1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Convertible
Offered by Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 15-22, 2012
If this car looks familiar to you, then I am glad to say we share similar taste in 1990s primetime television cop shows. This was one of five ‘Cudas prepared for the CBS series Nash Bridges starring Don Johnson. Of the five built, it was the one personally retained by Johnson after production wrapped in 2001. He sold the car at Barrett-Jackson in 2003, where it was purchased by the current owner.
In the show, the car was supposed to be a 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible – of which only 11 were built. There was a time in the past five years where a Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible would cost you a cool $2 million. I’m not sure that price would stand today.
But that’s another story. This car is actually equipped with a 340 V8 (5.6 liter) and it’s a 1970. It was one of 64 convertibles built for the Canadian market in 1970. It’s also an automatic – Don Johnson couldn’t be expected to drive, carry on a scripted conversation, take direction from a camera car, and shift, could he? In fact, Johnson did much of his own driving on the series, particularly when doing a dialogue scene and driving through San Francisco (and never hitting a red light!). Apparently, this took a lot of skill – keeping appropriate pace with the camera car and being able to be heard over wind and engine noise. Yes, I’ve watched DVD commentaries of Nash Bridges.
I remember this car selling in 2003 for almost $150,000. Part of me just can’t imagine it bringing that much now. You could probably get a real Hemi coupe for close to that price. The muscle car bubble did burst, despite what certain places will tell you. This is not a $150,000 car. Don’t get me wrong, I want it – bad. But I’m a gigantic fan of the show and Nash Bridges’ ‘Cuda is a car I’ve loved from first sight. You’d really have to love the show to pay more than double what this car is worth, were it any other 340 ‘Cuda Convertible.
Update: Sold $88,000.