Plymouth Barracuda: Meet the Dodge Challenger’s Uncle

The 1960s and early 1970s were a golden era for American cars. Names like the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chevrolet Camaro enjoyed so much acclaim that the automakers resurrected them for the 2000s. However, one beloved namesake didn’t return from the muscle car history books after its E-body run. Here’s a little about the Plymouth Barracuda, one bad beast of a car that never got its modern shot. 

When did Plymouth stop making the Barracuda?

Plymouth stopped making the Barracuda in 1974, and the car hasn’t returned. The original Barracudas hit the streets for the 1964 model year and went through three generations during its roughly 10-year run. 

The first generation of the muscle car coupe ran from 1964 to 1966, wherein the Barracuda debuted as a fastback on the A-body platform. According to Classic Industries, the first iterations were option packages for the Valiant, and the 1964 model year still wore a Valiant badge instead of the venerable Barracuda fish. 

The second generation car started in 1967 and ran through 1969. Potential owners could get their Barracuda as a notchback coupe, a fastback, or a drop-top convertible. Finally, 1970 brought about the third-generation car, one of the most recognizable and sought-after muscle cars in history. The third-gen Barracuda included the E-body platform and the beloved ‘Cuda. 

This E-body Plymouth Barracuda shows off its muscle car looks.
1971 Plymouth Barracuda | Dünzlullstein bild via Getty Images

Why was the Plymouth Barracuda discontinued? 

Unfortunately for fans in the era, the Plymouth Barracuda was a victim of the 1973 oil crisis and the industry’s push for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Plymouth’s E-body muscle car wasn’t alone; the early 70s claimed the first-gen Dodge Challenger, too. 

It was a tough time for muscle cars, and the Barracuda had the big motor credentials of all the greats that didn’t survive the oil crisis extinction. For instance, the third-generation E-body cars packed V8s like the 340, 383, and 440-6 to make noise, smoke, and power. Those thirsty powerplants couldn’t contend with cheap, efficient cars like the Ford Mustang II

Is the Plymouth Barracuda a Challenger?

The Plymouth Barracuda from the third generation shared the E-body platform with the Dodge Challenger, but the two are different cars. For instance, the Dodge was longer and wider than the Plymouth model in addition to their differing badges.

What is a Plymouth Barracuda worth?

A Plymouth Barracuda could be reasonable or worth millions of dollars depending on the model year, engine, and condition. For instance, Hagerty says a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda with a 340 V8 could be worth $22,000 in good condition. However, some rare examples have sold at auction for millions. 

The early Plymouth Barracuda was a Mopar muscle car with an A-body before the famous E-body cars rolled off the line.
(GERMANY OUT) 1968 Plymouth Barracuda | Dünzlullstein bild via Getty Images
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Moreover, if you want one of the later model E-body cars, premium classic car prices kick in. For instance, a 1970 Barracuda in good condition with a 290-horsepower 383 V8 could be worth about $46,400. 

What is the most sought after Plymouth Barracuda?

The most sought after Plymouth Barracudas are the incredibly rare Hemi ‘Cuda convertible models that sold for millions. First, a 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible sold at auction for $3.5 million. That numbers-matching convertible is the only one in existence.

Also, a 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible, one of only five, sold for $2.7 million. That’s a far cry from a more plentiful Barracuda option with a price tag in the tens of thousands. What do you like about the Plymouth muscle car? Tell us in the comments below!