Inflation is crazy!
Fort Wayne's own Gary Dodane made a life-changing investment back in 1983 when he bought a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda for a mere $500. Now, after four decades of ownership, Dodane has listed his prized possession for a jaw-dropping $2.2 million. But what makes this muscle car worth such a hefty price tag? Well, it happens to be the very first completed Hemi Cuda to ever roll off the production line.
The history of the Barracuda dates back to 1964, but it wasn't until 1970 that the car truly earned its legendary status as a muscle car icon. The third-generation Cuda, with its new E-Body and powerful 7.0-liter Hemi V-8 engine, took the automotive world by storm. Among the early production runs, Dodane's Hemi Cuda, with the vehicle identification number BS23ROB100003, was the third one built, with the previous two being scrapped during production. Only 652 Hemi Cudas were produced in the first year, and just 284, including Dodane's car, came with a four-speed manual transmission.
This Alpine White-over-black beauty has been kept in remarkable condition, as evident from the photos posted on firsthemicudaever.com. The car has only 17,729 miles on the odometer, with much of it accrued before Dodane's acquisition. Chrysler, the parent company of Plymouth, officially recognizes this particular Barracuda as the first-ever sold with a Hemi V-8 engine. It has spent considerable time on display at the prestigious National Automotive & Truck Museum during Dodane's ownership.
Despite his initial skepticism about the purchase, Dodane can now proudly say that his $500 investment was a stroke of genius. When asked about the purchase, he jokingly recalled, "I thought [at the time], 'this is a lot of money for a used car,' then again I didn't know what I was buying."
This isn't the first time Dodane has attempted to sell his Hemi Cuda, though. In the past, he tried auctioning it for a staggering $3.2 million, but bids stalled at $2 million. Undeterred, he has now listed it with a more reasonable $2.2 million price tag through Motor Vault. While it hasn't found a buyer yet, there's little doubt that Dodane will ultimately fetch a substantial return on his investment, regardless of the final selling price. The allure of owning the very first Plymouth Hemi Barracuda is irresistible to collectors and muscle car enthusiasts alike.