Like many notable extreme-demand vehicles, Hemi-powered Chrysler E-body convertibles were produced during a small window of time, 1970-71, and even then in very limited quantities. Today, a variety of factors have pushed these cars into the multimillion-dollar range. A car like this 1970 Lemon Twist Hemi Cuda has the right stuff. Take mileage as a starting point; the odometer reveals fewer than 27,500 miles on this spectacular car. Extra-cost options such as the Shaker Hood, High Impact FY1 paint, and Super Track Pak also matter. Plus, the fact that this factory 4-speed car retains its matching-numbers 426 Hemi engine and mostly original sheet metal plays a big role in value as well. Couple that with very low original production figures for all Hemi Cuda convertibles, and the evidence proves the case.
The late factory-engineer Tom Hoover, in the book recently released on the Hemi V-8 in Competition, was quick to note that 1970 was the year the legendary motor was, in his own words, civilized. With a hydraulic cam, there was no longer a need for frequent valve re-lashings on the barely detuned race engine. A change in piston ring location had caused the motor to idle quieter. But while most other brands had gone to a single large 4-barrel carburetor for the new decade, the 1970 426 Hemi, still featuring 10.25:1 compression and sizable external dimensions, maintained a Hemi tradition that had started back in 1955 by being equipped with dual 4-barrel carbs. All you had to do was be brave enough to hold the gas pedal down.
Also new for the E-body was a fresh-air induction system that came up through a trim-fitted hood opening called the Shaker. Indeed, when held at idle, the engine-mounted cover perceptibly shimmered with aggressive prowess. Once under power, the scoop would level out, simply allowing all 426 cubic inches to quickly breathe in cool air. Conversely, though the scoop becomes almost static as speed increases, all sight and sound from within the car becomes a literal blur. Wide-eyed joy for the driver and often near terror for anyone else riding along with them is the result.
But we digress. The car offered here is highly optioned, enough so to have required a second fender tag during its construction. Starting that list off is its code-E74 Hemi mill and convertible body design, a combination of which only 14 were built that model year. Of those, just five came with the A833 4-speed behind the engine. This car was then equipped to get everywhere in a hurry with the A34 Super Track Pak, an option which included the bulletproof Dana 60 differential with a 4.10:1 Sure Grip gear set, a 26-inch heavy-duty radiator, power front disc brakes and 7-blade fan.
Inside the car, a long list of features begins with the A01 Light Group (including auxiliary interior lighting and fender-mounted turn signals), A04 Radio Group (which on this car is the Music Master AM radio), and P37 power convertible top. The standard A62 Rallye instrument cluster is further optioned with the N85 factory tachometer. The front bucket seats include the 6-way adjustable driver’s-side version under code C62, all done in quality black vinyl, accompanying a woodgrain-finish center console with a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. Touches like the G33 outside left-hand remote side mirror with door-mounted hand control finish off the interior.
Outside are body sill and rear deck moldings, N42 chrome exhaust tips, J45 lanyard-tethered hood pins, and the fearsome N96 Shaker fresh-air hood. It is unique that the car was built with 15x7-inch steel wheels, which in 1970 were painted body color with small dog-dish type wheel covers in chrome. The effect coupled to the argent-hued Shaker scoop and FY1 Lemon Twist paint is stunning. Black Hemi hockey stripe graphics meld well with the black top when it is up, with the final accents being the Goodyear raised whiteletter Polyglas GT tires, chrome Cuda callouts and red marker light lenses on the fenders.
Originally constructed under Y07 for export to Canada at Hamtramck plant on October 12, 1969, BS27R0B156924 was reportedly purchased by a man from British Columbia as a graduation present for his daughter. In 1999, the highly optioned car came to America thanks to noted collector Harold Sullivan’s efforts. It was given an expert examination prior to its refreshing, helping ensure that the car was done properly. This specifically noted how much of the original vehicle was still intact. Once complete, accolades included a Best in Class at the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Ohio (American Performance class) in 2006, and it was featured on the Mopar Restoration Products Program in 2003. Among the paperwork are that report with a fender tag breakdown, the owner’s manual, two partial broadcast sheets and two rare original Engine Warranty cards. The engine was professionally rebuilt, with that receipt included as well.
In any body design, Hemi muscle cars remain exclusive. Convertibles are more so, and the brief hurrah of the legendary E-body models stand at the pinnacle of that group. This offering presents an opportunity to place a car as magnificent as this 4-speed Lemon Twist Hemi Cuda Convertible into your portfolio of horsepower.