I have always wondered what the best plymouth barracuda models were.
After all, they were stopped in production in 1974.
They were in service being built from 1964-1974, a whole decade with four generations.
Will we see another Plymouth Barracuda comeback?
Actually, there have been rumors of a 2021 Plymouth Barracuda… but opinions are the Internet can vary.
And before we dive too deep into that rabbit hole, let us rank what was the best Plymouth Barracuda (also to-be as well).
In this article, I will base my ranking on style, and novel ideas.
During the 1970s, all automobile manufacturers were hit with a ton of regulations, restricting the growth of powerful V8 cars from taking over the market.
This list will not cover the Plymouth Barracuda engines but some will be mentioned to appreciate how far the company has come to deliver solid products to its consumers.
Best Plymouth Barracuda Cars
Here are the 5 best barracuda cars, by series and year:
- 1970 Barracuda (Third Generation)
- 1975 Barracuda
- 1959 Mod Top Barracuda (Second Generation)
- 1966 Barracuda (First Generation)
- 1973 Barracuda (Fourth Generation)
1) 1970 Barracuda (Third Generation)
Starting in the third generation, Plymouth added a new grille, dual headlights, new taillights, side “gills”, seat, and trim differences to the existed Barracuda.
Only 652 Hemi ‘Cuda were ever built, including 14 convertibles.
However, the total number of Barracudas created in the third generation (1970-1971), including the base model, coupe and ‘Cudas, was 74,189.
It is interesting to also note that in 1971, only 18,690 Barracudas were manufactured.
This particular triple black ‘70 barracuda has sold for $275,000 back in 2014. It is believed that there are only 7 existed all-black barracudas in existance.
With that information alone, it makes the chase for the all-black ‘70 barracuda even more exhilarating and sweet.
In 2009, Nicholas Cage auctioned his all-black ‘70 barracuda and it sold for $440,000. He got a premium celebrity bonus for selling his car.
And on January 14th 2021, an all-black ‘70 Barracuda sold for $214,500.
Here are some details of the sold ‘70 Barracuda:
- 426 Hemi V8 Engine
- Just a tad over 20k miles driven, of original miles
- 2 fender tags
- Chrome exhaust tips
- Shaker hood with hold-down pins and argent scoop
- Torqueflite automatic transmission
- A32 Super Performance Axle Package with 4.10 gears
In fact, this is another reason why the third generation barracudas are just that much better than the rest.
Let us introduce the convertibles.
This convertible sold for $3.5 million and is only 1 of 11 ever made in 1971.
It is one of two four-speed examples and still has its original powertrain, which also means that it has matching number parts.
Collectors and car enthusiasts love matching serial numbers and that showed in the sold price.
2) 1975 Barracuda
This was a theoretical model of what could have been.
Plymouth discontinued the Barracudas in 1974 but this particular model was in research since 1965.
It was sculpted in clay at first, combining two final proposals in 1969 where they saw their creation live.
It was later created in fiberglass to have a more realistic look.
This prototype was taken to Cincinnati, Ohio to be viewed for customer feedback and it was not great.
In addition to the poor response, Plymouth management also decided to move away from muscle car development.
Sometime after the display viewing, the 1975 Barracuda was dropped off a forklift and damaged.
Some people may speculate that this was an omen for a bad future product.
I say it is just bad luck but even in today’s market, muscle and pony cars are not hot sellers.
However the angle you view this event, Plymouth did protect its company and profits by avoiding a failing product launch.
But still, this car is ranked as my number 2 for its unique story, sleek design, and the potential to shake up the automobile industry for a cutting-edge product.
3) 1969 Mod Top Barracuda (Second Generation)
The Mod Top Barracuda was a vinyl top with a floral pattern only sold between 1969-1970.
In 1969 alone, 31,987 Barracudas were manufactured for public purchase.
This particular Mod Top Barracuda was only one of 937 built in that year.
Typical for most generation car upgrades, the engines got bigger and more powerful.
More emphasis was placed on performance with the 383, introducing the ‘Cuda trim package which was based on the Formula S option introduced in 1965 to include a V8 engine.
The ‘Cuda package was available in 340, 383, and 440 V8 engine.
4) 1966 Barracuda (First Generation)
A total of 38,029 models were produced in 1966.
This was the last year for the first generation, 1964-1966. It introduced new taillights, new front sheet metal, and a new instrument panel system.
In 1966, there is a V trim above the deck lid was changed to a unique Barracuda fish logo. At the time, this was just another step closer to securing their spot as a top tier automobile maker.
At first release in 1964, three engine packages were offered: 170-cubic-in Slant 6 101hp, 225-cubic-in Slant 6 145hp and a 274-cubic-inV8 180hp engine.
And over time, engines became more powerful and was also offered to the public.
5) 1973 Barracuda (Fourth Generation)
There was no definite “fourth generation” Barracuda but if you changed your headlights to single headlights, brought a new grille, and introduced a four circular taillight, it is a new generation since you tweaked an iconic Barracuda look.
In 1973, a total of 22,213 Barracudas were produced.
Also in this year, safety bumpers were added in the front and back due to increase pressure from federal regulations.
Safety and exhaust emission regulations also forced big-block engines to be discontinued.
As a result, power and performance suffered.
The Plymouth Barracudas, specifically the HemiCuda convertibles, are rare and highly collectible.
But during the release of the first generation, Plymouth aimed to create compact-sized car that was affordable.
Specifications should have included a basic interior with a standard 6 cylinder engine but with the optional accessory to upgrade to a V8 engine. And at the time, this was referred to as a pony car.
However, from the start, Barracuda was viewed as a frugal car compared to its Ford Mustang competitor as a young professional with a youthful look.
It already was a weak start for Plymouth and it gradually got better until regulations and restrictions halted V8 cars from becoming mainstream.
So, the whole idea was stopped in 1974 as a result.
There have been talks to have a throwback Barracuda but nothing has been confirmed just yet.
And to compete against today’s electric cars with powerful engines, Chrysler has its work cut out for them to capture and deliver on customer expectations.
So, how was my list?
Agreements? Do you disagree?
Let me know what you think and thanks for reading…