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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Coupe
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Car: Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda Coupe

Year: 1970

What makes it special: No muscle car was meaner than the 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda. 'Cudas featured five hot V8's from the sharp 275 bhp 340 and flexible 335 bhp 383, to the imposing 375 bhp 4-barrel 440 and the brutal 390 bhp 440+6. Topping the list was the merciless 425 bhp 426 Hemi. 440 and Hemi 'Cudas were given a suspension tailored to heavy-metal acceleration. They had no aft stabilizer bar, but their rear leaf springs numbered five on the right, six on the left, with thicknesses chosen to equalize tire loads in hole shots. Wheel hop was negligible, but careless starts would still send the skins up in smoke.

What made it famous: The Plymouth 'Cuda's functional shaker scoop was included with the Hemi and was a $97 option on other 'Cudas. Mopar gave the Hemi hydraulic lifters for '70, so it was easier to maintain and had improved low-rpm power. Both the 440+6 and Hemi came with a Hurst pistol-grip 4-speed or Slap-Stick TorqueFlite and an extra-heavy duty Dana axle.

Why I would want one: To any Pony muscle car fan, the Hemi 'Cuda is the top of the mountain. There are few other factory monsters that can compare.

Fun fact: Just 652 Plymouth 'Cuda hardtops and 14 convertibles got a Hemi. They're among today's most valuable collector muscle cars.

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