HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S

Pick of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S

The original pony car?


It’s been a Mustang-crazy week at the Journal since April 17th was the 60th anniversary of the pony car’s introduction. However, we’ve been remiss in celebrating the birthday of a similar vehicle that debuted 16 days before. How about some applause for our Pick of the Day, the 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S. It’s listed for sale on by a dealership in Kentwood, Michigan. (Click the link to view the listing)

While the first Mustangs were early 1965 models, the first Barracudas were VIN’d as 1964s. They were even badged as Valiants, though that would be shed for 1965. Pleated seats were upscale and stylish, and tasteful bits decorated the interior. There was seating for five, with the rear seats folding down for cargo. Luckily, the backlite was tinted, as three burnt necks were not a good selling point.

The 225 “Slant Six” and new 273 Commando V8 were the only engines available, the latter a two-barrel offering 180 horsepower. Interestingly, a Hurst-shifted four-speed was available with either engine.

Just like the GT package was introduced for the Mustang for 1965, the Barracuda added to its potential with the Formula S package. Included with the package were 14-inch rims with special wide-tread tires, simulated bolt-on wheel covers, tachometer, Rally Pack suspension (heavy-duty springs and sway bar), heavy-duty shocks, and a new four-barrel version of the 273 with 235 horsepower. The engine was also available as stand-alone or with another package called the Performance Group, which also included the suspension package and power brakes. Though often thought of as a Formula S item, the racing stripe (available in black, white, ruby, medium blue, or gold) was optional for all Barracudas.

This Gold metallic 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S features the optional four-speed manual “giving drivers precise control over its performance” per the seller. “A striking black racing stripe runs the entire length of the vehicle, adding a sporty touch that emphasizes its performance pedigree.” Inside, you’ll find a black interior with front buckets, “which remains in excellent condition, providing a comfortable and stylish driving environment that complements the exterior’s allure,” adds the seller.

The first-generation Barracuda has been overshadowed by the Mustang because the Plymouth’s styling barely differed from the Valiant and it was only available in one body style, not to mention the Mustang had solid market research behind its existence. Nonetheless, the Barracuda was a solid competitor with classic Mopar styling that should make someone happy for $29,900.

Click here for this Pick of the Day.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


  1. Thanks for your article on the barracuda pick of the day absolutely beautiful vehicle and who’d thought it being the actual branding and the early on Era of the big 4 automotive manufacturers that the Cuda did have it’s place right up there only hidden amongst the Pontiac Firebird and Chevy Camaro I think I have learned something about classic muscle I neve4 would have known on my own.

  2. I had a 1964, Royal Red, automatic with the 273 V-8. I bought it from my uncle with only 24,000 miles on it. Drove in until the engine decided it was tired. It had over 235,000 miles on it when it died. Loved it, looked great, even sounded good. Always had a concern for the back window breaking, but never did. Disappointed when I had to give it up…great car. Been a Mopar guy all my life.


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