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Cars > FOX82GT88GT93LXBODY’s Garage > Blog > Cuda to Return as a Chrylser? Buddy, The Pony Car Wars Aren’t Over


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M –31
Lincoln, Nebraska
United States


FOX82GT88GT93LXBODY’s Blog Posts 1 – 2 of 2

Cuda to Return as a Chrylser? Buddy, The Pony Car Wars Aren’t Over


Last week, at the automotive aftermarket’s annual SEMA gathering in Las Vegas, comes word from Ralph Gilles that, “There’s a lot of pressure on us to bring the ‘Cuda back.” Gilles is both Chrysler’s design chief and president of the Dodge division. On April Fool’s Day, 1964, Plymouth introduced the Barracuda, actually beating Ford’s Mustang to market by two weeks. Based on the Plymouth Valiant, the Barracuda was an option package offering a choice of engines from the 225-cid Slant Six to a 180 hp V8. Ninety per cent of Barracudas that year were ordered with the V8 engine. Redesigned in 1967, the Barracuda no longer bore any body panels from the Valiant sedan. Both coupe and convertible models emerged this year and an enlarged engine bay allowed for the 383-cid V8 to be fitted. So began a high performance period that saw the 340 as an optional engine in the following year, as well as 50 race-only Super Stock 426 HEMI cars. Spaulding Dodge even produced some 440 Barracudas that same year.

These would re-emerge in 1969 as the ‘Cuda, a factory-built model with 440 engine intact and the ability to turn in 14-second quarters, at 103 mph, on street rubber. Slipping on a set of drag slicks would take instantly deduct another two seconds from the ET.

With the 1970 model, the Plymouth Barracuda became a sibling to the Dodge Challenger. Visually similar on the outside, the Barracuda rode on a chassis having a two-inch shorter wheelbase. A wide range of engines became available with the E-body design, none being more memorable than the 440 Six-Barrel (three two-barrel carburetors) that delivered 390 gross hp and a whopping 480 lb-ft of torque at a street-friendly 2,300 rpm.

The performance addiction would run for another year, until market and regulatory pressures neutered all of the Big Three’s stables. The Barracuda, while never achieving the fame of the Mustang or Camaro, remained a deep favorite with anyone that had owned one.

So, with this background, what might brother Ralph be thinking about? The shorter wheelbase made the Barracuda more suited for drag racing and even exlcuded it from Can Am road racing in its day. The AAR-modified ‘Cuda didn’t do all that well in Trans Am racing either, but in the hands of Sox & Martin, legends were written at quarter-mile tracks across the country. Currently, the only modern ‘Cudas available are through private garages like Mr. Norm’s, who is actively converting Challengers into variations of the multi-louvered ‘71 ‘Cudas with supercharged HEMIs and, if so option, a Shaker hood and drop top.

But how would a latter-day ‘Cuda come about? Start with the new 392 HEMI motor, shorten the chassis a little, add the shaker hood scoop, some wild berry colors and kick butt graphics and we’ve got a new classic. We know we’re not the first to think about this. Let’s just hope it happens soon.

On message boards, enthusiasts are OK with the thought of a Chrysler-branded ‘Cuda, just so long as the ‘Cuda comes about. Knowing Chrysler’s desire to emphasize the brand’s upper-scale posture, it is likely were a ‘Cuda to return to Chrysler, it would offer a wee bit more refinement and possibly more resculpting than say just a grille and taillight treatment.THIS MAY BE OLD NEWS 2 SUM OF U BUT I JUST CAME ACROSS THIS ARTICLE AND THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE IT WITH ALL OF YOU WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE CUDA COMING BACK I DONT SEE WHY IT SHOULDNT COME BACK NEW UPDATED VERSION OF THE PONY CAR WAS WOULD BE GREAT FOR MY GENERATION

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 10 of 14

1971’s Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm
Viperman’s Profile Photo
Dec 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm
I would love to see them bring back the 'Cuda but with a little bit of body change from the Challenger.
ducksoup’s Profile Photo
Dec 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm
I think this would be a great decision to bring the Cuda back. When they bring models back, they should resemble the previous model with modern enhancements. The current Camaro was done well, but the latest GTO's were not done well in my opinion. GMC could bring back the Trans Am and build them in the same Chevy plants that are making the Camaro. Why not take the models that enthusiasts have loved for years and bring them back to sell American cars. The American automakers should listen to the enthusiasts and even include their ideas during the design phase. The key is when you decide to bring a model back, you need to do it right. You can't skimp on anything...engine, transmission, features, etc. Pontiac blew it when they brought the GTO back the first time and didn't have hood scoops, for example. You gotta do it right!
32V_SVT’s Profile Photo
Dec 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm
I like the idea of another muscle car on the streets! I hope this isn't an after market tuner doing this, but an actual factory edition. The whole Firebird thing comes to mind... GM should step up and run with the Firebird and sell the car for the same price as the current Camaro's.
dragon_chick_99’s Profile Photo
Dec 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm
I think it'd be pretty cool. I really don't want the muscle car to die. I mean yeah there's this talk of global warming, but last winter and this winter i ain't seen no global warming.....IT'S BEEEN REALLY COLD!!!! So with that said, BRING ON THE CUDA!!!!!!
lizardbird98’s Profile Photo
Dec 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm
i'll belive it when i see it. at this pointi thinkit will be like the "firebird" a custom shop adding different panels for a extra 20,000 added to the price.
1971’s Profile Photo
Dec 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm
typhoonsierra99’s Profile Photo
Dec 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm
in addtion to the new el camino how about the new nomad built out of a corvette
RancheroBoy’s Profile Photo
Dec 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm
That's great. I saw where Chevy has a proto type of the El Camino as a possible come back kid.
reefblue’s Profile Photo
Dec 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm
Considering that you already have the Charger [ 4 door big mistake ] and the Challenger, Mopar would be spreading themselves a little thin with 3 pony cars. Mopar should have came out with the Cuda first and not the 4 door Charger. I think bringing back the Cuda would be a good idea from an enthusiast standpoint, but looking at the big Mopar picture- I don't see it happening.

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Cars > FOX82GT88GT93LXBODY’s Garage > Blog > Cuda to Return as a Chrylser? Buddy, The Pony Car Wars Aren’t Over

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