Within the last few years, the legacy of the famed '71 Hemi 'Cuda has made a massive dent in the automotive enthusiast and collector marketplace, with recent sales of the convertible, four-speed variety going for the cost equivalent of a large suburban house.
Gary and Danny Pronman of Coral Springs, Florida, know exactly what they have and are proud to show this amazingly restored Curious Yellow '71 Hemi 'Cuda off at any and all Mopar meets. Having owned a collection of legendary Mopar machines over the years-a '68 Hemi Road Runner, a '6911/42 Six Barrel Road Runner, a '70 Challenger Six-Pack, two '69 383 GTS Darts (one a convertible), and two '71 'Cudas (one a convertible, the other a Six-Pack)-these two rank among the truest of Mopar's collectors' elite.
The rule of a good classic automotive aficionado is to keep good company. long-time friend Bob Cabral of Movie Star Musclecars in Montreal, Canada, was the initial scout who sourced out the hardtop 'Cuda. A failed sale put the owner in a tight spot, forcing him to sell the Hemi car as soon as possible. When Bob and Danny saw the car, they were less than elated. The front fenders, hood, and Shaker were removed and hidden indoors in an attempt to thwart potential thieves' interest in the Hemi car, though the massive black billboards on the quarter-panels revealed the car's worth from far away. The only modifications to the car were the installation of headers and chromed valve covers, installed by the first owner before it was sold in 1973 to the then-current owner.
The Pronmans couldn't whisk the car away soon enough, rushing the cash into the owner's hands and wheeling the E-Body onto an auto transport. The body showed zero corrosion, as the interior was nearly unused from the factory. The telltale meter read a measly 10,075 miles on the dial, a sign the engine wasn't worn out from endless mileage. With all the paperwork that came with the purchase of the car, Gary and Danny recognized that their clean Hemi 'Cuda was an ultra-rare, one-of-one Curious Yellow 'Cuda. optioned with an automatic, it was built in the Canadian plant in 1970; only three from that plant came with the black billboards on the quarters displaying the menacing powerplant, and is only one of two surviving with the yellow paint and stripe option.
Realizing the car's pedigree, they opted for the complete rotisserie restoration, usually a long and excruciating process. But the Pronmans had their super-rare 'Cuda back to near-perfect factory condition in a mere four months! Bob Cabral, with the aid of Nick Panartis at Indy Auto, tore the E-Body down to nuts and bolts, treated, painted, coated, and reassembled the car in next to record time. Auto Images tackled returning the 'Cuda to its shockingly bright Curious Yellow paint scheme with the black stripe and argent accents. The only item replaced in the beautiful interior was the carpet; the seats, door panels, center console, and dashpad were spotless and needed nothing more than a quick cleaning and polish.
Due to its value, the car is meticulously kept and stored in a suitable facility when its not on display at one of the hundreds of Mopar gatherings held nationwide.
Some of you out there might be upset this 'Cuda isn't a daily driver or slammed down the 1320 in the low 13s or even into the 12s. That's understandable, but you have to give it to all the hands who pitched in to restore this amazing machine. without guys like them, we wouldn't have great icons of musclecar history around like this '71 Hemi 'Cuda to enjoy and remind us of what these fine machines looked like when they first arrived on the car carriers so many years ago.
Who: Gary and Don Pronman
Where: Coral Springs, Florida
What: '71 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
Color: Curious Yellow
Engine: 426 Hemi, dual AFB Carters
Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite automatic
Rearend: 831/44 Sure Grip
The Breakdown according to the Pronmans:
* 107 American and 11 Canadian Hemi 'Cudas were built in 1971
Gary and Danny Pronman's '71 'Cuda is:
* No. 3 out of the 11 Canadian Hemi 'Cudas
* No. 2 out of 3 with the black billboard decals
* No. 2 out of 3 with the Super Track Pack option
* No. 1 out of 2 painted in Curious Yellow
* The only one out of two Curious Yellow Hemi 'Cudas opted with an automatic