AJ’s Car of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Coupe

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Coupe

Car: Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Coupe

Year: 1965

What makes it special: The first Plymouth Barracuda carried the emblems of the Valiant model, and was known as the Plymouth Valiant Barracuda for the 1964 model year. It was a five passenger two door equipped as the top-of-the-line Valiant Signet, but with a fold-down rear seat and a larger cargo space. It came standard with a 225 cu in “Slant-Six” engine, but about 90% were ordered with the optional 180hp, 273 cu in V8, weighing in at 2,905 lbs, at a purchase price of $2,496.00. But it was threatened byFord’s Mustang model that could be had with any of a trio of V8’s, including the famed 271 hp, “Hi-Po” High Performance V8.

What made it famous: Since it wasn’t wining in straight-line competition, the Chrysler Corporation decided to focus on handling instead, hittingĀ Ford’s MustangĀ back hard with the 4-barrel Commando 273, featuring a hotter camshaft and Carter carb which bumped up the horsepower to 235. A 3-speed manual transmission was standard for the 273, but a 4-speed manual or Torqueflite automatic were options. Most buyers opted for the 3.23:1 gear ratio for their 273’s. The Barracuda Formula S Sports Package was created, including the Commando 273 V8, tachometer, heavy-duty shocks, springs, and sway-bar, Goodyear Blue-Streak tires mounted on wide-rim 14′ wheels. Formula S was also given circular “Formula S” medallions on the fenders, and many were ordered with the racing stripe that was a regular Barracuda option that year.

Why I would want one: I am in love with the style of this car! The large rear glass, overall body lines and the hot 273 Commando V8 makes this very desirable to me.

Fun fact: Plymouth Barracuda production nearly tripled for the 1965 model year.
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