These days the first cars to roll off the line usually end up one of two places: the auction block or chopping block. Either being sold at higher prices for charity or being crushed for liability reasons, having been built and rebuilt. However, in 1970 this first car off the line was basically treated like any other, liability be dammed, which is how this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda lived well beyond its years.
Built by hand it’s, frankly, a miracle that this car ever made it to the consumer, but perhaps even more impressive is the quality and low mileage of it throughout its 47-year existence. Ironically, what ultimately kept the mileage so low is something which still plagues drivers today, fuel economy. According to the current owner, Gary Dodane, when the car hit the market gas was 60-cents and with just 5-6 miles a gallon it was simply too expensive to drive.
When Gary bought the Plymouth in 1983, he had no idea what he was getting, literally. “I didn’t even know what a Hemi Cuda was at the time,” said Gary. To him it was simply a cool car that he had the chance to buy and with only around 17,000 miles on the odometer, despite multiple prior owners, it was too good a deal to pass up. Though when Gary bought the car he wanted to know more about it, “I like to get a history when I buy things,” said Gary adding, “It was just a car to them.”
Unfortunately for them and fortunately for Gary, none of the previous owners took the time to look into what they had. If they did they’d have soon discovered that this Hemi Cuda, vin number BS23R0B100003, was the first hand built one off the line in Indiana. In fact, it never left Indiana, but that could very well change as Gary has listed the car online and could fetch him over $3 million as he looks to finally part with it after 34 years.
The reason for wanting to part with it after all this time is simple and respectable, Gary wants to buy around half a dozen more cars. And while the $3 million sounds steep, a 1970 Hemi Cuda convertible sold back in 2015 for $2.25 million. If ever there was a time to say Holy Grail and truly mean it, perhaps this is it as this Hemi Cuda prepares to possibly leave its home at the National Automotive and Truck Museum.