Long-hidden Rapid Transit System ’Cuda unearthed after nearly 50 years
Plymouth hit the road in 1970 with its “Rapid Transit System” and put on clinics with drag racers across the country, highlighting the performance potential of its various V-8 engines. However, there were more than just elapsed times to brag about, as a quartet of customized muscle cars was also a part of the reverie. Three of those special cars wound up in Steven Juliano’s collection and went up for sale four years ago. The final custom, designed by Harry Bentley Bradley and built by Chuck Miller at Styline Customs, is this 1970 ’Cuda that’s bound for Mecum’s Indy 2023 sale.
It features a custom steel grille and lower fascia, along with a gorgeous custom paint job sporting a luscious fade. Originally finished in red, the car was painted green, blue, and white for the 1970 Rapid Transit System program and received the paint you see here in 1971. In our opinion, the second custom color scheme is superior. While the style is similar, the lines are more complex and the addition of the front-to-rear fade makes it absolutely striking. It’s audacious and loud, but given that it started life as a 1970 440-cubic inch ’Cuda with a shaker hood, subtlety was never really an option.
After retiring from Rapid Transit Service, this car was purchased and hardly driven, as evidenced by the 976 miles currently on the odometer. The brawny 440 and custom paint and bodywork drew too much attention, and the car was garaged in 1976, where it would remain, nearly unseen until early last year.
Ryan Brutt, the Auto Archeologist, has a video with Chuck Miller that goes into some of the history of the car.
Despite spending almost 50 years in storage, the lacquer paint survived amazingly well, with only a few chips and scratches (and some cat paw prints). Inside, the upholstery and carpet appear to be in great shape.
Like the three other custom Rapid Transit cars, this one’s sure to bring a premium when it crosses the auction block this May. Juliano had tried to purchase this car and knew the owner, but never actually got to see the car in person. Perhaps now that it’s out of hiding and back in the limelight it can once again join its fellow Rapid Transit System partners.