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Jan25

Rare Rides: Ooh Barracuda – the Fastback Plymouth From 1965

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As we speak’s Rare Experience is a Plymouth Barracuda, however not the one which usually springs to thoughts every time somebody mentions the legendary nameplate. Quite, it’s the first of the line. Let’s take a look at this particular fastback.

In the early Nineteen Sixties, a race was on at the Massive Three automakers. Ford triggered a little bit of a ruckus when it started creating a model new compact with sporting pretensions, based mostly on the present Falcon mannequin. Chevrolet already had such a car, in the type of the uniquely rear-engined Corvair Monza. Naturally, Chrysler needed in on the recreation, however as typical, they have been a bit in need of funds over at the financial institution.

Finances in thoughts, Chrysler turned to designer Irv Ritchie, telling him to see what he might do with the present Valiant chassis. Mr. Ritchie drafted up a fastback Valiant. The highest brass at Plymouth appreciated the new design, and deliberate to make use of the very aggressive identify Panda for his or her new car. Designers frowned at this, and the Barracuda identify was chosen as an alternative.

The brand new Barracuda coupe was prepared in 1964, debuting on April Idiot’s Day. Most of the entrance panels have been shared with the Valiant, however a brand new trunk and rear glass area was required to tug off the Barracuda’s distinctive greenhouse. The fabrication of the rear glass was one in every of the most expensive elements of the Barracuda’s improvement, as the window measured 14.four sq. ft. Chrysler labored with PPG to develop the window, which at the time was the largest window ever put in in a manufacturing car. The Barracuda went on sale two weeks earlier than Ford’s Mustang.

Maybe unsurprisingly, the Barracuda’s energy matched that of the Valiant. Two totally different inline-six engines have been out there, in both 2.eight- or three.7-liters of displacement, with a hundred and one or one hundred forty five horsepower, respectively. The upmarket engine providing was the one hundred eighty horsepower four.5-liter Commando V8, a brand new engine for that yr. Transmission choices included a 4-velocity guide or three-velocity TorqueFlite automated.

Chrysler added extra efficiency and sporting parts in the two years following the Barracuda’s introduction as Ford and Basic Motors dove deeper into the intensifying pony car market. After the 1965 mannequin yr, the Valiant badge disappeared from the Barracuda totally. At the similar time, the V on the rear (which beforehand stood for Valiant) turned a Barracuda fish emblem.

The unique fastback model of the Barracuda bowed out after 1966, changed by a second-era mannequin that additional differentiated itself from its Valiant stablemate. The stage was set for Barracuda to grow to be a separate mannequin in its personal proper.

At present’s V8-powered Rare Journey involves us from east of Los Angeles, which is in California. It asks $12,000, has sixty one,000 miles on the odometer, and pairs white paint with a gold interior.

[Images: seller]

– Rare Rides: Ooh Barracuda – the Fastback Plymouth From 1965 –

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