The Plymouth Barracuda hit the market 16 days before the Ford Mustang, yet we call this class of vehicle “pony car.” A very nice, typical specimen of the second-generation Barracuda, a 1969 fastback, is our Pick of the Day. It is for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Winter Garden, Florida. (Click the link to view the listing)
Early Mustangs are often referred to as “schoolteacher’s cars,” which is partially true and partially derisive. The Mustang was a marketing tour de force that hit several market-research targets with distinct precision. Here was a car that could be all things to all people, from a sporty second car to a high-revving sports car to, yes, a nice vehicle for the emerging feminine mystique. The 1964 Barracuda, on the other hand, was merely a fastback Valiant, which is why it didn’t capture the imagination of Baby Boomers (if not Mr. and Mrs. Respectable). The Barracuda’s 1967 redesign was a good first step at matching the Mustang’s prowess, as the Barracuda was now available as a coupe and convertible in addition to the original fastback. Chrysler’s famous Slant Six was for the economy-minded, while the 273 small-block was the entry-level V8, to be superseded by the new 318 when it debuted in 1968. Performance options included the 340, 383, and 440 through 1969.
Unlike the Mustang, the most popular body style for the Barracuda was the fastback. However, by 1969, the Barracuda’s sales had taken several hits from a crowded pony car market that included entries from American Motors, Mercury, Pontiac, and Chevrolet. Would you believe only 17,788 Barracuda fastbacks were built in 1969? That pales in comparison to Mustang production. Most Barracuda fastbacks were V8s, but 1,830 U.S.-spec featured the 225ci “Leaning Tower of Power” and, of those, 315 had the standard three-speed manual like this 1969 Barracuda fastback.
It is painted “T3” Honey Bronze metallic and is trimmed inside with the deluxe “D6T” Saddle Tan bucket seat interior (that was part of the “A86” Interior Decor Group). Other born-with options include “M31” Body Side Belt moldings, “R11” Solid State AM radio, and “V78” deleted painted longitudinal pinstripe.
The seller claims this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda fastback has had the same owner since 1980 and features one repaint. “Runs good enough to be a daily driver.” And that’s what’s so attractive about this vehicle: it’s a choice pony car that’s easy on gas and can be enjoyed going back and forth to school Monday through Friday. In fact, your pupils will be impressed with you and the car and — best of all — at $24,969, it’s affordable on a teacher’s salary.