I can’t remember the last time I saw an A-Body barracuda convertible. But Cohort poster J.C. did, and what a fine example of the species it is. Black seems an unlikely color too, but it does make it look even more serious than it already is. This is very much not a Plum Crazy 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible.
It looks to me like something a European would have ordered up in 1968. With its high-winding 340 V8 backed by a four speed, this would have embarrassed quite a few expensive and even some exotic European GTs and high end sedans. And had the handling to match. Just the thing to take over the Stelvio Pass with the top down.
They might have also been tempted by the Dart GTS convertible, which of course shares the same top and greenhouse, as well as a few other things. That was of course the issue with the Barracuda: it was a Valiant or Dart with different front and rear ends and a bit of new side body sculpting.
A serious car for a serious buyer.
I love everything about this one, except that I have never warmed to the looks of these Barracuda convertibles. I saw one of these at a show a couple of weeks ago, and am still not in love with the styling.
Styling is funny. These were gorgeous fastbacks. And I am a huge fan of those Dart verts. But where the proportions work perfectly for the angular Dart, they fail on the more flowing lines of what should be a pony car. It is not that the car is unattractive – these have the same proportions of the final Corvairs, which are certainly not ugly cars. But sadly for the Corvair and the Barracuda non-fastbacks, the Mustang came along and changed all the rules on what a car in this segment was supposed to look like.
I don’t ordinarily like black cars or 2-doors, and I don’t really have a thing for convertibles, but this one works for me!
Genuinely beautiful car. Prefer this styling to its design inspiration, the Corvair. Interesting how so many of Chrysler’s most memorable/iconic cars of the past 50 years, similarly had very GM-like styling. Immediately thinking this gen Barracuda, ’68 Charger and other B-bodies, ’70 Challenger/Barracuda, ’71 Satellite, ’74 full-sized C-bodies, ’75 Cordoba/Charger, ’79 R-bodies (St. Regis, Gran Fury, New Yorker), ’93 Dodge Intrepid. There are others!
The Barracuda is fascinating in the context of Lynn Townsend’s decision to have Elwood Engel ape GM’s previous styling. The first generation Barracuda was an original design of a Valiant with a big, compound glass rear window tacked-on, with predictable results.
So, for the 2nd gen A-body Barracuda, Townsend and Engel went back to GM and copied the Corvair for the coupe. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out much better, even for the nicer looking (and more original) fastback.
Then the 3rd gen E-body clone of the GM f-body ponycar flopped due to poor timing at the end of the big-block musclecar era with the early Barracuda-type Duster being an exponentially better seller. Chrysler simply was never able to catch a break with the Barracuda, no matter how hard they tried or how good the car might otherwise have been.
I love the Corvair coupe, and I stan the second-generation Barracudas, in any body style. Loved it for bucking the long-hood, short-deck thing that was in vogue and just looking darned good with its own proportions (shared with the ‘Vair). I’m also in the minority that finds the long-ish AMC Javelin really attractive.
This black convertible is a knockout.
I really like this Barracuda convertible and it’s stunning in black. However, I would prefer the fastback over the convertible and just cannot get on board with the pinhead coupe because the proportions are all wrong. The coupe presaged the problem with the fuselage C body coupes, with the tiny top overwhelmed by their vast hoods and rear decks.
That “Barracuda” cnv has “me” written all over it. Sigh.
I have yet to see a soft top convertible improve any cars appearance. Sure they are fun, but it’s either a Targa or hardtop convertible for me.
1971 Mustang and Cougar. Top down and top up improve the appearance of those vs the steel roofs. Those are my exceptions to otherwise agreeing with you. The Barracudas most distinctive trait is it’s roofline(s), take those away and it’s kind of generic, even the Dart has more interesting lines below the beltline than the Barracuda
Having said that this being a Formula S and having this combination of colors is very fetching
This generation Barracuda was more attractive than the original. I particularly like the fastback. The coupe and convertible remind me of regular sporty version intermediates like, a Chevelle. Not bad, but not what the buyer of a Mustang or Camaro would have been looking for.
To be fair I don’t think the fastback was what that buyer was looking for either, it had way better styling than the 64-66 but the core problem remained that it was still mostly a Valiant, only this time featuring unique sheetmetal below the beltline, it still lacked the long hood, short deck and set back passenger compartment of the Mustang Camaro and company that specifically seemed to resonate with buyers in the ponycar market. The Barracuda never really broke out of competing against traditional sporty compacts like its Dart cousin Corvair or the Chevy Nova until the E body version when it was too late to make any headway.
Personally I like the coupe the best, because it does look more regular, and it came first, previewing the 68 B body coupe roofline. Plus I absolutely love the 65 Corvair design. Fastbacks on regular proportioned cars generally leave me cold, be it the A body Barracuda, Marlin, 66 Charger, 68 Torino etc. the second Gen Barracuda fastback is my favorite of those mind you, but it’s still not really a stand out design of the three bodystyles like the Mustang fastback was.