We're plenty used to seeing classic cars selling for millions of dollars. It's just that they're usually European: Ferraris, Bugattis, Mercedes and the like. There are some rare American exceptions, usually wearing the names Duesenberg or Shelby. But what we have here is the most expensive Chrysler product ever sold at auction.

The vehicle in question is a Plymouth Barracuda – specifically a 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible, chassis #BS27R1B315367 – that Mecum Auctions just sold after eight solid minutes of feverish bidding for a high bid of $3.5 million at its auction in Seattle, Washington. That figure positively eclipses the $2.2 million paid for a strikingly similar Hemi Cuda (chassis #BS27R1B269588) fetched nearly seven years ago in Scottsdale and another that was the first muscle car to break the million-dollar mark in 2002.

This rare Hemi Cuda convertible is one of just 11 made in 1971, one of just two four-speed examples delivered in the US, and the only one with its original powertrain. That makes this a unique matching-numbers example, helping to drive up its desirability and, subsequently, its price. Watch the footage from the auction floor below and check out the gallery of high-resolution images above for a closer look at what Mecum calls "the Holy Grail of muscle cars."




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  • 44 Comments
      Richard
      • 6 Months Ago
      Another sign we are in the late stages of the current economic expansion. Collectibles and super high end real estate is strong, but the US GDP growth had it's first negative quarter since 2010. Getting assets repriced from the crazy vales of the late 2000s set the foundation for this recovery....but what justifies returning to those values?
        SquareFour
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Richard
        That's the basic problem with our economic system: everything's based on the perceived worth. We've based our world on arbitrary values, so it's a ghost world. All smoke and mirrors, and built on nothing.
          SquareFour
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SquareFour
          northeastern, Yes and no. I was referring to Richard's comment about outsized values, but this auction is actually a good example of the how we determine value in this culture. It's the same with share prices and it's the stock markets that keep our little world spinning. Officially, a share is worth whatever "the market" decides it's worth, but it's actually an arbitrary value based on nothing more than guesses, speculation and, quite often, deception.
          northeastern
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SquareFour
          i think you guys might be looking into this a little hard. this was a niche car that sold for a ton of money because a couple of rich people happened to really want it... not a great way to summarize an entire economy...
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      Even Bill Burke would not pay that much for a Plymouth.
      robert
      • 6 Months Ago
      Nice car, but 3.5 mil? I wouldn't want it if you gave it to me . You'd be a fool to drive it. About all you can do is look at it, trailer it to a show, get it in a magazine , pay a chunk of money for insurance and then try and sell it in a couple or years to make more money.
        robert
        • 6 Months Ago
        @robert
        Also, that one owner all original Shelby GT500 barn find with 8500 miles sold for $280,000 making that a great deal .
      ffelix422
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is such a foolish thing. I love cars too but no way. Better things to do with money.
        drew
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ffelix422
        Believe me, if you've got a few piddly million to spend on a car, there's probably a lot more where that came from.
        Bernard
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ffelix422
        $3.5 million could give a lot of poor hardworking American's proper health care...
          Bernard
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Bernard
          @Sanchez And what percentage of this transaction went into those people's pockets? Were all of them legal citizens? Did they all have full health care?
          ffelix422
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Bernard
          Amen!!
        Bill
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ffelix422
        When the baby boomers start dying off faster , the market is going to drop like a stone. If you disagree just watch this on TV and look at the audience.
        r_dezi
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ffelix422
        Tangible investments can be better than mutual funds a lot of the times.
      muspod
      • 6 Months Ago
      3.5 for that?! A fool and his money are soon separated...
        dogdish
        • 6 Months Ago
        @muspod
        "A fool and his money are soon separated.." yes, in about 2-4 years when he flips it for 4.1M.
        bjtarps
        • 6 Months Ago
        @muspod
        Had you ever had a chance to spend any seat time in one of these brutes, you might begin to understand that rare items like this,that don't hang on a wall, have there place. This is truly a plant you in your seat AMERICAN Icon that would shame ANY country's offering at the time.
          Jake Laird
          • 6 Months Ago
          @bjtarps
          I have a hard time believing it would best a Miura or Daytona. Is it a nice car? Obviously. But is it a $3.5M car? I'm sorry, but I just don't see it, especially when you look at what else you could buy for the money.
        Red Five
        • 6 Months Ago
        @muspod
        According to all the documentation, this 'Cuda is literally one-of-a-kind. 3.5MM seems just about right.
      11fiveoh
      • 6 Months Ago
      Cars like these are a great investment, that you can actually see and enjoy. Especially with a similiar car selling for $2.2 million just 7 years ago.
      Bernard
      • 6 Months Ago
      If only the current Charger looked as good as these 70's muscle cars do.
      tbird57w
      • 6 Months Ago
      whew! must really mean something to somebody, but it can't be for exterior looks nor that interior.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 6 Months Ago
      Gorgeous car, but I simply can't wrap my head around this. I supposed you could argue the car is extremely valuable because of it's condition and numbers, but I'd argue it's rather worthless because of it. This car is destined to be nothing more than garage decor. You can't drive it. A simple fender bender would destroy it's originality. If it was stolen, you'd never get it back in tact, if at all. I just believe all else, cars should be driven. If a car is so rare or valuable I'm afraid to drive it, I don't want it. Especially considering what else I could buy for 3.5 million.
      Cruising
      • 6 Months Ago
      Wish I could afford a car that does not depreciate then sell it for the highest amount.
      sloturbo
      • 6 Months Ago
      I just don't get it...these super price inflated auction priced cars. It's rare, OK, I guess, but it's not nice to look at and it drives like a seventies american car, and let's be honest is not good at all. I'd rather have 10-15 very, very nice cars that I could drive regularly and enjoy.
        jtav2002
        • 6 Months Ago
        @sloturbo
        But for this guy, this is probably one of his 10-15 very very nice cars.
      Ted
      • 6 Months Ago
      And a 71 Honda, Toyota..,bmw..,Mercedes...,audi, sold for ? "O" sorry ...Could find Any Buyers.
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