CC TV: “The Crown” – a 1966 Dodge Barracuda in Greece?

Last night Lily and I were enjoying an episode of “The Crown”, an outstanding Netflix series which is a biography of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, played in Season 3 by Oscar best actress Olivia Colman. Part of its appeal to this Anglophile is all the neat local cars and trucks from each period of her life on display. In episode 4 we go to Athens at the time of the 1967 military coup, and of all things a Dodge Dart pops up! But what’s that script on the trunk lid? It clearly doesn’t say “Dart”, it looks a lot more like “Barracuda”! A Dodge Barracuda? What the what?

Here’s the next shot, with a grille badge that looks an awful lot like it says “Barracuda”. After the show was over I had to investigate, was there ever a Dodge in Greece branded Barracuda? A Dart with a big V8 perhaps? Stranger things have happened.

Internet searching for “Dodge Barracuda” immediately flooded my screen with speculation about a midsize 2020 Barracuda, heavily rumored to be based on an Alfa Romeo platform, branded either Dodge or Chrysler. “Dodge Barracuda Greece” was no help. Nor was the IMCDB page on “The Crown”. So I dug into Greek Chryslers of the sixties, and just found various sub-compacts based on Rootes or Simca models. No luck.

But wait, who says this street scene was actually shot in Greece? Spain instead perhaps? Closer to the UK-based production team and popular for Mediterranean movie and TV shooting. Bingo. It turns out Chrysler licensed out the Dart to a Spanish truck builder called Barreiros from 1965 to 1970. Not B-A-R-R-acuda, B-A-R-R-eiros. Mystery solved.

I played it on my computer to get screen caps for this post, and zoomed in on that grille badge. You have to look hard, but it does identify its manufacturer, Barreiros.

Finally a perfect match is this shot way down at the bottom of the Wikipedia article on the Dodge Dart. What’s more, it says this car had a diesel version! Quoting from the article, “A diesel Dart (named “Barreiros diesel”) was also produced. These models, mainly intended for taxi use, were very basic and very slow. They have 7-inch round headlamps rather than the large oblong units on fancier Spanish Darts, and use the round taillights from the first generation Simca 1000. The engine was the Barreiros C65, a 2,007 cc (122.5 cu in) inline-four with 65 PS (48 kW) at 4,500 rpm. Top speed was claimed to be 124 km/h (77 mph).” The TV car has the American-style taillights, maybe they changed to the round Simca ones later.

A diesel Dart! But certainly no Barracuda. The things you find when you dig into details.

More on the next generation Dodge Barreiros here.