The Plymouth Barracuda hit the market about two weeks before the Ford Mustang in 1964. While some argue that the Barracuda is the first pony car, there’s a reason Ford Mustangs aren’t called fish cars. Maybe it was the fact the one millionth Mustang was built within 18 months of its introduction, whereas it took almost three years for Plymouth to build just 100,000 Barracudas. Maybe. In any case, by the time that 100,000th Barracuda rolled out of the factory, America was on the verge of the muscle cars craze. Automakers scrambled to pump more horsepower out of their cars and the Barracuda became Plymouth’s playing card. Just so nobody is confused, what we’re highlighting here is a 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda (barely) found on Craigslist near Boston. “So don’t call it a Barracuda!” all the Mopar kids yell.
The ‘Cuda was introduced for the 1970 model year as the performance version of the Barracuda, a year after a ‘Cuda option first appeared. On the price sheet, it sat above the base model, as well as the more luxurious Barracuda Gran Coupe. The car underwent a dramatic redesign for 1970, shedding every ounce of commuter car image that many consumers pointed fingers at. With the introduction of the ‘Cuda, one thing was clear, Plymouth meant business.
The engine options for the Plymouth Cuda included the base 383ci 335 hp V8 or a no cost option in a 375 hp 340ci V8. The 440 ci four-barrel Super Commando, the 440ci Super Commando Six Pak, and the 426ci Hemi were also available. This example, though it has no engine or transmission, was originally a 340 4 barrel car, according to the seller. ERRRRR, pump the brakes. The original buyer literally optioned for a lower horsepower engine than the base came with. Ouch. Walter Chrysler would be rolling in his grave.
At this point though, seeing as this thing gutted, does it even matter? Is it a candidate for a replica AAR car? It does needs more than everything, which brings me to my next question. When did scrap metal get so expensive? OK, OK. It probably can and hopefully will be saved by some diehard. But this isn’t even a barn find, it was a side of barn find! Doesn’t that count for something in today’s collector car market?
I do hope this Plymouth Cuda gets a second life, especially if it’s reborn as a Hemi, but I’m seeing parts car written all over it. Prove me wrong? Be sure to send a video of yourself doing burnouts when you get it done in six years.