In the opposite to the old practice in car industry, the customer chooses within a wide range the engine model that he wants to have installed with the bodywork. The top choice remains the overpowered 426 Hemi engine nicknamed The Elephant, launched in 1964 but significantly improved for the 1970 season. The customer also opts for a manual four-speed or an automatic transmission. A manual gear box is now highly considered by the collectors.
The Clean Air Act of 1970 and the increase in insurance premiums discourage the US customers now reluctant to spend much money in prestige cars. The production of the 426 Hemi is definitively stopped after the 1971 season.
The convertible versions of the Chrysler models with the 426 Hemi engine are extremely rare: 14 cars in 1970 and 11 in 1971 for Plymouth, 9 cars in 1970 and none in 1971 for Dodge.
The sale by Mecum in Kissimmee FL on January 22 includes an example of each of these three models, all offered with many original options.
Lot F111 is a 1970 Dodge constructed in December 1969. Its transmission is automatic. It is estimated $ 2M.
Lot F109 is a 1970 Plymouth constructed in October 1969. Its transmission is manual. It is estimated $ 2.75M.
Lot F102 is a 1971 Plymouth built in September 1970. It is estimated $ 2.25M. Its transmission is automatic. Only two 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertibles were equipped with a manual transmission. One of them was sold for $ 3.5 million before fees by Mecum on June 14, 2014.
I invite you to watch the videos shared by Mecum to introduce the 1970 cars : Plymouth Hemi Cuda and Dodge Challenger.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES :
1970 Plymouth (constructed in 1969) : $ 2.675M
1971 Plymouth (constructed in 1970) : $ 2.3M
1970 Dodge (constructed in 1969) : $ 1.65M