The Barracuda: Origins of a Classic

The Barracuda: Origins of a Classic

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The Plymouth Barracuda stood out as a serious muscle car

The 60’s produced serious muscle cars, but the Plymouth Barracuda stood out. The wrap around back glass was unique, the largest back glass of any general production automobile at that time. The glass was tinted to avoid overheating passengers but it gave a great panoramic view of the road as your Plymouth engine purred with 101 bhp. The optional LA V8 engine was 273 cu. in., had just been introduced from Chrysler in 1964, and could give the Barracuda a solid 180 horsepower.

 

Origins and evolution.
The Barracuda borrowed from the Plymouth Valiant but there were improvements. The back seats folded down which was unusual at the time and the wicked looking backlight was very noticeable as you cruised, making the car standout in the crowd. The ’64 model was the only to include the push button transmission but my favorite change to later models had nothing to do with the engine. That back window looked cool but made the interior sweltering so the Barracuda from 1965 onward had factory installed air conditioning in the “Formula S” line.

The 70’s remodel.
The Plymouth engine was respectably powerful for its time with great handling, which contributed to it’s cult of loyal enthusiasts. The third generation Barracuda from 1970-74 had a more sporty body and engine. The frame was wider and short and housed a new 198 cu in (3.2 L) version of the slant-6 or the 225. The ‘Cuda, a genuine sport model, had the 383ci 335 hp (250 kW).

 

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