Published January 25, 2013
Perhaps due to the low volume built and even-smaller surviving population, Plymouth Hemi ‘Cudas are among the most valuable and sought-after cars from the muscle car era. Finding one in mint condition is a rare occurrence, and even less-than-pristine examples will price well into the six-figure range.
Hagerty’s Price Guide currently puts the value of a Condition One 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda at $340,000, while a Condition Four car still rates a value of $205,000, As impressive as those numbers sound, the car’s value range in 2007 was between $1.2 million and $890,000, which gives an idea of how far the market has dropped in six years.
Up for sale on JamesList is a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda with a semi-celebrity owner and a long list of factory options, including the Light Package, the Dana 60 Super Track Rear End, front and rear spoilers, the Rallye instrument cluster, tinted windows, an AM/FM/Cassette audio system with dual rear speakers and the rear-window louvers.
Most impressive of all, however, is the fact that the car’s racked up just 2,010 miles on the odometer in its 42-year life, and remains all-original as far as we can tell. Sure, the original owner embellished the paint scheme with his own personal “skull and ace of spades” motif, but that’s largely been corrected by a recent refresh.
Who was the mysterious original owner? Zachary Taylor Reynolds, heir to the Reynolds’ tobacco fortune and a bon vivant with plenty of ties to the rich and famous. Reynolds, as the story goes, preferred fast cars and motorcycles to more mundane passions, such as business and finance.
Though ultimately disowned by his father (along with his three brothers), Reynolds had already amassed a sizable trust fund wealth upon his discharge from the United States Navy.
Rather than wasting it on stocks, bonds and precious metals, Reynolds had the foresight to invest in muscle cars, like the Hemi ‘Cuda for sale here, through RK Motors in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Zach Reynolds’ passion extended to flying, too, and in 1969 he earned a national aerobatics championship. Ten years later, after retiring from competitive flying, his love of airplanes would prove to be his undoing: Reynolds was killed in a plane crash in 1979.
Is the car worth the $1,999,990 being asked by RK Motors? We suppose that depends upon your perspective; on the one hand, that’s nearly six times the current Condition One price, but the car is truly one of a kind with a documented history.
If you're in the market to put what may be the best surviving example into your collection, the price is what the price is, assuming your due diligence verifies all the claims on the car's history.