The Early Plymouth Barracuda
There are other cars that were added to the pony car niche after the success of the Mustang was so stunning, but after all, the Mustang was the only “horse” in the race. If the breed was going to be named after a horse the Mustang must have been the very first pony car, right?
The answer is actually surprising to a lot of people. The Plymouth Barracuda wound up being considered to be a pony car after the term had been coined, and of course the designation did come about as a result of the popularity of the Mustang.
However, the Mustang was introduced on April 17 of 1964. The Barracuda, which would be Plymouth’s entry into the pony car race, made its debut on April Fools’ Day so it is in fact technically the first pony car.
In a manner of speaking the first wave of the Plymouth Barracuda could be described as a hybrid of the Plymouth Valiant because it was built on the Valiant platform and as a result shared a lot of the Valiant’s features. What set it apart was the fastback body with a lot of glass in the back, an extremely distinctive feature that immediately caught your eye on the roadways.
The most powerful engine available in the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda was a new offering for Chrysler, a 273 cubic inch V8 with a two barrel carburetor. Of course this was a different era and it’s all relative, but it is kind of weird to think that the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda carried a sticker price of around $2500.
The first generation of the car lasted from 1964 through the 1966 model year. We will have much more to say about the Barracuda in future posts, and if you have anything to contribute please feel free to add comments and share your experiences with this American classic!