The 1969 Barracuda came at the end of the second generation of Plymouth’s pony car which lasted from just 1967 to 1969. Chrysler introduced the Barracuda in 1964 as sporty performance cars were really gaining popularity in the U.S. 1974 was the last year for the model. In the early ‘70s, performance cars went downhill thanks to stricter safety and emission regulations. The Barracuda was one of many casualties.
Based on the Valiant A-body, the 1969 Barracuda and the other members of the second generation came in fastback, notchback, and convertible body styles. They also received significant restyling as compared to the previous generation of models from 1964 to 1966.
The second generation cars, including the 1969 Barracuda, were slightly longer in the wheelbase. They received sheet metal styling that was specific to the Barracuda rather than borrowed from the Valiant. The overall appearance separated this generation from its predecessors, with more rounded, coke-bottle styling and side contours, and completely new front and rear ends.
To distinguish between the 1969 Barracuda and the 1967 and 1968 models, which look nearly identical, look to the sidemarkers. The 1969 model has rectangular sidemarkers with reflectors but not lights. The 1967 had nothing there, while the 1968 had round lights and no reflectors.
Under the hood, the 1969 Barracuda can be further distinguished from the previous models. Plymouth wanted to emphasize performance with this model and they did so by increasing the power output of the 383-cubic engine. It now generated up to 330 horsepower. They also introduced the new ‘Cuda trim package. Buyers of the ‘Cuda could choose from three engine sizes including the 340- and 383-cubic inch V8s. New for the 1969 Barracuda was the 440-cubic inch Super Commando V8, which could generate 375 horsepower and 480 foot-pounds of torque.
Sales of the Barracuda slid during the second generation, and that trend continued in 1969. However, Plymouth was ready with the redesign of the third generation and brought sales back up with the 1970 model. Today, all of these models are popular with collectors.