The adage often is that a car is only original once, and many understand that provenance is a crucial part of buying investment-grade muscle cars. A vehicle of this nature is expected to exhibit signs of preservation, and a great deal of attention is paid to the originality and date coding of all the components. For those looking for what has become an icon of the American performance era, the 1971 Hemi Cuda, not only is the provenance of this particular car noteworthy, but so is its ownership trail.
It was 1975, and Frank Badalson was not yet recognized as one of the premier Hemi originality experts in the Mopar hobby. He was a college student, and he was buying Terry Dye’s all-original 1971 Hemi Cuda as daily transportation and for an occasional pass at the local dragstrip. Even at that time, Badalson understood just how unique any Hemi car was, and the gas crunch of the mid-‘70s made ownership possible for a number of people like Frank who had missed them when new.
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