Franklin Mint Plymouth HEMI Cuda
Franklin Mint is known for commemorating cultural icons by preserving
them as collectible memorabilias. Almost any products they make become
valuable collector's items. And they have some kind of collectible for every flavor of
collectors out there.
With it's place in the American muscle car culture solidly entrenched, Franklin Mint produced collectible diecast model cars of the 1970-1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda. These cars were not built in mass quantities unlike the Mustangs and Camaros. But they were built as fast as they come.
The Plymouth Barracuda was introduced in 1964 to compete in the pony car
market against the likes of the GTOs and Chevelles. Immediately, it
gained a strong following. By 1967, the second generation design came
But it wasn't until 1970 when the E-body platform was rolled out that its true potential as a muscle car had been reached. For you see, the E-body designed had a big enough engine bay to fit the powerful 426 HEMI V-8 engine.
When the E-body models came out, there were 3 options available: the Barracuda (base), the sporty Cuda, and top of the line Gran Coupe. The Plymouth Hemi Cuda was the one equipped with a 426 HEMI under the hood. By that time, the HEMI had become legendary around the racing circuit for its power.
Speaking of power, the 426 HEMI engine gave the Plymouth Cuda 425
horsepower at 5000 rpm...officially. Some independent test claimed
something closer to 500 hp. The 1971 Cuda covered the quarter-mile in
Not to mention that the sporty Cuda was pimped out in front foglamps, racing-style hood pins, and simulated hood scoops. The 1971 versions also had four fender gills on the side which did not exist in the 1970 models. Drivers had a choice between four-speed manual transmission or TorqueFlite automatic.
The Plymouth HEMI 'Cudas are rare cars indeed. Only 652 were built in 1970 and 114 were built in 1971. And their production were limited to only those two years. Because of new emission standards, Plymouth had to downgrade the power of later models.
Plymouth stopped making the Barracuda in 1974. Plymouth stopped making cars altogether in 2001.