Highlights

  • Serial No. 4 Pilot Car

  • The first 1970 Cuda Convertible produced with the V-Code 440 Six Pack engine

  • Built August 1, 1969

  • Restored in 2005 by Rocket Restorations, LLC, in Olympia, Washington

  • N96 Shaker hood

  • Dual exhaust

  • Dana rear axle

  • Power steering

  • Power front disc brakes

  • 956 radiator

mecum-1970-plymouth-440-6-cuda-convertible-09
  • EW1 Alpine White with side-stripe delete

  • PRX9 Black leather bucket seats

  • Pistol Grip shifter

  • Power windows

  • Premium sound

  • Driver’s-side remote mirror

  • Rallye wheels and Goodyear Polyglas tires

  • Copy of Chrysler Registry report

  • Restoration invoices

  • A 10% buyer premium applies

mecum-1970-plymouth-440-6-cuda-convertible-12

Story

As powerful and impressive as this Challenger is, it’s not a lone wolf, as it’s accompanied by its close relative and proper stablemate—a 1970 Plymouth Cuda that shares the Challenger’s birthday and birthplace, its exclusivity as the first of its kind, and its status as an unusually highly optioned example.

The Barracuda went upscale in 1970 when the new E-body models showed up. The sister to the Dodge Challenger, the Barracudas were also built at the Hamtramck assembly plant. As Serial No. 100004 shows, this unique Plymouth pilot car was Job No. 8 and may have been one of the first ever to bear the Cuda moniker. That it is the first such convertible created with the V-Code 440 Six Pack engine under the hood makes it even more desirable. As a less expensive but almost-as-powerful street alternative to the Hemi, the 440 Six Pack coupled with the other relative options still pushed Cuda convertibles out of the price range of many buyers back in the day. By the end of 1970, there had only been 17 440 Six Pack 4-speed Cuda convertibles built, 16 of which were built sometime after this one came off the line on Saturday, August 1, 1969.

mecum-1970-plymouth-440-6-cuda-convertible-17

Pilot cars are unique, often having certain features and components their production brethren do not. For instance, the Dutchman panel between the rear window and decklid is not the standard part and is slightly smaller than the production piece. Code-V68, to delete the side stripes, was also not used once production began, and two other codes on the tag were stamped erroneously. Still, this particular car is quite singular in its appearance, and it is quite possible it was specifically created to test appearance and option combinations on the new model.

Painted in EW1 Alpine White, in addition to the stripe delete, it also received a power-operated black convertible top, a stunning contrast when combined with the blackout tail panel, inset grille and subdued use of chrome and color. The Rallye wheels use F70-14 tires to touch the pavement, and other exterior options include road lamps, driver’s-side remote mirror and chrome exhaust tips.

The inside of this car is also unique due to the upscale options that were placed on BS27V0B100004. This included PRX9 premium-grade leather seats, P31 power windows and the aforementioned P37 power top. It had power steering and power front disc brakes as well. The car further benefited from the deluxe R22 AM/8-track stereo system. Of course, the crowning touch for 1970 muscle-car fans was the new Hurst Pistol Grip, which beautifully matches the wood-grain steering wheel. The Pistol Grip was standard on 4-speed models that year, and this one is backed by a Dana 60 differential and paired to the aforementioned 440 Six Pack with performance cooling equipment like the 26-inch radiator. Again, due to the very early nature of this car, the Track Pak is not coded on the fender tag, but it has been documented as correct for this vehicle.

mecum-1970-plymouth-440-6-cuda-convertible-06

There are only two white 440 Six Pack 4-speeds known to have been built. Professionally restored in 2005, this color combination understated the extreme performance aspect of this vehicle. The first V-Code 440 Six Pack Cuda convertible built, this car’s unique pilot components, upscale option list and early build date combine to support its provenance atop the pecking order of E-body convertibles.

With both of these vehicles boasting V-code 440 Six Pack V-8 engine power and 4-speed manual transmissions, both being built on the same day and both sharing the designations as “firsts,” it seems natural that these two pilot cars remain as a matched pair. Like Lennon and McCartney, Batman and Robin, or even Yin and Yang, these two complementary and celebrated vehicles belong together, and keeping these stablemates tethered to one another would truly honor the Chrysler E-body legacy.

Arrangements to purchase this vehicle can be made directly by contacting Mecum representative Rob Williams by phone or text at (262) 236-7705 or by email at rwilliams@mecum.com.

mecum-1970-plymouth-440-6-cuda-convertible-15