Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda – Having The Last Laugh

This is the first legitimate curbside E-Body Barracuda ever at CC. How odd is that? An icon of the pony car era, but presumably the survivors have all become garage queens. Early in CC’s days, I did see a very original and slightly scruffy one driving on the street, but I never saw it again. It’s probably a hemi ‘Cuda clone now.

But nifticus has finally come through, with a pretty basic Barracuda sport coupe. Almost certainly it’s got a 318 V8 in front of the Torqueflite. It’s like most pony cars actually were bought back in the day, contrary to what many assume. Who knows; it might even have a slant six under its long hood.

There’s a good reason they’re none too common: they sold poorly. Even in its first E-Body year (1970), only 57k were sold, compared to almost 200k Mustangs. And things only went downhill from there. The new E-Body Challenger outsold the ‘Cuda, but even the combined sales of both were not exactly stellar. The pony car boom was a short-lived one, and folks were moving on to either larger cars or smaller ones, or just cheaper ones, like the madly popular Duster. That’s the car that really killed the ‘Cuda.

The basic interior is not exactly the most cheerful one in the world, but this one certainly has held up well. It really does remind me of my mom’s ’71 Coronet station wagon in that same green.

The E-Body’s styling has of course been reprised in the modern Challenger, which has become remarkably successful, creaming the Camaro and outselling the Mustang in 2021. Payback!

What’s made the new Challenger so successful? Perhaps it’s because it’s based on a sedan, and is taller and roomier than the Mustang and Camaro. Maybe folks actually like a bit of height even in their muscle cars?


Here’s a Car Show Classic on the ‘Cuda:
Car Show Classic: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe – The Broughamiest ‘cuda Around