas and Frankie Smartnick, who invested more than 2,000 hours in the refreshing of this car. Brought back to the way it appeared the day it came off the Hamtramck assembly line and verified with the original broadcast sheet and Chrysler Registry certification, this E-Body convertible is a treasured low-production addition to any collection, no matter how large.