Car: Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Fastback
What makes it special: Most think that the Ford Mustang gave this type of sporty compact model the name "Pony car", but Plymouth's Barracuda Fastback was actually released April 1st, 1964, pre-dating the Mustang by two weeks.
What made it famous: The A-Bodied first-generation Fastback Barracuda had a distinctive wraparound rear window. 1965 saw the introduction of the "Formula S" package which included the 235 hp, 273 Commando V8, with a 4-barrel carburetor, 10.5:1 compression, and more aggressive camshaft with solid tappets. Upgraded suspension, larger wheels and tires, special emblems, and a tachometer were also part of the package. Disc brakes and factory-installed air conditioning also became available after the start of the 1965 model year.
Why I would want one: It's the acorn that became the mighty oak. This was the kick-off to the asphalt melting monster 'Cuda's that reigned supreme with 440 6-packs and 425 hp, Hemi 426 V8's. This stylish little number started the ball rolling into its hugely successful offspring.
Fun fact: The Barracuda is a collectible car today, with high-performance versions and convertibles commanding the highest prices. The small number of Barracudas is the result of low buyer interest when new, resulting in outstanding examples achieving high appraisal values to date.
( 1966 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Fastback photo from over-blog.com )