While the famous Monterey Car Week is typically associated with multimillion-dollar purebred European sports cars and antique luxury automobiles, Mecum Auctions recently brought a game changer this year in the form of multimillion-dollar muscle — the king of American muscle cars, a rare 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible (Lot F69). The Executive Demonstrator of its designer, John Herlitz, the Hemi Cuda Convertible was one of the highlights at Mecum’s annual Daytime Auction on August 13-15.
The prized drop top carried a pre-auction estimate of $2.5-3 million and is one of just 14 Hemi Cuda Convertibles produced in 1970—only nine of which were equipped with the automatic transmission. This beauty sports the legendary 426 Hemi V8 engine and carries a stylish shape penned by the then 27-year-old Herlitz under the watchful eye of Chrysler Design Chief Elwood Engel.
Herlitz was rewarded for his efforts with this Hemi Cuda convertible, which has since received a comprehensive restoration in 2002 by Cummins Restorations and has served as the centerpiece of some of the finest Mopar collections in the world.
The factory broadcast sheet documents its origin as an executive lease or demonstrator, ordered with nearly every available option and finished in triple black. The rarity of these cars coupled with the fact that this was Herlitz’s personal Hemi Cuda Convertible make this one of the most coveted muscle cars of its time.