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The Original Barracuda: History In The Making

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By Mark Weisseg

Not enough credit goes to the original ‘Cuda. Yes, the Barracuda. They built this with a small V8 for the most part but, the casting blossomed into a powerhouse of the muscle car era.
Built between 1964 in 1974, fastback, a body was originally based on the Plymouth Valiant, but it wasn’t to 1970 that the distinctive ‘Cuda looks came in and now fetch the highest prices.

When I was a kid, my cousin had one and even though we thought it was cool we really did not give it much thought. The rear window was cool and it had a neat bucket seat set up, just not the cool looks of the ’70 or ’71 model. Funny how years later we yearn for what we took for granted at one time.

Not a perfect car then but somehow today most of us feel the car got better. A good mid size car then and now but it was overshadowed by so many other Mopar’s of the day if you were a Mopar nut. Remember Hemi under glass? That was a Barracuda and stood on its rear wheels all the way down the drag strip.

The first ‘Cuda was around in the days of, ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday.’ It lost its fizz somewhere along the line but, back in the day it meant everything.

Any car model is around for a few generations, has to go through design changes to optimize the whole car, and the Barracuda is no different.
It may have had humble beginnings, but that led onto some of the most sought-after muscle cars on the planet.

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