Plymouth Barracuda

The Plymouth Barracuda was a car, the Chrysler manufactured under the brand name Plymouth in the model years 1964 to 1974.


Plymouth Barracuda Formula S ( 1965)

All automobile manufacturers in the United States brought in early to mid -1960s, sports compact car on the market. Chrysler chose as the basis for the model Plymouth Valiant. The Ford Mustang is finally much better sold than the Barracuda, provided the name of this vehicle class as the "Pony Car", but the Plymouth Barracuda Fastback was released two weeks earlier, on April 1, 1964. 's Management Plymouth wanted the car actually call " Panda ", which the designer, however, did not like. Finally, John Samsen prevailed with his proposal " Barracuda ".

The Barracuda had the Valiant the wheelbase 2,692 mm, the bonnet, the frames of the headlights, the windshield, the front triangle windows, fenders and bumpers; all other sheet metal parts and windows were new. This approach reduced the cost of development, tools, and the development time for the new model. The fastback shape was designed with a large 1.3 m² panoramic rear window, which was pulled around to the B-pillar. This, the largest up to that used in the series production passenger car window was manufactured by Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG ). In model year 1965, the fenders and taillights of the 1964 Barracuda for the Valiant were taken (except for the wagon, which got its own taillights ).

The mechanics corresponded to the Valiant, including two versions of the legendary Chrysler Slant - 6 engine, a 2.8 liter with 75 kW in the basic equipment and an optionally available 3.7-liter with 108 kW. A completely new 4.5-liter Chrysler LA V8 with 134 kW and a twin carburettor was the largest machine for 1964; the achievement was initially quite low. The basic price for the Barracuda was 2,512, - U.S. $. 1964 was not only the first year for the Barracuda, but also the last year in which it was offered, the push-button Torqueflite automatic; Thus, the 1964 Barracuda was the only one with this equipment.

In model year 1965, the 3.7-liter engine was the base engine for the United States; Canada remained the the 2.8- liter. As the competition in the " pony car " accelerated segment, there were new optional extras: A Commando version of the 4.5 - liter engine with four -barrel carburetor, a compression ratio of 10.5:1, a sharper camshaft, and other improvements have been introduced developed 175 kW. In addition, there was the Formula S package that enhanced suspension, larger wheels and tires, special emblems and a tachometer contained the Commando V8. Disc brakes and air conditioning from the factory were introduced after the start of the model year.

1966 Barracuda got the new taillights, a new front and a new dashboard. The latter had room for oil pressure gauge and tachometer. The vehicle front with the exception of the grille of the 1966 Barracuda shared with the Valiant of the same year, which the front fenders gave a more angular shape. The deluxe models had additionally on the fenders mounted turn signals in the form of fins. The bumpers were made ​​larger, and the grille had a solid lattice. It was the first to request a center console.

Although the first Barracudas looked very similar to the contemporary Valiant, she wanted to know Plymouth understood as a separate series. So they gave the " Valiant " logo, which still appeared on the trunk lid of the 1964 models, 1965. In 1966, the cars were equipped with a Barracuda - specific stylized fish logo, only in export markets such as Canada and South Africa, where Valiant was marketed as its own car brand, was the name Valiant Barracuda until the A- Baracuda was discontinued in 1969.

The Barracuda also influenced the design of other Chrysler vehicles. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Chrysler company in Great Britain, the former Rootes Group, 1967, based on the Hillman Hunter Sunbeam Rapier fastback coupe, the striking parallels to the Barracuda model years 1964-1966 developed showed, although the responsible for the styling design Director of Rootes, Roy Axe, any direct connection denied.


Plymouth Barracuda Convertible ( 1967)

The second generation of the Barracuda still had the A- chassis with 2,692 mm Wheelbase and many components of the Valiant, but had been completely overhauled and provided with Barracuda typical styling. Even its own model range including convertibles and hardtop models were offered with a hatchback and notchback. The phased introduction of U.S. safety standards for passenger cars in this period provides the opportunity to distinguish between the different model years of the second Barracuda - generation: The 1967 models do not have any side lights or reflectors on the fenders, the 1968 models have round side lights without reflectors and the 1969 models rectangular side reflectors without lights.

Since the " pony car " class was established and the competition increased, Plymouth redesigned the engine range. The " 225 slant -6 " engine ( 3.7 liters ) was still the base engine, the possibilities of the V8 ranged from 4.5 liters in 1967 with double -or four -barrel carburetor until ordered rare 6.3 liter Chrysler B- Big block. 1968, the 4.5 liter was replaced as the smallest V8 from a 5.2-liter engine and LA introduced the new four -barrel carburetor -LA engine with 5.6 liters. 1969 was Chrysler's biggest V8, the RB engine with 7.2 liters of displacement, available. There were even 50 Super Stock Barracudas not street legal with the Chrysler Hemi engine, which were built along with 50 Dodge Darts with the same equipment in 1968 for drag racing. For South Africa, we were offered a high-performance version with 140 kW of the 3.7-liter " slant -6" engine - "Charger Power" called - to which, and a compression ratio of 9,3:1, a dual carburetors, a sharper camshaft a had exhaust system with less resistance. A handful of Savage GT cars were also built.

1969 Plymouth put more emphasis on the availability and marketing. The 6.3-liter engine delivered 243 kW and now features a new package called Cuda was introduced. The Cuda was based on the Formula S package and was available with 5.6 liters or 6.3 liters.


Plymouth Barracuda (1972 )

1970, the Barracuda lost any commonality with the Valiant. The all-new 1970 model was on a shorter and wider version of the Chrysler B- chassis which was called E- chassis. The hatchback model disappeared from the model range, which now consisted only of notchback and convertible models. There was also a sister model of Dodge, which was called the Challenger; However, the two vehicles had no common sheet metal parts and the Challenger had a slightly longer wheelbase. Both cars looked very aggressive and the high-performance models were sold back to Cuda. The engine bay of the E- chassis was larger than that of the previous A- chassis, so now the 7.0 liter Chrysler Hemi engine could be offered regularly.

There were two six-cylinder engines - a new 3.2 liter of the " slant -6" and 225 mm ( 3.7 liters ) - as well as six different V8s: 5.2 liters, 5.6 liters, 6.3 liters, 7.2 liters ( with four -barrel carburetor ), 7.2 liter ( with three double carburetors "Six Pack" ) and with 7.0 -liter displacement (the latter was the Chrysler Hemi engine ). The vehicles with 7.0 - and 7.2 -liter engines had to get better suspension and reinforced landing gear, the engine power to the road. The Barracudas were with labeling sets, modified bonnets and some unusual " high impact " colors such as vitamin C, In - Violet and Moulin Rouge.

The racing driver Swede Savage and Dan Gurney drove identical factory Cudas ( All American Racers ) in the 1970 Trans-Am Series with the best views (3 pole positions ) and little success (no first place). The AAR Cudas were equipped with 5.6-liter eight-cylinder engines with three double carburetors.

With the 440-6 (7.2 liter displacement, six -barrel carburetor ) and the 426 Hemi (7.0 liters ), the performance of factory -produced Barracudas became legendary. The times for the quarter mile were 13.7 seconds, and 103 mph (165 km / h) and 13.4 seconds to 108 mph (173 km / h). However, this power had its price: The test reports from that time criticized the narrow, uncomfortable interior of the vehicles and their extremely small trunks. Also, bad handling and poor braking performance was accused them, especially if they were equipped with the larger, heavier engines.

1971, the Barracuda was slightly reworked and received a new grille and taillights others. 1971 was the only model year in which he had four headlights, and also the only year with fender " Gills ". The motor position remained the same as last year, only the 7.2 -liter engine with four -barrel carburetor was no longer available. Also, the model with the 426 Hemi engine (7.0 liter) remained, and the corresponding Cabriolet from 1971 is now considered the rarest and most sought- Barracuda. Only 12 units were produced, of which seven remained in the United States. The six surviving until today were for each 2.000.000, - U.S. $ sold.

In the model years 1970 and 1971 there were two notable extras: the Shaker Hood ( one directly connected to the engine air scoop that protrudes through the hood and the engine " shakes ") and the Dana 60 rear axle of Spicer. The Shaker Hood there was for engines with 5.6 liters, 6.3 liters, 7.2 liters ( four -barrel carburetor ) and 7.2 liters ( six -barrel carburetor ), and for the 7.0 -liter Hemi engine. The massive ( and heavy ) Dana 60 with 9 ¾ " differential was available as standard equipment along with the manual gearbox and the 7.2 -liter engine with a six -barrel carburetor or the Hemi engine. For vehicles with automatic transmission it was available as an option. All engines were slightly lowered in the compaction to take account of the new petrol with less lead additive.

After a further revision of the grille and taillights 1972 Barracuda remained until the end of production in 1974 unchanged with only two headlights and four taillights. But - as with all other vehicles this time - took the power of the Barracudas in those years off rapidly to meet the new safety and emissions regulations. The compression of the engines was reduced year by year, which also reduced their power output. At the same time the bumpers grew in size and weight and 1973 had to be installed severe side impact protection bars in the doors. In 1974 there were only the engines with 5.2 liters and 5.9 liters. Higher fuel prices and surcharges on insurance premiums for high -performance cars were losing interest in these cars, many buyers; after 1970 sales fell rapidly and on 1 April 1974, exactly 10 years after the production of the Barracuda had started, the model was discontinued.

Present Status

The Barracuda is today one of the most valuable muscle cars, the rarity of certain models and equipment combinations is mainly due to the lack of interest of the former purchaser.

2007 popular magazine Motor Trend, Chrysler wanted the Barracuda 2009 reprint together with the again resurrected Dodge Challenger to compete against the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. But as the Plymouth brand in 2001 disappeared from the market, the new Barracuda should appear as Chrysler. A member of the Chrysler management had but called unlikely.