The Barracuda was introduced in 1964 as the very first pony car, which was a term used for cheap but sport cars with youth appeal. It beat the Ford Mustang to the market by just a couple of weeks. The first Barracudas came with a base I6 engine, but a V8 was available. These first generaion Barracuda cars are best known for their fastback and rear window styling, which was really like nothing seen at that time.
The second generation Barracudas sold from 1967 to 1969 was were the Barracuda really came into its own. The slant six was once again a base model engine, but the options got much bigger. A massive 7.2 liter V8 was sold as an option of these Barracudas. The rarest of these cars is the Super-Stock Hemi Barracuda that was not street legal and was made by the factory for drag racing.
The final generation Barracuda, sold from 1970 to 1974, saw the introduction of the Cuda performance car. It was an E body car with a performance V8 engine. Actually, there were a total of 5 different V8's that were options on the Cuda. They were the 340, 383, 440, 440+6, and the king of them all, the 426 HEMI.
Although the Cuda was nearly a twin with the Dodge Challenger, they were different enough that none of the sheet metal was interchangeable.
The track times for the Cudas were just about the fastest of any production car in the world in its day. These were performance monsters.
The Barracudas and Cudas have both become highly collectible and are seen by many as the cream of the muscle car crop. The 1970 and 1971 Plymouth Cuda convertibles are among the most valuable muscle cars in the world. If you are looking for a good price on a Cuda or Barracuda, or just looking for some rare parts, the first place I'd go is eBay.
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