Plymouth Hemi Barracuda (1971)


Plymouth Hemi Barracuda

As 1970 rolled around, another redesign was in order for the Barracuda. The performance version was badged and advertised as the 'Cuda. This year's new design looked quite a bit different from the previous models. One of the reasons was that it was now built on a new, slightly shorter, wider, and sportier version of Chrysler's existing B platform, the E-body. This new generation eliminated the fastback, but kept the two-door coupe and convertible versions. It also had a Dodge near-twin known as the Challenger; however, not one body panel interchanged between the two cars and the Challenger had a slightly longer wheelbase. Both were aggressively and cleanly styled, although they were clearly influenced by the first-generation Chevrolet Camaro. After the switch to the E platform, which featured a larger engine bay than the previous A-body, Chrysler's famous 426 in³ (7.0 L) Hemi would now be available from the factory in the Barracuda. The HemiCuda had about a factory rating of 6 MPG, and was sold without warranty.

Race car drivers Swede Savage and Dan Gurney drove identical factory-sponsored Barracudas in the 1970 Trans-Am Series, although with no success. With the 440-6 and 426 Hemi, the performance from these production Barracudas ended up being legendary. The 1/4 mile times for these were 13.7 s @ 103 mph and 13.4 s @ 108 mph - both among the fastest times of the day. These engines were very easy to slightly modify and drop into the 12s, but either way - stock or modified - one could virtually have a 5-passenger race car. Barracudas also came with decal sets, hood modifications, and some unusual colors ("Go Mango", "Plum Crazy", and "Panther Pink").