Barracuda by Heart is a staple of classic rock stations across America. Pony cars are another staple of American culture, and today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Plymouth Barracuda is one rare classic. Its price however may not get your rocks off.
Back in the day, when a sitcom would take on a serious topic, such as a main character confronting eating disorders, domestic abuse, or liberal political views, the promos would often describe it as a very special episode. It would be a learning experience for all involved,with much furrowed brows, and the next week everything would get back to comedy normality.
Yesterday ‘s NPOCP episode featured a very John Player Special Lotus Exige and while you didn't have to deal with any untoward adversity, you did have to come to terms with its price, which a whopping 75% of you found to be nice. Next week, Willis brings home a stray cat.
Speaking of cats, what kitty doesn't like to eat fish, or occasionally smell like one? Badda-bing! One fish that might just eat a cat is the barracuda, a denizen of the deep that rivals the shark for scaly malevolence. When Plymouth sought to come up with a fitting name for their pony car contender, something was special was required. That's because, though based on that brand's family small car, Valiant may have seemed a little too prissy for a car intended to go toe to toe with the likes of Mustangs, Camaros and Cougars, and hence the Barracuda was born.
Barracudas went through three distinct phases - the Valiant with an attitude phase, the valiant effort to make it not look like a Valiant phase, and the ‘Cuda phase. Today's 1969 convertible hails from the middle period, and as such has a kind of Goldilocks-approved not too big and not too small just rightness. The second generation Barracuda still shared a ton of parts with the Mopar A-bodies, including the torsion bar front, leaf-sprung back suspension.
This ‘69 ‘vert is powered by another of Goldilocks' preferences, the 340-cid V8, which comes topped not by a cherry but by a 4BBL carb. That engine is the best of both worlds because while this generation of Barracuda facilitated blocks larger than did its predecessor due to the goatesing of its engine bay, the big 383 was only able to fit with the elimination of both A/C and power steering pumps. On the other end of the spectrum, while the sturdy slant six was able to keep you from getting all hot and sweaty its performance acumen would probably not get you, well, hot and sweaty. The 4-barrel 340 put out a factory 275-bhp, a figure that should be taken with a grain of salt as pre-'73 power ratings rank right up there with of course I'll respect you in the morning and no officer, I wasn't aware I was speeding. Still, in contemporary tests the 340/727 Torqueflite combination as in this car provided zero to sixty runs in around 7 seconds, and quarters in 16.
This particular car looks to be in pretty good shape and is relatively rare being one of only 1,442 convertibles built in '69, and if the seller's claim is true, one of only 91 fitted with the 340/727. Everything looks straight and complete on the car, and it's great to see that no one has succumbed to the urge to fit the car with some sort of douchie wheels, there being what look like color-coordinated steelies wrapped in whitewall tires on it now. Those wheels are framed by bright trim around the rear wheel wells, but seemingly not the fronts. I don't know if that means they're missing up there or that's just how them came. Either way, the dark root beer paint (I'm thinking A&W) and white soft top likely won't make the car stand out to the cops. There is no mileage noted in the ad, but with a car of this age and apparent condition, that's probably not a significant factor in the purchase decision.
That decision means parting with ten large for the honor of slipping deep in the pink-slip. If this were but a year newer, that would mean a whole different platform, a completely different look, and a much, much bigger price tag for a drop top ‘Cuda. While this may be a ‘69 and shares the sixties sensibilities rather than the insane last hurrah of the seventies edition, it's still a pretty cool looking car, and of course you're unlikely to go wrong with a four-seat, V8-powered, American convertible. Where you may go wrong however is paying too much for one. That's why we need to determine if this Barracuda's $10,000 price is something a buyer should swallow hook, line and sinker. Or, if it sounds just a little fishy.
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