The Plymouth Barracuda

64cudaad.jpgChrysler invented the Plymouth brand in 1964. The legendary Barracuda was then built for 10 years from 1964 to 1974.
At that time it was trendy to bring  fastback variants of the models on the market. The Barracuda was clearly a reaction to the Ford Mustang.

What most fans do not know, is the first proposed name for the Plymouth Barracuda. The Plymouth management initially thought about to name it Panda, an idea that was unpopular with the car's designers. However, this was quickly rejected and Samsen's suggestion of Barracuda was selected.

Particularly noteworthy were the courage to form and class in the 60s. This and the excellent engines choices make the Plymouth Barracuda one of the most popular muscle cars of all times. Today, fortunately, fans around the world enjoy this vehicle. This does not mean that the car is nothing special. On the contrary, the Barracuda is one of the most rare muscle cars this days.
Particularly well-preserved models are hard to come by. Prices for restored models start at $ 60,000 and up.

The Plymouth Barracuda was based on the Chrysler Valiant. The Valiant heritage is shown in the famous triangular windows, and headlights and windshield frame. All other parts were redesigned. Among them, the 14.4 ft² rear window the largest ever installed on a standard production car up to that time.

The first version of the Plymouth Barracuda was offered with a 170 cu engine and 101 horsepower. The most powerful engine for the first generation was Chrysler's 273 cu engine an brought whopping 235 hp on the road. This first version was built from 1964 to 66. The 225 cu engine was the standard version of the Plymouth Barracuda. Due to emerging competition in the muscle car market the developers had to reload quickly and drafted the so-called Commando version. This Barracuda was offered with a new four-barrel carburetor, new compressor and a 273 cu engine.

Further improvement was possible by the Formula S package. It included the Commando V8 engine, suspension upgrades, larger wheels and tires, special emblems and a tachometer.. Disc brakes and factory-installed air conditioning became available after the start of the 1965 model year with Commando, or Formula S package.

From 1967 to 69, a new edition was built with the same chassis but better features. Also added to the model range, the hardtop and convertible models. 1967 still lacked the characteristic side lights. These were then installed in 1969. The 273 cu engine was replaced by a standard 318 cu LA engine. Later, a variant came with standard four-barrel carburetor and 3,403 cu engine. In 1970 any similarities to the Chrysler Valiant were cleared away.

The 70' model of the Barracudas got a wider and shorter chassis. The model range was reduced to Limousine and Convertible. New high-performance models have been marketed as Cuda and Hemi. The Plymouth Barracuda is one of the rarest and most sought after muscle cars. What is your favorite Barracuda year?

19th Apr 2011

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