1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. Photos by David Newhardt, courtesy Mecum Auctions, unless otherwise noted.
For those who would say the market for muscle cars is waning, consider this: Nine of the top-10 cars at Mecum’s Kissimmee sale fell into this category, and of these, seven were Mopars. In terms of dollars, the auction’s top-10 brought in $10,747,500, and Mopar muscle cars accounted for $9,125,000, or approximately 85-percent, of this total.
Topping the sale was a 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, in FY1 High-Impact Lemon Twist Yellow, that sold for $2,675,000 but fell short of its $2.75 – $3.5 million pre-auction estimate. Said to be one of five Hemi ‘Cuda convertibles produced that year with a four-speed manual transmission, the car’s low mileage (reported to be just under 27,500) certainly added to its desirability, as did its long list of factory options.
As delivered to its first owner in British Columbia, Canada, the ‘Cuda came with the A34 Super Track Pack; the A01 Light Package; the A04 Basic Group with Music Master AM radio; the A62 Rallye instrument cluster with tachometer; the C62 six-way adjustable driver’s seat; the G33 remote driver’s mirror; the N96 Shaker hood (with hood pins); and the N42 chrome exhaust tips.
Restored between 2003 and 2006, the open air ‘Cuda was said to retain most of its original sheetmetal. The 226 Hemi beneath the hood was reportedly the same one bolted in at the factory, though the documentation provided with the car included receipts for an engine rebuild. The finished product captured Best in Class honors at the 2006 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, and will likely become the centerpiece of its new owner’s Mopar collection.
1969 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T convertible.
Other cars in the top-10 included a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, which sold for $2,300,000; a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T convertible, which sold for $1,650,000; a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, which sold for $950,000; a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 “tanker,” which sold for $710,000; a 1969 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T convertible, which sold for $625,000; a 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra, which sold for $525,000; a 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda convertible pilot car, which sold for $425,000; a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T convertible pilot car, which sold for $450,000; and a 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which sold for $387,500.
This 1964 Chevrolet Malibu sold for $5,250.
With several thousand vehicles to choose from in the nine-day auction, there were plenty of affordable lots as well. In the $6,000 and under bracket, a 1964 Buick Electra 225 four-door hardtop sold for $2,500; a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle sold for $3,500; a 1949 Dodge Coronet sold for $4,000; a 1966 Chrysler 300 sold for $4,500; a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan sold for $4,500; a 1962 Mercury Comet sold for $5,000; a 1962 Pontiac Catalina convertible sold for $5,000; a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu sedan sold for $5,250; a 1964 Ford Galaxie convertible sold for $5,500; a 1974 Ford Torino sold for $5,500; a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado sold for $6,000; and a 1970 Plymouth Fury II sold for $6,000.
For complete results from Kissimmee, visit Mecum.com.