Featured here is a great looking 1971 Plymouth Cuda Custom. The Plymouth Barracuda models introduced were the Barracuda, Barracuda Coupe, Gran Coupe and the Cuda. As far as the Plymouth Cuda is concerned, it is a legendary muscle car.

71 cuda specs
1971 Plymouth Cuda Custom

The first generation Barracuda models ran from 1964 to 1966. The second generation ran from 1967 through 1969 and the third generation 1970-1974.

The Plymouth Barracuda was actually the first Pony Car that came on the market. The Barracuda was introduced about two weeks before Ford’s Mustang.

Plymouth Cuda Performance

Although the Plymouth Barracuda came out a few weeks before the Ford Mustang in 1964, the earlier Barracuda’s just didn’t have muscle. .Plymouth introduced the Cuda as the more performance version of it’s Barracuda in 1969. While the Barracuda was introduced years earlier, the muscle car competition was at it’s high point and it was time for Plymouth to enter the race in a big way with it’s Cuda model.

1971 cuda pricesThe Barracuda wasn’t taken seriously as a muscle car until a run of 50 cars were sent to Hurst Performance in 1969 to be prepped for the NHRA and SCCA race season. All 50 cars were equipped with the 426cid Hemi engine, the first ever from Plymouth, fitted with largely fiberglass bodies to lighten their loads, and completely illegal on the streets.

The Cuda Package was an appearance / performance package that had roots in the Formula S performance package. The largest engine for the 1970 Plymouth Cuda was the 440 cubic inch V-8 with triple two barrel carburetors and 395 HP. There was also a 426 cubic inch V-8 with two four barrel carbs and 425 HP.

A popular feature offered in the Cuda models was the 426 Hemi with a Shaker hood scoop and racing mirrors. The Hemi version received upgraded suspension and chassis reinforcements.

1971 Plymouth Cuda Styling

Plymouth took the rear end of the Mustang and combined it with the rear windshield of the Corvette to create their very own “Pony Car” look. Yes, this was a somewhat duplication of the Mustang yet Plymouth was unconcerned with the unoriginal appearance of their model, as long as it delivered the perform and sold well.

The new body that came out in 1970 received tweaks for 1971.The 1971 Cuda’s new grille gave the appearance of the car having teeth like a Barracuda. In addition, the 71 Cuda had quad headlamps..This was the first and only year for the quads. The front fender “gills” were also only found on the 1971 model.

If the 71 Cudas had a Hemi engine they received a Hemi decal.. All other non Hemi models were notated by identification tags found on the rear spoiler.

The optional shaker hood scoop was now flat black to address glare issues.

1971 Plymouth Cuda Specifications

The 1971 Barracuda itself had two six cylinder  engines available plus three different V8s:

The 71 Plymouth Cuda had the 383 cubic inch V-8 as it’s standard engine producing 335 HP.. Also for the Cuda was a 7.0 liter Hemi V-8 producing a very impressive 425 HP.

This particular Cda Custom Coupe has a 528 cubic inch V-8 under the hood delivering a dyno tested 764 HP. This model has a three speed automatic transmission along with a posi-traction differential.

Cuda Hemis used a heavy-duty TorqueFlite 727 automatic transmission or the standard four speed manual.

Standard brakes were hydraulic four wheel drums. An option was power front discs and power rear drums.

1971 Plymouth Cuda Coupe production totaled 6,228. Plymouth Cuda Convertibles totaled only 374. Only 108 Cuda Hemi Coupes were produced. Also, there were only 7 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertibles with 4 speed manual transmissions built..

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1971 Olds Cutlass 442

1969 Chevy Camaro Z-11 RS/SS

Reference material used for this article includes..Barracuda Muscle Portfolio 1964-1974 by R. M. Clarke..1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda: Muscle Cars In Detail No. 2..Hemi Muscle 70 Years: Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth High Performance by Darwin Holmstrom.

1971 Plymouth Cuda Collector Cars

71 cuda hardtop specs The Plymouth HEMI Cuda remains one of America’s most prized collectible car. The 1971 Plymouth Cuda is one of the most priciest classic muscle car available for collectors.

As noted above, the 1971 Plymouth Hardtop Cuda’s are rare. There were only 6,228 Hardtop Coupes built.

Current auction and asking prices are in the six figures. Several tears ago the ultra rare Cuda Hemi Convertibles received auction bids of several million dollars. As mentioned there were only 7 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertibles with 4 speed manual transmissions produced.

Examples are a 71 Cuda Hardtop Custom with a 540 cubic inch V-8 for $190,000. A 1971 Plymouth Cuda Hardtop 440 Hemi at $309,000 and another Cuda Hemi at $340,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)