MotorCities National Heritage Area
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By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives, Hemmings, Ray Barton/Cars Online
Published 4.6.2022

1967 Plymouth Barracuda Chrysler Archives 11967 Plymouth Barracuda (Chrysler Archives)

The 1967-1969 Plymouth Barracuda models were great looking automobile designs. Some automotive historians said at the time that the newly designed Barracuda had an Italian-influenced look that many really liked and enjoyed driving.

It was an era when the Ford Mustang was making sales history at Ford Motor Company. Chrysler was looking to introduce a car to compete with the Mustang and Chevrolet’s Camaro. The Plymouth Barracuda was introduced on November 26, 1966 with three new A-body styles. Dave Cummins, who was the studio manager with Chrysler at the time, was responsible for the Barracuda 1967-1969 model designs.

967 Plymouth Barracuda advertising Chrysler Archives RESIZED 21967 Plymouth Barracuda advertising (Chrysler Archives)

All 1967 Barracuda models offered unitized body structure and curved side window glass. The 1967 Barracuda hardtops were priced at $2,530, and a total of 28,195 units were manufactured during the model year.

In 1967, safety was becoming a higher priority, and the Plymouth line provided many standard safety features along with additional optional features. Don Butler, author of “The Plymouth and DeSoto Story,” said, “The Barracuda model was given status as a car line, even with its own designation as the series CB.“

1968 Plymouth Barracuda muscle car ad Chrysler Archives 31968 Plymouth Barracuda muscle car ad (Chrysler Archives)

The Barracuda models introduced a combination of sporty looks, high performance, good handling and room for four. It was manufactured as a coupe, notchback, fastback and a popular convertible body style as well. The popular fastback, known as the sports Barracuda, had less rear glass for 1967 than the previous year’s model.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda ad Chrysler Archives RESIZED 41968 Plymouth Barracuda ad (Chrysler Archives)

The 1968 Barracuda models were known as the series DB and received minor design changes. Plymouth, along with the other Chrysler lines, were marketed with some great colorful muscle car advertising, which greatly influenced psychedelic posters illustrated by artists Paul Williams and Peter Max. These colorful muscle car illustrations appeared in automotive magazines like Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Car Craft.

1968 Plymouth Baracuda Sox and Martin race car Ray Barton Cars Online 51968 Plymouth Baracuda Sox and Martin race car (Ray Barton/Cars Online)

Another great example in the history of the Plymouth Barracuda was the popular Ray Barton 528 ci Hemi engine that was a part of the Sox & Martin tribute, a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda N/SS Pro street built for racing that inspired fans across the country.

1969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top Hemminga 61969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top (Hemmings)

The 1969 Barracuda line offered a new series of performance models, including the 340 and 383 models, which were distinctive for their hood scoops and special striping. The models were equipped with many new performance packages and options as standard equipment. The standard engine for the 1969 Barracuda was the popular 340-cubic inch V-8, with a high-performance 383 engine also available.

1969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top Hemmings 71969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top (Hemmings)

One of the most iconic cars in Chrysler’s history, besides the Dodge La Femme model in 1955-56, was the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top. The Mod Top option was a colorful flower-patterned vinyl top that was on the roof of the vehicle. The package included matching seat and interior side trim panels with the roof. The models could also be ordered for the roof only or perhaps if the consumer just wanted the design to be a part of the interior only package. The floral decoration was manufactured in shades of yellow and black for the Plymouth Barracuda Sports coupe models only. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, the Mod Top vinyl roof did not stand the test of time, and many Mod Top roofs deteriorated.

1969 Plymouth Barracuda Chrysler Archives 81969 Plymouth Barracuda (Chrysler Archives)

Plymouth’s overall model offerings increased in number mostly in the mid-size and larger categories, but the basic compact car line remained unchanged. 1969 ended up being the last year for this Barracuda body design. A new Barracuda design was introduced in 1970.

In conclusion, the 1967-1969 Plymouth Barracuda models were great looking vehicles. Today, they are hard to find and expensive for collectors to purchase. 

Bibliography

Butler, Don. “The Plymouth and DeSoto Story.” Crestline Publishing, 1978.

Holder, Bill and Kunz, Phil. “Chrysler Muscle: Detroit’s mightiest machines.” Tom Shaw, Publisher.

Newhardt, David. “Dodge Challenger & Plymouth Barracuda.” MBI Publishing Company, 2000.