Three exceptional Hemi ragtops set for Mecum Florida auction

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The 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible is a rare four-speed example | Mecum Auctions photos

Three legendary Hemi drop-tops from the golden age of muscle cars will rumble across the block during Mecum Auctions’ sale January 15-24 in Kissimmee, Florida.

The huge 10-day auction, with as many as 3,000 collector cars expected, will feature this threesome of “blue chip” Mopars, each powered by a 426/425hp Hemi V8, each of them with a multi-million-dollar value estimate. Mecum notes they are among 31 Hemi-powered performance cars that will be offered at Kissimmee.

The cars, which all will be auctioned on Friday, January 22, are:

The 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda is a graphics-deleted version

A 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible in Lemon Twist paint, one of just 14 ragtop 426 Hemi ‘Cudas built that model year, and one of only five with a four-speed manual transmission. Pre-auction estimated value: $2.75 million to $3.5 million.

A 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, one of five with automatic transmissions, presented in a unique Sno White-and-black color treatment with deleted graphics and a shaker hood. Pre-auction estimated value: $2.25 million to $2.75 million.

A 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T convertible finished in Sublime Green paint, and one of just nine R/T convertibles with a Hemi engine, and only four with this Hemi/automatic transmission configuration. Pre-auction estimated value: $2 million to $2.5 million.

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The 1970 Hemi Challenger R/T looks stunning in green

“Spurred on by a number of factors, the convertible E-body models built by the Plymouth Division during the final two years of the 426 Hemi engine’s availability in street-production models have proven time and again to be the blue chips of collector investment,” Mecums says in a news release.

“Repeatedly reaching into the value territory that has been previously reserved for the legendary prewar classics and the most exclusive European-built sports cars, the Hemi ‘Cuda convertible ‘owner’s club’ is very small and exclusive indeed; few people today will ever get the chance to join.”

The rare Hemi convertibles will join a strong lineup of special performance Mopars featured during the Friday sale, including a 1969 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T convertible, 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda coupe and a 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona, one of 20 with a four-speed manual.

For more information about Mecum’s Florida sale, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If any of you are wondering why the “car hobby” is dying, take note: does anyone think a young, car-interested person will ever see one of these overpriced mastodons on the road? And at that, everyone knows why there are so few of these cars: they weren’t very good performance cars even in their day. Overweight engine that is hard to keep in tune and usually slower in a 1/4 mile than a 4 barrel 440 OR a 440 Six pack…and we all know which “Big 3″manufacturer is the ONLY one to have the federal government go after them over excessive rust in their cars don’t we? Clue:it isn’t Ford or GM…….

  2. Obviously you are a ford or gm lover, as for performance, the 440 6 pack and the 426 Hemi ruled the streets and track back then, and the hellcat is top dog today, so you don’t what your talking about!

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