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Kimberly V. Althage & Connor Canavan – March 15, 2021

Let me tell you a story about one of the common and, at times, confusing uses of the popular classic car models known as a ‘Barracuda’ or simply ‘Cuda’. It is not uncommon for people to use them interchangeably, however, all is not as simple as it may seem. Let us highlight some backstory on the Barracuda or “Cuda” depending on what you have.

The Barracuda is a two-door muscle car produced by Plymouth and it was in production from 1964-1974. In those 11 years, three generations were manufactured. The first generation was produced from 64-66. The second generation was from 67-69. While the third generation was produced from 70-74.

Our history lesson is almost complete for these third gen Barracudas. We have a 71 Barracuda & a 72 ‘Cuda. The differences may seem minor, however to the purist, it speaks volumes. It is not like Chevy and Chevrolet. Those are interchangeable and mean the same thing. These are more like Mustang and Shelby. All Shelbys are Mustangs, but not all Mustangs are Shelbys.

One little tip to see if you have the Barracuda or ‘Cuda is to look at the VIN number. All Barracuda VINs always start with “BH” and all ‘Cuda VINs always start with “BS.”  The “B” stands for “Barracuda”, while “H” is for “High” and “S” is for “Special.” That is the easiest way to tell.

1971 Hemi 'Cuda convertible sets record
Old Cars Weekly

Another Barracuda heritage fun fact to mention. In 2014, one rare Barracuda garnered over $3 million dollars at a regional auction. It was the highest selling classic car ever sold in history. You are probably wondering “what made it so special?” It is a 4-speed manual convertible, and only two of its kind was made that year.

Now for the cars themselves. Let us begin with the red 1972 ‘Cuda. The third gen Cuda and Barracudas came in a hardtop or a convertible, and as you can see this one is the hardtop coupe version. These body styles give some of the best lines a classic car has to offer. This fastback look is truly timeless, it’s crazy to think these body styles we produced over 50 years ago.

This particular ‘Cuda is rocking a 340 engine. It has a 3-speed automatic transmission with 727 TorqueFlite. These 72 340’s do 0-60 in 7.4 seconds flat and have a top speed of 125mph. It might not sound so impressive by today’s standards, but for 50+ years ago, that was lightning speed.

The owner documents a numbers matching engine. The owner also did a frame off rotisserie restoration on this vehicle. This particular ‘Cuda has a total of about 5000 miles on this current engine build since that restoration. This vehicle is ready to drive off the lot today and be someone’s new cruiser.

Let us switch our focus to this 1971 Plymouth Barracuda. How could it NOT catch the eye, just look at that amazing green. We call it sassy grass green.

Little backdrop on the 71 Barracuda. It was the only year of the Barracuda with front fender grill louvers. I just LOVE them, and my feeling is it looks most boss from the front. The billboard side stripe was only produced for the 1971 year. This particular Barracuda is rocking the 440 engine, that is very easy to notice from the billboard stripes on the side saying 440.

It does 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph. In case you are curious, this car will do the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds. Yes, it is FAST.

This Barracuda is a 6-speed trans with a pistol grip shifter that is super cool. It makes it fun to shift through the gears, you can feel the control. We have had a lot of interest in Mopar’s and it is one of our absolute favorites. We will be sad to see it go.

Post by Kim Althage
March 15, 2021