29 November 2004

1970 Hemi 'Cuda and 1970 Superbird

Muscle car madness is in the air, with monster-engined cars from the ‘70s bringing well over $100,000 every time they appear at auction. Once again, we turn to Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market (sportscarmarket.com) for his quick take on the market.

1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda coupe

S/N BS23ROB216443

B5 blue with black vinyl interior. 426-c.i. Hemi, automatic. Shaker hood and hockey-stick decals. Numbers matching. Panel fit is good, but trunk pops up a tiny bit at rear. Minor scratches to chrome on front and rear bumpers. Paint and interior both excellent. Award-winning car, from museum, and featured in magazines. Title history available.

SOLD AT $216,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 22-25, 2004.

While most Hemi sales exceed collector car Price Guides, this one made complete mince-meat of them. It’s easily $75,000 more than expected. Part of the high value can be explained by continued muscle car madness, but even more of it came because the car was sold during the section of the auction that was televised live by Speed Channel. It seemed like every time the TV lights went on, the prices soared, as guys with dough wanted their buddies back home to see them on TV, spending big bucks to get their dream car.

1970 Plymouth Superbird

S/N RM23R0A168732

Orange with black vinyl bench seat, black vinyl roof. 426-c.i. Hemi engine, automatic. 8,084 miles showing, claimed original. Exceptionally rare unrestored winged ‘Bird, with only some minor repaint to front end, otherwise original paint. Of course, quality of paint only fair, which was factory spec in the 1970s. Very good seats and interior. Claimed authenticated by muscle-car guru Galen Govier. Could use some love and affection, but its unmolested state makes it hugely attractive.

SOLD AT $153,700 by The Branson Collector Car Auction in Branson, Missouri, April 23-25, 2003.

Approximately 1,935 Superbirds were built, and most agree that around 135 of them had the thundering Hemi engine. As you can imagine, few were bought by little old ladies and driven only on Sundays; chances are anyone buying a Hemi ‘Bird would run it often and hard. Prices of all muscle cars have been skyrocketing, and those of Hemi-equipped Mopars are at the head of the list. If cleaned up, this car could be worth even more. Let’s hope the new owner just gives it a strong detail, rather than completely restoring it, which would destroy its unique original condition.

Word to the wise: If you’ve got a muscle car in your garage, it might be a good time to check your level of coverage. Protect yourself and keep up with current market values.

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