Cigar Lifestyle

The Overlooked but Not Forgotten Muscle Car: 1967-68 Barracuda

The Plymouth Barracuda – arguably, America’s first pony car – was introduced on April 1, 1964. Actually a rebadged, high-performance Valiant, Barracuda beat the Ford Falcon-based Mustang to market by two weeks; but even with the head start, the initial Barracuda was not exactly a glorious statement of Chrysler’s muscle car performance history.

Barracuda Front dusk Barracuda Front dayBarracuda engineBarracuda dashBarracuda hood

Then 1967 brought an all-new Barracuda designed to outswim and tangle with rivals in the expanding muscle car pond. This second of three generations of Barracuda was still not the fastest, nor is it considered the most collectable Barracuda in 2013. Generation 2 of the Barracuda is often forgotten despite both its styling appeal and monstrous victories in super stock drag racing.

Like Ford’s Mustang, three distinct body styles were introduced for the 1967 model year: a notchback coupe, a fastback and a convertible. But in contrast to Mustang (and Camaro), the Barracuda utilized European design cues. More important to auto enthusiasts was Chrysler’s decision to expand the width of the engine compartment by two inches; this room was crucial for squeezing in Mopar’s top of the line 383 V8, and was now the perfect opportunity to up the high performance game.

For 1967, only 1,841 383-equipped race derived Formula S Barracudas were delivered, complete with redline tires. A split-back bench seat was standard, with buckets optional. The Rallye gauges package included a 150-mph speedometer; a combination gauge for engine temperature, oil pressure, fuel level and amps; and a choice of a clock, a tachometer, or a vacuum gauge labeled “Performance Indicator.”

Hop in, and you discover plenty of room for what was supposed to be a compact: The flat, low-slung buckets allow easy ingress and egress and outstanding headroom, but won’t help a bit in corners. Insert the key teeth-up into the ignition, and twist. The reduction starter makes a racket; once that’s quelled, you’re left with a lopey idle different in character than Ford or GM, sounding plenty aggressive. Punching the throttle, it is a blast to make that Performance Indicator vacuum gauge jump.

There’s tremendous promise lurking in the engine bay.

Cup your hand under the shifter, thumb the button, and pull back into “D” – big-block torque renders acceleration in the Barracuda absolutely effortless. Unlike older cars, the Barracuda seeks to hardwire itself into your cerebral cortex–just think of a speed and you’re practically there. It feels ready for a midnight cross-desert blast to the far-flung locale of your choice.

The ultimate 1968 Barracuda was the mating of the second generation body with the famed 426 Hemi engine. Right off the dealer lot, the Super Stock fish could cover the quarter mile in the 10’s. Chrysler made approximately 50 fastback Barracudas for Super Stock drag racing. Built in conjunction with Hurst Performance, they featured lightweight items such as Chemcor side glass, fiberglass front fenders, scooped hood, and lightweight seats. An included sticker indicated that the car was not for use on public roads.

Rumors are once again flying about the possible return of the fast fish; this time badged “SRT Barracuda” for the 2015 model year. This time, it looks like they may actually be true.

1468_Animation_1093_assetID_1000.png
Bob Long

Bob Long

Bob Long is a nationally-syndicated radio host of AutoWorld Radio, Deals on Wheels Radio and The Long Drive Daily feature. Starting in his teens, his time behind the mic has included hosting duties in music, sports and as a national talk show host. In 1992 Bob merged his two passions, radio and automobiles, into a career hosting numerous national automotive programs, and a 10 year-plus stint at Motor Trend Magazine. Bob has received 37 International Automotive Media Awards for his automotive broadcasting skills. His favorite drink is, naturally, a Rolls-Royce. When not behind the wheel of a Super Car for testing purposes, he enjoys long walks on the beach, photographing Russian models, hanging with classic rock stars and wearing a Red Sox hat to Yankee Stadium.

Show all Bob Long's Articles
nowsmoking ramon allones by AJ Fernandez cigar review Cigar Advisor Cover

#nowsmoking: Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez Toro

This cigar has charted the “Top 25 Cigars of 2018” lists of Cigar Journal, Cigar Aficionado, and Cigar Advisor. Find out why, and what else you need to know about it, in our quick Ramon Allones cigar review – click & read now…

Read More
Cigar Smoker OCD CACover

2018 CA Report: Cigar Smoker OCD Habits Revealed!

Every avid cigar lover acquires a little cigar smoker OCD when it comes to enjoying a smoke. We polled our smoking buddies to find their behaviors and habits (along with our own) for storing, cutting, lighting, or smoking cigars. Do you do some of these things? Read the article - you may even learn a few good tips!
Read More
El Suelo Cigar Review MWC CACover

My Weekend Cigar: Feb. 19, 2018 – El Suelo Terreno

Made for L'Atelier by Pepin, the El Suelo Terreno is that rare budget-friendly bundle that smokes like a box cigar - and should sell for twice the price. And that's why El Suelo is a go-to for My Weekend Cigar! Get the tasting notes and learn a little more about this Pete Johnson cigar: click to read now!
Read More
MWC Avo syncro South America Ritmo cigar cover

My Weekend Cigar – Oct. 2, 2017: AVO Syncro South America Ritmo

AVO Syncro South America Ritmo: "a mind-blowing rocket of a smoke." It's what I just had for my weekend cigar; learn all the details about it in my review!
Read More