Copper Commando: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda – SOLD!
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March 4, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
The first “Pony Car” was not the Mustang. Plymouth beat Ford to the punch by two weeks with the launch of the Plymouth Barracuda. In the mid-1960s, fastback rooflines were quickly becoming the rage by U.S. automobile stylists and Plymouth again beat Ford by one model year by offering a unique glass-back Plymouth Barracuda version. This Turbine Bronze 1965 Barracudaoriginally listed in February 2022 on Craigslist in Fairfield, Virginia (Lynchburg) features the desirable 273 cubic inch “Commando” V8 and reupholstered interior. The seller reports their Barracuda has 68K miles and mentions “the paint has some wear but shines up well.” You’ll need to confirm whether the paint is original or has been reapplied at some point.
Currently offered for $15,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Barracuda priced two hundred dollars less than this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $15,200. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $16,920 after factoring in a twenty percent premium for the optional Commando V8.
Knowing Ford was busy developing a sporty Falcon-based compact car, Chrysler stylist Irv Ritchie sketched a fastback version of Valiant. At the time, Chrylser dumped most of its R&D budget into the Turbine Car project, leaving little capital to develop new models. However, Chrysler’s marketing and sale executives needed a car to compete in this soon-to-grow segment.
Based on Chrysler’s A-body, Plymouth launched the Barracuda fastback on April 1, 1964. The new model used the Valiant’s 106-inch wheelbase and the Valiant hood, headlamp bezels, windshield, vent windows, quarter panels, doors, A-pillar, and bumpers; the trunk and some of the glass was new. Utilizing the same hybrid design approach as Ford did turning its Falcon into the Mustang significantly reduced Plymouth’s development and tooling cost and time for the new model. The greatest effort was put into creating its distinguishing 14.4 square foot rear window, a collaboration between Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) and Chrysler designers.
Powertrains were identical to the Valiant’s, including two versions of Chrysler’s slant-6 six-cylinder engine. was the 101 horsepower 170 cubic inch slant six while the 145 horsepower, 225 cubic inch version served as the mid-level power choice. The highest-power option was Chrysler’s all-new 180 horsepower 273 cubic inch V8 in either two-barrel or four-barrel “Commando” form.
The 1964 model year was the first for the Barracuda and also the last year for push-button control of the optional Torqueflite automatic transmission. This year also marked the first use of the smaller “TorqueFlite 6” (A904) transmission behind a V8.
In 1965, the 225 slant-6 became the base engine for the U.S. market. New options were introduced for the Barracuda as the competition among pony cars intensified. The 273 engine was made available as an upgraded Commando version with a four-barrel carburetor, 10.5:1 compression, and a more aggressive camshaft, still with solid tappets. These and other upgrades increased the engine’s output to 235 horsepower.
On his Uncle Tony’s Garage YouTube Channel, Mopar expert Uncle Tony provides his insights on why the first generation Barracuda wasn’t a huge success:
This 1965 Baracuda appears to be a nice survivor example.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1965 barracuda 68k miles 98% rust free no rot just very little surface rust. 273 commando automatic. The paint has some wear still cleans up and shines well. The carpet, front seats, and headliner were redone. $15000
Show or Go: What would you do with this 1965 Plymouth Barracuda? Comment below and let us know!