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.


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Read next Up next: Auction Pick of the Week: 1973 Plymouth Scamp


    Yuck. Why would you want this?! What a frickin abortion. A really messy one. Shows how you can make a Chrysler even uglier

    This was “all the rage” back in the day Steve. I’m certain there will be a small minority who think an XKE looks like a “fricken abortion,” however, for the rest, we will drool all over it. RIP

    I thought we are all “car guys’ here… What’s with the ’00’s style message board comment? Just because YOU may not like it doesn’t mean you HAVE to share that sentiment. Just enjoy all cars while we still have them and before the government eventually outlaws them all, like in the Rush song “Red Barchetta”.

    This car was at Skips Gas Statoion in East Detriot for AMT models in 1972 at Beachwood and Stephens.

    Hello Robert,

    My name is Joe. I lived in the area back then. I went to St Clement’s Catholic High School. I google mapped the site and there is no gas station on that site now but hey that’s progress. I’m guessing Skips was on the south east corner that is now some sort of learning center. I’m coming up from Florida for the Dream Cruise and will make an effort to get over to that site. As a kid back in the day I loved the Plymouth Rapid Transit System and when I bought my Challenger R/T I became a member of the Dodge Scat Pack! Thanks for the memory!

    Remember these cars came out in the era of bell bottom jeans, big hair, giant sunglasses, platform shoes and Paisley shirts. It was considered over the top hot at the time and I think it has aged well. You want to see some ugly cars try and find a pimpmobile from the Disco era.

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