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?