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Hagerty Employee

Rare unrestored ’Cuda convertible wears its age proudly

When it comes to muscle cars—Mopar muscle cars in particular—engine and color options can make all the difference in the world. Of course, the condition is still paramount, and this 1971 ’Cuda convertible, available at Mecum’s Indy 2020 auction in July, offers a unique look, thanks to its unrestored bodywork.


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Intermediate Driver

I recently sold my unrestored, original paint, numbers-matching 1971 Dodge Superbee with factory N96 Ramcharger hood and hideaway headlights (both in working condition) to a classic dealer out of Denver.  No engine rebuild, every panel dented or with rust, and it still wore it's original front chin spoiler.  I never should have sold the car, but I knew I wouldn't have the time in the near future to give it what it needed.  It ran and drove down the highway at 80 mph just fine, although the 727 was starting to slip pretty bad.  That was only about 6 months ago, and then I see the car in the next issue of AutaBuy marked up $10k with no notable changes to the car.  Oh well.

New Driver

Is it just me, or do the billboards look like they were recently applied over top of the original finish?  

Pit Crew

Yes it does Jeff, especially if you zoom into the 440 cut outs that show the paint underneath...

New Driver

Exactly.  I don’t understand why anyone would do that, because it messed up the originality of the paint, and ought to have a negative impact on the value at auction.  


It's not just you.  And the engine has been repainted.  More like selective patina retention/enhancement by the looks of if.  Toss in the Accel coil and hood that's vastly better than the front fender tops around it, and it's not a very congruent car.  Wonder if it smells like mouse pee inside?


Induction "roar" not road...


Induction "roar" not "road"... (second try)

Community Manager

Fixing this now, thank you!
Advanced Driver

I always laugh when I see the comment that paint and bodywork are only original once. Unless this car was on the showroom floor with faded, rusted paint and dented body work the body is not in original condition.


So who added the Shaker hood and when? That wasn't original, so....

Intermediate Driver

Yea, I don't get it either. I'm not going to pay super ridicules premium for a car that I'm probably going to have to paint and restore down the road a bit or else it will self destruct and I'm left with a pile of tin worm food. And your stating that it's not all original anyway. But there always seems to be a fool with money...

Advanced Driver

There was Led Zep II, but either would have required an 8-track for real appreciation.  Radio cuts were not enough.

Intermediate Driver

Where's Joe Dirt?


The body and paint are original. The condition is not.


SO funny!!! Convenient marketing technique that sells well!! P.T. Barnum opined something applicable here.... How about this famous quote "I'll paint ANY car for only $39.95" billboards, chrome and glass included...

Intermediate Driver

So the UV-sensitive flat black billboards, scoop, and wing are in great condition. Yet most of the original paint has been burned away by the sun. Then strategically touched up with rattle-can Allis-Chalmers orange. 

It just doesn't add up ... patina my A$$.