The Plymouth Barracuda first saw the light of day in 1964, and for a decade, the Barracuda was one of the premier muscle cars to come from Motor City. While it had several similarities with its competitors, the Plymouth Barracuda was unique in many ways. From taking on the ‘Cuda nickname to a new placement for an antenna, the Barracuda was one of a kind.
Not many classic cars have the kind of enthusiast support that the Plymouth Barracuda has. Additionally, not many classic muscle cars have the distinction of being one of the most wanted modern reboots. Ever since production ended in 1974, fans of this fantastic Motor City beast have begged for the model to return to showrooms worldwide! We take a look at why the Plymouth Barracuda stood apart from every other muscle car.
8th One of the first
In 1964, the first-generation Plymouth Barracuda introduced a muscle car to the car-hungry public. Releasing in April, the Barracuda beat the Mustang by only a couple of weeks but was distinguished from being first nonetheless.
Though the Barracuda marketed itself as a sporty fastback version of the Valiant, Ford felt the jab, and Mustang pushed their sportier car into production. Although Barracuda marketed towards a wide variety of consumers, the Mustang beat Barracuda in sales numbers for that first year.
7 Don’t Call Me Barracuda!
For the 1969 model year, the aggressive style prompted a name change, and the Hemi ‘Cuda was born. The common mistake is thinking that the Hemi ‘Cuda was just a nickname for the upgraded muscle car, when in fact the Barracuda and ‘Cuda were distinct.
The Hemi ‘Cuda featured an upgraded V8 engine, capable of 330HP. By 1970, the Barracuda had undergone a total overhaul in design, removing it from its economic predecessors, and the Hemi ‘Cuda remained top of the line muscle madness!
6 Setting Records
Awesome collector cars from the golden age of motor city fetch quite the price at auction. Several pristine editions of classic cars have sold for millions of dollars through Mecum. A super-rare ‘Cuda convertible came up for auction in 2014, looking to set a record.
Fueled by the fact that this ‘Cuda was one of only two made, featuring a four-speed transmission, the final price was a staggering $3.5million. This extreme price set a record for not only Barracudas but for Motor City cars as a whole!
5 Really Breaking My Hart
In September 2019, actor and comedian Kevin Hart was involved in a dangerous accident. The car that was driven the night of the accident was Hart’s custom 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda.
This custom Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda was decked out with a 6.4L supercharged Hemi V8 engine and pushed over 700HP. All that power is brutal to tame, and unfortunately, without proper handling, she was involved in the accident. Luckily Kevin Hart and the other passengers recovered; as for the ‘Cuda, we can hope she made a full recovery, too!
4 Every color imaginable
Henry Ford once said you could get the Model-T in any color as long as it’s black. Plymouth took that as an insult and released the Plymouth Barracuda with 25 color options!
Of course, the most striking high-impact colors cost more. Regardless, shades such as “Tor Red,” “In-Violet,” and “Moulin Rouge” kept consumers happy, and the number of color options ensures some cars hold their fantastic rarity!
3 Rear mounted antennas
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw car technology skyrocketing. A fabulous new invention was the fiberglass used in the hoods of the Plymouth Barracuda. These hoods blocked out the signal to the antenna, leaving the driver with no tunes!
While many car manufacturers had the antenna installed in the front, the Plymouth Barracuda was unique in placing the antenna in the rear so the driver could still rock out while cruising down the highway!
2 Frame of Reference
Originally the Plymouth Barracuda was based on the Chrysler A-Body frame. Still, with the redesign in 1970, the Barracuda shredded the A-body in favor of the new, more aggressive E-Body frame.
The new design of the E-Body frame was a modification of the B-Body. The more expansive engine bay allowed the introduction of the larger 7.0L V8 Hemi that the A-Body was too small to handle. The Dodge Challenger also used this frame, but being 5-inches longer than the Barracuda, the similarities ended at the frame.
1 Only one mistake
With features like a beast Hemi engine and color choices galore, it is tough to find a mistake on the Plymouth Barracuda. In fact, one is hard-pressed to find any at all. However, for one model year, a big mistake was made.
For the 1971 model year, the fender vents on the Plymouth ‘Cuda are non-functioning. For the 1972 model year, functioning fender vents reappeared, silencing doubters. This nasty styling trick is the bane of enthusiasts around the world, and apparently, Plymouth took it seriously, too.