Plymouth cars

The Plymouth Barracuda saga began in 1964 as a fastback coupe based on the Valiant. The first-generation Barracuda was mostly famous for its distinctive wraparound rear glass, but also for being Plymouth’s first sporty, compact vehicle or "pony car." No match for the popular Ford Mustang, the Barracuda was redesigned for 1967, when notchback and convertible versions joined the already familiar fastback. Although still Valiant Valiant -based, the second-gen Barracuda received new sheet metal and larger engines, including Chrysler’s 7.2-liter, 440 Commando V-8 and the 7.0-liter, HEMI 426 V-8. The Barracuda reached its popularity peak in the early 1970s, as the heavily redesigned, third-generation model joined the muscle car wars. Longer and wider, the 1970 Barracuda renounced its Valiant roots and adopted an image of its own, while sitting on Chrysler’s new E-body platform.

The third-gen Barracuda also marked the demise of Plymouth’s main weapon against the Ford Mustang. As the oil crisis struck and compression ratios were reduced in performance engines, the nameplate died altogether after the 1974 model year. Fortunately enough, the short-lived HEMI Cuda, sold only in 1970 and 1971, made a huge impact in the muscle car world, enabling the Barracuda moniker to sit alongside the like of the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger at the top of the pony car kingdom. Although the original HEMI died 50 years ago and Plymouth got the axe in 2001, the HEMI Cuda lives on as one of America’s most prized collectible car. Read on to find out what makes the Cuda a special muscle car.

Updated 09/23/2014: A 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda just popped up at RK Motors for a price of $1,999,990.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1970-1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

The early 1970s was a grand time for American muscle cars with plenty of iconic iron rolling off the Big Three’s assembly lines. But few cars have reached the level of rarity as the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda. Production numbers of these legendary street machines were rather low compared to other muscle cars of the era. In the case of this particular ‘Cuda and its combination of options, the number is one.

Yes, out of the total 16,159 Barracudas sold in 1971, only 11 were fitted with the sportiest ‘Cuda option powered by the 426 Hemi and ordered as convertibles. Of those 11 cars, only three came with the four-speed manual transmission. Over 40 years later, one — yes o-n-e — B5-coded “Bright Blue” ‘Cuda is the only numbers-matching, 426 Hemi-powered, four-speed, convertible in existence. Talk about rare.

Updated 06/16/2014: This very cool Hemi Cuda Convertible was auctioned during this week-end’s auctions at Mecum for the amazing amount of $3,500,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1971 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda Convertible.

Source: Mecum

Oh there are some really, really savvy spy photographers out and about these days and this time they caught the mother of all shots. The Barracuda has been an on-and-off venture for Chrysler for some time now, but we now have proof — via these exclusive spy shots — that it will debut this year at the New York International Auto Show in April. What’s more, it’s nothing like any of us imagined it would be...

We so happen to have a little "birdie" that works in the printing department at a large monthly automotive publication, and he noticed that the "boss man" was making sure only a select few saw the inside of this magazine. When he happened across a stray copy, he was as shocked as we are to see that the Barracuda will return not as a muscle car , but as a rebadged Dodge Dart .... sigh.... Our dreams are now crushed.

He managed to whip out his cell and snap off a few quick pictures, and this was the clearest one he could get, as he worried his boss could come around the corner at any second. We cleaned it up a bit by changing it to black and white, as the colors were a little messy from the poor lighting.

According to our source, the Barracuda features the same Fiat Compact platform as the Dart and Chrysler 200, but with some extra performance goodies. On top of the images, he scanned the page for as much information as he could absorb, and managed to catch that it will feature turbocharged four-cylinder with somewhere in the 250-horsepower and 260-pound-feet range, and that it will debut in New York this year. Unfortunately, that is all the information he could grab in the short amount of time he had alone with the stray mag.

Though the image is blurry, he described it as "a Dodge Dart with SRT aero mods and rims, and a dark grille." He couldn’t tell if it was an SRT model or a Plymouth , but the chances of Chrysler bringing back Plymouth for just this one model are slim to none.

So there you have it folks; Fiat has struck again by releasing another Chrysler icon from the muscle car years as a front-driven sedan, a la the Dodge Dart. We’ll go bury our heads in the sand until the NYIAS is over...

Update 4/1/2014: In case you haven’t figured it out just yet, this is a figment of our crazy imaginations here at the TopSpeed offices. Our rendering artist extraordinaire put a modified Dodge Dart on the pages of some random magazine, blurred the text a little and pasted in a Barracuda emblem and even a swimming barracuda in the background for the added "cheesy" effect. Thanks for playing along, we’ll be here all night; make sure to tip you waiters and waitresses...

The talented videographers over at Petrolicious have once again produced an amazingly-entertaining and informative short segment about a car guy who drives tastefully. In this case, it’s a man by the name of Bob Gough and his beloved 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S.

Having moved to France as a small child following his father’s latest U.S. Air Force assignment, he fell in love with European iron. Aston Martins , Jaguars , Ferraris , and Porsches all caught his attention. Upon moving back to the states, His assumption of American muscle wasn’t all too flattering, that is, until he saw the new ’67 ‘Cuda roll across the Detroit Auto Show stage. He was in love.

Twenty-some-odd years ago, Gough came upon the opportunity to buy his own ‘Cuda. And a special ‘Cuda at that. The Formula S model was like a modern-day track pack that helped this behemoth fish handle like a pouncing European cat. However, he wanted more. Swapping out the original 273 cubic-inch mill for a 340 ci Mopar – plus a little hotter cam – gave this muscle car roughly 380 horsepower. He also swapped out the transmission for a new Tremec five-speed unit and upgraded the stock 14-inch wheels for classic-look-a-like 15-inch steelies that helped handling.

Nitrogen-filled shocks and some BFGoodrich Radial T/A rubber are about the only other modifications Gough has done. “It’ll leave Porsches behind you,” he says. “In Torque We Trust!”

Click yourself into full-screen mode, crank up the volume, and enter HD streaming to get the full effect of this ‘Cuda’s monstrous growl and tires-shredding torque.

NASCAR legend and ESPN racing analyst, Ray Evernham, unveiled a very cool, street-legal 1964 Plymouth Belvedere at the 2012 SEMA Show. The project, called "ForPly," was brought back to life by Sherwin-Williams Automotive and was built on a 1964 Belvedere as a tribute to the year when the car won the Daytona 500 and NASCAR Grand National Championship.

The ForPly features a distinctive Radiant Red automotive matte finish with Graphite racing stripes. For the interior, the tuner opted for a Graphite Grey color combined with carbon fiber inlay and bucket race seats.

The most amazing aspect of the modification was the upgrade for the engine. The ForPly is powered by an updated Dodge R5-P7 race engine with an impressive output of 750 HP. Other special features include NASCAR Sprint Cup shocks, custom 18-inch NASCAR-style wheels, NASCAR-style front splitter and rear spoiler, and an all-digital, backlit dual-display dashboard.

The Plymouth Belvedere ForPly by Sherwin-Williams Automotive will be put on auction at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction in January 2013. All proceeds will go to Evernham Family Racing - a foundation that funds the Autism Society of North Carolina.

RK Motors Charlotte is becoming rather famous for their “Pro Touring” lineup of vehicles. The latest rendition we came across was the 1970 Plymouth Hemi `Cuda, which was featured at SEMA in 2008.

For those that aren’t familiar with RKM’s “Pro Touring” cars, we’ll let you in on the secret. RKM takes a decent looking muscle car – so far we’ve seen a 1967 Sting Ray Corvette and a 1955 Ford Thunderbird – completely guts it, then restores it with mild modernization. So far, RKM has really impressed us with its perfect mixture of classic muscle with modern technology.

Some of the modern touches we have seen included are an LCD touch screen stereo and navigation system on the `55 T-bird, and an LS2 V-8 in the `67 Sting Ray, all while retaining the vehicle’s original character. This specimen appears to be much of the same perfection on the surface, but what does it look like as we pull back the layers?

Click past the jump to find out if the 1970 Plymouth Hemi `Cuda Pro Touring matches the blueprints of the two before it.

The 1967 model year was the debut year for the Plymouth Belvedere GTX, which most enthusiasts simply know as the Plymouth GTX. The GTX was always one of the top performers in the 1960s, but was also a refined muscle car, receiving the nickname “The Gentleman’s Muscle Car” in its early years. Unfortunately, the GTX was a late arrival to the muscle car area and only lasted five model years.

In its debut year, there were 12,115 models built, which makes it a rather rare car in itself. Options were not scarce for the 1967 GTX, as it had two engines available, a 425-horsepower, 426 cubic-inch V-8 Hemi or a 375-horsepower, 440 cubic-inch V-8. It also had two transmission options, a three-speed automatic and a four-speed manual.

In addition to the engine and transmission options, there was also coupe or convertible options available. One would assume that the convertible four-speed manual option with a Hemi would be a popular option combination, due to its raw power and ability to shift with the wind in you hair, but that’s not the case. Only seven of these convertible models with four-speeds and a Hemi engine rolled off of the assembly line in the 1967 model year.

That makes this one of the rarest vehicles on the planet, let alone one of the rarest muscle cars ever built. To boot, it is a natural rarity, as opposed to a planned one, like a special edition. It just so happened that dealers ordered so few of this option combination that the factory only produced a few.

If you want to own one of the most rare mass produced automobiles on the planet, now is your chance, as RK Motors Charlotte has just placed a convertible 1967 GTX with a Hemi and a four-speed up for auction on Ebay.

Now we know that it’s rare, but how has this vehicle held up over the course of the past 45 years?

Click past the jump to read our full review on this rare vehicle.

Source: eBay

At one point Jay Leno was a normal gearhead, just like the rest of us. He was working at a car dealership in Massachusetts when he met and befriended a master mechanic and drag racer Paul Annunziata. Jay went on to become a huge TV star and Paul continued on his racing dream.

In the 1970s Annunziata decided he wanted to build a Pro Stock dragster that was also 100 percent street legal. Annunziata succeeded in building his 1,000-horsepower Duster and it went on to win numerous awards.

Sadly, Annunziata was stricken with lung cancer, so he decided it was time to let his Duster go. Instead of selling it to some random collector, Annunziata chose to donate the car to his old-time friend, Jay Leno, under the gentleman’s agreement that Leno would not sell the car.

Jay agreed not to sell the car, but refused to allow Annunziata to just give it to him. In a mutual agreement, Leno paid Annunziata an undisclosed amount for the car and Annunziata did the noble thing and donated the money to a local auto restoration school as a four-year scholarship.

Annunziata passed away in 2011 and Jay decided it was time to feature this beloved Duster on his show Jay Leno’s Garage, which you can see above. You even get to go for a ride in this amazing piece of machinery.

What’s more impressive are the five years that Annunziata spent building this car, so we decided to dig in and really show you what went into building this beast.

Click past the jump to read about the development of this 1,000-horsepower Duster.

The Barracuda is a two-door car that was manufactured by the Plymouth division of Chrysler from 1964-1974. In 1971, the car was already in its third generation and was offered with three different V8 engine options with power going up to 335 HP. During that time, this amount of power was appropriate, but modern times call for the faster and more powerful. So what do you do with a beloved old school design when the output needs a walker to get through the day? You take your vision to Time Machines in Hudson Hudson , Florida where they will turn your dream into an insane reality, like transforming the Barracuda into a 450 HP V10 powered maniac.

At first glance, the product of Time Machines’ hard work looks like a standard Plymouth Barracuda, but under the hood is a Dodge Viper Dodge Viper ’s V10 engine surrounded by a chassis from a 2001 Dodge Viper. Yes, Time Machines took two very different vehicles and combined them into a melting pot of sheer awesomeness.

Check out how they did it after the jump.

Source: RK Motors

Usually when we hear about a car sold for million of dollars we automatically think about a classic Ferrari . But in this case we are talking about a totally different car, a car that during its time it made no impression. But now, after more than 40 years the real value of the car has been finally recognized.

Of course this is not an ordinary Plymouth Hemi Cuda , don’t worry not all of them will be sold for $3,200,000. But this car in particular is very special. It was finished on August 1st, 1969 and was the first E-body produced. It also was the prototype the company used to promote the Cuda on the US market. So, with that amount of money you will buy a piece of history.

Hemi Cuda was built only until 1971 in both coupe and convertible version. The engine is the Hemi Cuda developed a total of 450 HP and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque and was offered with a choice of four-speed manual or three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmissions.

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