Sunday, September 6, 2009

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1965 Plymouth Barracuda

Before it was a neon-colored, billboard-striped street terror known simply as the 'Cuda, the Plymouth Barracuda was more like this: a sporty fastback version of the Plymouth Valiant. It was introduced in 1964 as a competitor to Ford's Mustang, but it never would be a serious threat in the ponycar wars, at least not in the sales department.

The Barracuda began as the Valiant Barracuda, with a stubby fastback body that used a number of Valiant parts but looked all-new with its large glass hatch. In 1965 it received a facelift to further set it apart from its Valiant roots. With a 273 cubic inch "Commando" V8 producing 235 horsepower, the Barracuda could get out of its own way better than your average Valiant. However, it could also be bought with the same slant-sixes as any other Valiant.

This car has the Commando V8 and wears its original wheels, all correct trim and a fetching shade of metallic green that may or may not be stock. I've seen the car driving a few times and it appears to still earn its keep. The '65 Barracuda seems to be a popular classic in San Francisco, as I've seen at least three or four of them parked or driving around town. We'll see how many end up here.

This car was featured in Jalopnik's Down On the Street Bonus Edition on February 15, 2009.


  1. I owned the first Barracuda in Owosso Mi. It had a Hurst four speed on the floor. I removed the stock carpet in the back and replaced it with 1/2 inch foam with 2" shag rug in the back hence it's nickname ass under Glass. Man I wished I still had that car. Had a lot of fun in it.

  2. Mine was a formula S it had a free spin then lock up automatic transmission, a bleed-down air shock system, headers with exhaust cutouts a locking differential, security system, it was lifted in the rear and,sported red interior dome lights! The car even had a prism mounted on the headliner to see all around when you were lying down!
    I bought the car for:$300.00 in 1972 from the Hollywood Police Dept. auction (a unmarked vice car perhaps?)I added a ass under glass curtain; bed, pillows, reclining front seat and, buffed out the paint so it didn't shine. I spent many happy times watching a movie through the rear glass at the drive-in!
    I sure miss that car!