In 1964, the Barracuda was created to for after the youth market, with the base for it being the Plymouth Valiant. Initially is was essentially the same car as the Valiant, but with an extreme Fastback roof. It competed with the Ford Mustang, which was a sportier car created from the mundane Falcon. A few years later Chevrolet introduced the Camaro, and Pontiac the Firebird to complete with the Mustang and Barracuda. These were referred to as Pony Cars. These cars quickly gained small block V8s as the Muscle Cars became big sellers with American youth, and they started to distance themselves from their humble economy car beginnings
With the [Horse Power Wars]] heating up in the late 60s, car manufacturers were trying to stuff big block engines into these cars, which was a real struggle with the A-Body Barracuda. For drag racing, the Barracuda and its sister car the Dodge Dart shoehorned 426ci Hemis into the engine bay in 1968-1968, for a limited number handed out to a select few big name racers. These cars were not Street Legal, and still hold NHRA records today. For the street Barracudas, a 440 was shoehorned into a limited number of Barracudas in 1969, and called the Cuda. 1969 was the last year for the Barracuda/Cuda to be on the A-Body Platform
In 1970, the Barracuda debut on the E-Body platform, which was a shortened version of the B-Body. It made it much easier to place big block engines, including the Hemi, in the cars. 1970 and 1971 big blocks are the most desirable of the Barracudas/Cudas. In 1972, the insurance companies and the Government had all but killed the muscle car -- and smog emission and lower compression reduced power. The last few years the Barracuda didn't even offer a big block, and 1974 the last Barracuda rolled off the assembly line.
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