From 1966-1971, Plymouth started wedging their powerful Hemi V8's into the small E-Body platform Cars. Of these, the 1970 Hemi 'Cuda is widely accepted as one of the most sought after. Only 652 were built when new, including 14 rare convertibles.

To give the Barracuda more of a performance image, the factory quietly built a small number of Hemi powered Barracudas and gave them to professional drag racers.These cars had a Super Stock 426 Hemi pack. It included lightweight steel body panels and a race-tuned Hemi. All the glass was replaced with lexan, non-essential items were removed and lightweight seats with aluminum brackets replaced the factory bench. They were given a sticker that indicated the car was not to be driven on public highways but for supervised acceleration trials. The result was a car that could run the quarter mile in the ten-second range.

Specifically, the race prepped Hemi produced well over 600 horsepower and the hood and fenders were fiberglass. The front bumper and doors were light-gauge steel. To fit the 426 block under the hood, Plymouth's engineers had to redesign and move some components. The battery was moved to the trunk and the shift linkages for the manual transmission as well as the special rear-axle assemblies from Hurst had to be specially manufactured.

Back in the day, the 426 Hemi motor was a $900 option on the Barracuda which was almost a third again over the standard price. However for an extra $250 Plymouth offered a 440 ci V8 which while not as powerful as the race tuned hemi motor, still offered huge gob smacking wads of power.

Motor Trend Magazine tested the 426 Hemi ’Cuda in their May 1970 issue. They discovered it reaching 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and smashing the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds flat at 102 mph. All this in a car straight off the showroom floor !

Plymouth offered a long list of options for 1970 Barracudas. They included really cool stuff like a Track Pak with a 3.54:1 diff ratio, Rallye wheels, a range of wild colors, pistol grip shifters, hockey stick sport stripes, hood pins and a variety of in cabin comforts. Of all the options, the R-code steet Hemi 426 was the most legendary Mopar engine. It typically delivered 425 bhp through the solid 727 Torqueflight automatic and a 3.55:1 Sure Grip rear axle. That is, unless the car was one of the rare 284 units equipped with a 4-speed manual.

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