Fastback Friday: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Fastback

It’s Fastback Friday, which means it’s time to look at another great example of one of our favorite automotive segments – fastbacks, of course!
The Barracuda was introduced in 1964 for the 1965 model year, just a scant two weeks before Ford debuted its Mustang. Buyers were looking for more power, more sporty, and more compact cars, and the Barracuda is what Chrysler offered them. It’s no understatement to say that the Barracuda was completely overshadowed by the Mustang, but it is a great car and has plenty of fans even today. In fact, there was a kid in my high school who drove a 67 model, and that was only 5 10 15 16 years ago. Anyway, now that I’m feeling old, let’s take a look at this white beauty, shall we?
Look at all that glass!
The facts, and nothing but:
1965 Plymouth Barracuda, All original, 273ci Mopar engine, Holly 2bbl, factory a/c, with new 4-wheel drum brakes. 13” wheels, new exhaust, New Paint OME ivory, 3 months ago. and new window rubber, Factory black interior, 13” wood steering wheel . Fold down rear seat and drop trunk panel. Good glass all round. Lights all in good working order. Low rise front bucket seats. Nice chrome bumpers. Steel wheels with hubcaps. automatic transmission. Trim moldings handles and mirrors in good shape. 96,214 miles ,very few made with these options, I believe only 2714 made in st Louis factory, I drive it twice a week.            
The 273 V8 was the first in a long line of Chrysler LA engines, whose basic design was used in cars, trucks, vans, and tractors from 1964 till the 21st century. The 273 was relatively powerful for its time, pumping out 180HP in its basic configuration, although being a solid block of iron, it must have been hefty. However, they are reliable and drivable, so it’s good to see this beauty being driven and not just locked away.
I’m borrowing a little from this excellent article at Allpar.

With the 180 hp V8, early Barracudas would run 0-60 in 12.9 sec, and the quarter mile in 17.8 @ 72 mph. Gas mileage was 16-19. The test car had 2.73:1 rear gears and a 3-speed automatic (Car Life, July/64). 90% of buyers 1964 Barracudas were ordered with the V8.

They say that timing is everything, and even though Chrysler brought the Plymouth Valiant Barracuda before the Mustang, it was not what buyers were looking for in 1965. It would take Chrysler six years before they finally brought a long-hood, short deck pony car of their own, by which time Ford had already dominated the segment.
After all, the first-generation Barracuda was just a dressed up Valiant. Buyers liked it, but saw it as a sporty sedan, not a performance coupe.
What say you? Is this Barracuda, with its relatively low miles and excellent condition, worth the best part of 17 grand? Would you bite, or would you let it go?
Source: Hemmings

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  1. salguod Avatar

    My dad bought nearly this same car (his was red on red with a 4 speed) new in 1965, 13″ wheels and all. It was a daily driver until 1982 when it was t-boned by a potato chip truck. The driver’s side was stripped open so you could enter the back seat without opening the door and the roof buckled by the impact. That big back window was gone but there was no glass in the cargo area, it was all in the road. We theorized it popped out essentially intact, shattering on the ground.
    I spent essentially all my childhood in the back of that car. Dad loved it and intended to restore it one day but it was pretty rusty. The Snyders of Hanover truck probably saved him a pretty costly project. Neat car, but $17K seems rather ambitious, especially with the automatic.

    1. salguod Avatar

      I remembered seeing this one on BAT a couple of days ago. Not quite as nice, but a 4 speed and half the money. Seems closer to reality.

      Bone Stock & All Original: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda 273/4-Speed

  2. are vee Avatar
    are vee

    Not worth it. I had a 65 with a rebuilt, souped up 273 and it was still pretty slow. And it handled and stopped terribly. The 318 was a much better motor. Even modern day 3 cylinder Mitsu Mirage would wipe the floor with it.

  3. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    Regular Cars just did one on the original Barracuda

    1. salguod Avatar

      OK, that was, weird.
      The ’66 with the bigger, squared off bumpers and plain grille wasn’t as good looking as the ’65. Those are the wheel covers the car above and the car on BAT should have (and the ones Dad’s had. He saved them after the wreck.)

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I think the RCR weirdness benchmark is still the Avenger review:

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    You’re singing my song with the A-body Barracuda, but you’re in an awfully high key.. G major 17th!
    I won’t take another trip down the Mopar slide after my Gold Duster, the exception being A-body Barracudas. I peep the classifieds once in a while, but generally have to stop myself. Why? Because you can get a fairly nice one for surprisingly little money! The temptation, the actual possibility of having one! It’s too great.
    If you bought one of the $3K – $5K examples I’ve seen in the past few years it would probably cost you $10K to get it in just as good condition as this one. It would not be worth $13 – $15K. You can find V-8 powered Barracudas for $11K, and those are usually in original, if understandably deteriorated, paint and trim.
    This guy, and his hopeful attempt at provenance! Only 2700 from the St Louis factory with these exact options! One of less than 3000 made! In St Louis… with ‘OME Ivory’ paint… and hubcaps.
    (Someone who won’t blink before buying a RHD Scout 80 2WD thinks 60s and 70s Mopars are just too much trouble. Really.)

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Yeah, well, my car has a rare VIN! It’s 1 of 1 built with that option, you’ll never find another identical one!

    2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Yeah, you end up with some weird and consequently rare option combos simply because the buyer ticked the wrong boxes when he signed up.
      I’m pretty sure that’s how my Rover ended up with a manual transmission.

  5. Jaap Avatar

    It’s a kind of, sort of nearly a nice car, but it appears merely a compromise. Beteeen exactly what remains unknown. Anyway I would keep the 17K for something else, probably a car.

  6. NapoleonSolo Avatar

    My wife’s uncle had one of these in silver with a red interior and the V8 in Arlington Hts, Illinois in the late 70’s and 80’s. He always meant to restore it (including the rusted rear leaf spring attachments) but never got around to it. When he passed away, they sold it to some local guy for about $250. I was sick when I heard about it because I would have paid to have it hauled to the East Coast where I was living by then. It was in pretty nice shape. He always called it his Baccaruda.

  7. Texlenin Avatar

    Ahhhhhhhhrrrrgghh!!! Stop!! I can’t handle the nostalgia feels! ;-(((

    1. mve Avatar

      Nostalgia feels are the special around here. It’s what we peddle. It’s also what we pedal.

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