The Plymouth Barracuda was produced for 10 years starting in 1964 until the last unit rolled of the assembly line in 1974. Over that 10 year period of time, the Barracuda went through many body changes, as well as under-the-hood.
1964 – 1966 Plymouth Barracuda
In 1964, Plymouth released the Barracuda. Based on the Valiant, and the Barracuda was actually just a Valiant option package. Plymouth released the Barracuda on April 1, 1964, two weeks before Ford released its Mustang.
Like the Valiant, the Barracuda was an A-Body. The base engine on the Barracuda was the 225 ci slant 6, which put out 145 horsepower. Special order upgrades were available for a 180 hp 273 ci V8. Most customers ordered the upgraded V8. Even though the Barracuda was an inexpensive car and received strong reviews, the competing Ford Mustang outsold the Barracuda 8:1.
1967 – 1969 Plymouth Barracuda
In 1967, Plymouth completely redesigned the Barracuda. The Barracuda no longed shared any body panels with the Valiant. There were two new body styles available, convertible and coupe, which added to the fastback body style. With the updated redesign, the engine bay was redesigned to accept a greater variety of engines. Along with the 225 ci, and the 273 ci, the Barracuda was now available with the 383 ci.
In 1968, the engine line-up changed again. The base 273 ci was replaced by the 318. The 383 ci received a boost in horsepower, mostly because of better heads. The new engine for this year was the 340 ci. Chrysler rated the 340 ci at 270 horsepower, but NHRA rated it at 290 horsepower!
In 1969, Plymouth finially released the ‘Cuda model, which was just a high preformance version of the Barracuda. The 340 was left almost unchanged, but the 383’s horsepower was increased to 330 hp.
Then around April of 1969, Plymouth added the 440 ci to the engine line-up. Even though the 440 ci was rough handling, it could race from 0 – 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, and race a quarter mile in 14.10 seconds at 104 miles per hour. Finally with the release of the 340 Formula S, Chrysler offered even more horsepower than the standard 340 engine with the handling of the standard 340.
1970 – 1974 Plymouth Barracuda
In 1970, the Barracuda received a major redesign. The newly redesigned Barracuda was based on the E-Body platform, which was shared with the Dodge Challenger. One of their main goals for the E-Body was to be able to throw any engine they wanted in these cars, from a small slant six, to a larger 426 Hemi. To achieve this they used the cowl from the bigger B-Bodies, such as the Road Runner, and worked it into the design of the car.
There were nine different engines availalbe for the new Barracuda, including the 340 ci 6 barrel, which the AAR carried. In total there were:
- 225 ci – Slant 6
- 318 ci – V8 – Small Block
- 340 ci – 4 Barrel – V8 – Small Block
- 340 ci – 6 Barrel – V8 – Small Block – AAR
- 383 ci – 2 Barrel – V8 – Big Block
- 383 ci – 4 Barrel – V8 – Big Block
- 440 ci – 4 Barrel – V8 – Big Block
- 440 ci – 6 Barrel – V8 – Big Block
- 426 Hemi ci – 8 Barrel – V8 – Big Block
There were four different types of hoods that were put on Barracudas. The regular flat hood was standard. Another model had a non-functional hood scoop on the hood. Other models had the shaker hood, which had a flat hood with a whole cut in the middle where there was a hood scoop extending out from the engine and took in fresh air. Last but not least was the AAR hood. You can read more about the hood that was on the AAR on the AAR ‘Cuda page.
In 1970 they produced what they called the AAR ‘Cuda. AAR stands forAll American Racers. The AAR ‘Cuda was offered as a SCCA road racer which was to compete with the Ford Mustang.