HomePick of the DayFast-fish '65 Plymouth Barracuda

Fast-fish ’65 Plymouth Barracuda


There seems to have been a trend in the 1960s to name sporty cars after fish. You have the Mako Shark, the Marlin, and my favorite of the aquatic cars, the Barracuda. Something fishy seemed to be going on at Chrysler, GM and AMC at the same time.

Of all the generations of Barracudas that Chrysler built, my favorite is still the first-generation cars with the big, wrap-around rear window that give the car, styled by Chrysler stylist Irv Ritchie, a great fastback silhouette. That dramatic 14.4-square-foot curved rear window was at the time the largest piece of glass ever installed on a production car.

The vast rear window of the Barracuda is a signature feature
The vast rear window of the Barracuda is a signature feature

A funny tidbit: some bright spark at Chrysler marketing actually wanted to name the sporty new car Plymouth Panda. Thankfully, the designers fought back and gave it one of the coolest car names of the 1960s, later abbreviated to simply ‘Cuda.

The Pick of the Day is a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda that appears to be a great example of the first year of Barracuda production. Finished in a rare Royal Red factory color with a black interior, it looks like a car that is in great shape and presents very well in pictures in the ad on ClassicCars.com listed by an Annandale, Minnesota, dealer.

The interior of the Barracuda is said to be immaculate
The interior of the Barracuda is said to be immaculate

This Barracuda is equipped with its factory correct 273cid V8 with a four-barrel carb, giving the coupe more than 200 horsepower. It is also equipped with a rare manual transmission with factory Hurst shifter.

According to the seller, and backed up by the pictures, this car has an immaculate factory black interior, all lights work, the windows operate perfectly, and somehow the factory-original AM radio still works, as does the heater.

The correct 273cid V8 is linked with a 4-speed manual transmission
The correct 273cid V8 is linked with a 4-speed manual transmission

The car is riding on period-correct aftermarket Cragar SS mags with newer Firestone RWL tires. The dealer notes that the body and the underside of the car are clean and rust-free.

These first-generation Barracudas are under-the-radar Mopar cars from the ‘60s, and they are a great value for a cool-looking and fun-to-drive automobile. This one is listed for only $21,500, and if it’s as nice as it seems, represents a lot of car for the money.

Who would have thought a car named after a fish could be so cool and affordable at the same time? Now I kind of want one.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. They actually started making Barracudas in 1964. I had a maroon ’64 with standard transmission. Traded it in on a red ’65 Formula S with automatic transmission.

    • I believe your barracuda to a 1964 model. The picture you show of the dash is a 1964 dash. I still have my 1964 barracuda purchased in July 1964 and made in May of that year. The 1965 had a different style of dash bezels. You have a beautiful car this is just for your info.

  2. It does appear to be a 1964….the instrument cluster is different and there is a script "Valiant" on the left rear of the car – which this does look like it has (kinda hard to tell) The ’64 V-8 cars, from what I understand, only came with the 180 hp engine, with the 235 hp 4 bbl. motors being produced in some of the 1965 model year cars. When looking at this stuff, you have to remember that the production model years in those days actually were tooled up prior to September – so there may have been some crossover in there. (Who knows what Ma Mopar did in those days??) I had a 65 produced on Dec 7 of 1964 – and it had all of the Formula S upgrades, although the "S" car was released in "mid year" of 65. It even had the same code stamped on the fender tag. Currently, I am in the process of putting a 65 Formula S back on the road that my dad bought new. Anyway – 64 or 65, that is a Very nice Barracuda!!! Thanks for putting up the photos!

    Art "RT"


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