Even the Barrett-Jackson CEO Drives a Dodge

In the late sixties and early seventies, the American auto industry faced labor conflicts alongside significant achievements. GM and Chrysler experienced strikes impacting the economy. Despite this, iconic muscle cars like the HEMI® engine-powered 1970 Plymouth ’Cuda Convertible emerged from the turmoil.

1970 marked the debut of the Dodge Challenger and third-gen Plymouth Barracuda on the new E-body platform. Chrysler aimed to dominate the pony car market after earlier setbacks. The cars boasted powerful engines, striking designs and competitive features.

The convertible HEMI ’Cudas, produced only in 1970 and 1971, are particularly rare and revered among enthusiasts. Chrysler utilized one as a gesture of gratitude to British Steel during the 1968-1969 strike. This unique ’Cuda ended up in London but faced challenges due to its size and fuel consumption during the 1973 oil embargo.

To cope with rising fuel prices, the car was fitted with a smaller engine, though it later returned to the US with a crate 426 HEMI engine. Acquired by Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson fame in 1999, the car has been restored to factory condition but retains the crate engine. Jackson values driving the car rather than keeping it as a pristine collector’s item. Check out Jay Leno as he talks to Craig Jackson about his prized possession.

Photo credit: YouTube.com Jay Leno’s Garage | autoevolution.com

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