On March 9th 2007, Toronto, Ontario played host to the Performance World 2007 annual indoor car show. This is a mixed bag of some of the coolest cars in Ontario and surrounding area. One of the largest multi car shows of its kind. It's a welcomed start to another exciting car show season! This year we were in for a real surprise!

On Thursday and Friday I began receiving phone calls and emails from my friends and Cudaworld visitors telling me about the 12th export Hemi Cuda being unveiled at this year’s event. Confused, excited and intrigued I decided to do a little digging on this car. Local car restorer and friend Alan Gallant took some pictures of the car and posted them on Moparts.org for all to view.

A Cuda in this color combination, looks stunning. Apparently, some would argue about errors made during the restoration which prompted many to take a closer look. Regardless of the speculated flaws made, the car presents very well and hosted crowds all weekend. What caught my eye was the sign hanging in front of the car, claiming this was 1 of 3 export cars sent to France in the early 70's and 1 of 12 71 Hemi Cuda Convertibles ever produced. How can someone make a claim like this? We all know how rare these cars are... Where has it been all these years?

A couple of years ago, I heard from a source that this very same car was secretly shipped to Montreal for restoration by the current owner to ensure it was properly restored back to its original configuration. The story went cold and I like many were left in the dark as the Cuda underwent its restoration. Now, fast forward to present day and literally 45mins down the road sits the alleged 12th wonder of the world, a 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible!

With out getting into too much history about these cars, it's easiest to tell you that this is the mother of all Cuda's. 426 Hemi, convertible, 4speed, shaker, need I say more? Up until this article it was believed there were 11 of these cars produced by Chrysler. 7 of them were built and remained in the US, 2 were sent to Canada and now live in the US and according to "the know it alls" in the business, only 2 of them were exported to Simca-Chrysler in France. According to the owners records there was in fact 3 cars sent to France in 1971. 1 Winchester Grey (GA4) and 2 White (GW3) Cuda's.

I must admit, the thought of this 1971 Hemi Cuda coming out of hiding after all of these years was truly amazing and I just had to learn more about its history, secrecy and life in Europe. What condition was it in? Who owned it? Why was it hidden for all these years? Who owns it now? What the heck is it doing in my hometown of Toronto?

He claims the 71 Cuda was laid to rest at a Scrap yard in France. The name of the Scrap yard was M. Desbrosses in Vitry Aux Loges, France. The image shown here was included in his email sent on March 8th 2007. In a surprising twist he claims some of the items belonging to the car were not lost in the fire. According to this article he is the current owner of the original transmission, clutch, bell housing, pistol grip, linkages and a portion of the floor pan from the 12th Hemi Cuda.

The husband and wife who owned the car in France apparently wanted to convert this special Cuda into an automatic because the lady had a difficult time engaging the clutch. Coincidently, a French race car driver wanted to convert his 71 Hemi Cuda hardtop into a 4 speed. Miraculously, the 2 owners were united and the transplant was performed. Wouldn't you have killed to be there that day to witness this???? Anyhow, items listed above were swapped out and the Misses was once again tooting down the road in her newly converted 1 of 12 Hemi Cuda Convertibles.

The racer wasn't so lucky, he was racing his Hemi Cuda at the Bugatti Le Mans Circuit and during a downshift from 4th to 3rd he blew the Hemi engine. The racer sold the car to Francis Groux who still owns the blown up 71 Hemi Cuda Hard top and you guessed it, the complete 4 speed setup for the 71 Hemi Cuda on display in Toronto. This sounds like an awesome story to follow up on and I would love to learn more about the hardtop, but let's stick with the drop top for now!

The phones have been ringing off the hook and stories of the car and what might have happened were getting out of control! I know I needed to speak with the owners to hear what they had to say!

While waiting for Saturday morning to arrive when I would be face to face with allegedly one of the rarest Cuda's in the world, I was sent a PDF document from a reliable source that was written by a gentlemen who's name is Mr. Francis Groux. This is where the story gets interesting...

Summary of the Article
The author of this letter is Mr. Francis Groux from France. He began his article by stating this car would be making its debut showing in the USA on March 10th 2007. Obviously he was mislead or did not understand that the car would in fact be debuted in Toronto (Canada).

He explains some history on the special 3 Cuda's that were sent to France in 1971 and explains the current status on the Winchester Grey 4 speed and the recently famous White 71 Automatic Hemi Cuda. His article continues to say that the 3rd Cuda (the one supposedly on display in Toronto) VIN number BS27R1B296563 was "entirely destroyed in a fire, over 25 years ago". Not surprised I continued to read the article...

So, we now have the 4 speed setup and French Registration for the car that was not torched in the fire. According to Mr. Groux the original owner of the Hemi Cuda Convertible sold the Old French Registration to Mr. Lahrer Loic & Mr. Saintin Phillpe. According to Mr. Groux the only original part that these two gentlemen own of the dead 71 Hemi Cuda is the French Registration.

This image is a picture of the original transmission and bell housing still in Mr. Groux's possession. Interesting that Mr. Groux included a picture of the transmission with a large calendar showing Marz 2007 (March) to confirm his possession of the tranny.

As you will witness, included in this article is a clipping of an original classified ad of a 1971 383 Barracuda convertible with 47,570 original kilometers. Incredible evidence all contained in one



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