1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S / Photos and Specs

Here is a great example of Plymouth's contribution to the 1960's muscle car wars...the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S. This car has good looking lines and a powerful engine.

plymouth barracuda formula s

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S

The Plymouth Barracuda Pony Car

An historical fact is that the Plymouth Barracuda was the first Pony Car coming on the market about two weeks before the Ford Mustang. The first Barracuda (1964) was actually an option package for the Plymouth Valiant model. By the time 1967 came around the Plymouth Barracuda had no resemblance to the Valiant model from which it came although there were mechanical similarities. The connection with the Plymouth Valiant would entirely end with the 1970 Barracuda model.

The base engine for the 64 Barracuda was a 225  slant six. There was also a 273 cubic inch V-8 available delivering 180 HP. These engines would continue to be employed with the 1965 and 1966 Barracudas.

The 1968 Plymouth Barracuda was among the second generation models. Many would say that the second generation Barracuda was what should have been designed for first generation models.The second generation Plymouth Barracuda was available in fastback, notchback and convertible styles.

The Plymouth Barracuda was designed by John Samsen who also did design work for the first Ford Thunderbirds. It was also Samsen who chose the word "Barracuda" for this new Plymouth line. The Barracuda name prevailed over management's suggestion of "Panda". Barracuda was probably a good choice for what would become a true muscle car.

Plymouth Barracudas were produced from the 1964 model year through 1974.

1968 plymouth barracuda sThe Barracuda Formula S

The Barracuda Formula S was available since 1965. The Formula S package for 1968 included engines of either a Commando 340 or the 383 cubic inch design. In addition to this the Formula S came with.heavy-duty suspension and wheels, heavy duty shock absorbers and E70-14 Red Streak tires. front fender badges and special hood inserts.  The Barracuda Formula S was known for superior cornering and general handling.

Your 68 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S would have cost you new about $2,700 for the hardtop, about $2,900 for the fastback version and about $3,050 for the convertible.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Production Numbers

Total 1968 Plymouth Barracuda production was 46,018 units. Out of that number there were a total of 28,775 V-8 models. Total Formula S 340's were 3,917 units and total Formula S 383's were 1,270 units. These production numbers are estimates only. There are some variations depending on source.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Specifications

As mentioned above, the 68 Formula S as built with either a Commando 340 or the 383 cubic inch engine. The 340 was rated at 275 HP and the 383 cubic inch at 300 HP. The car's speedometer had a top speed indicator of 150 MPH. The 1968 model year also saw a 426 Hemi package put into only about 50 Barracudas.

1968 plymouth barracuda dashboardThe transmissions available on this 68 Plymouth included an A-833 four-speed or a 727 TorqueFlite automatic.

Brakes on this model were either four wheel drums or an option of front discs and rear drums.

Suspension on the 68 Barracuda included a front independent wishbone and a live axle rear with leaf springs.

Dimensions for the 68 Barracuda Formula S included a wheelbase of 108.0 inches, an overall length of 192.8 inches, a width of 71.6 inches and a height of 52.8 inches. Weight was 3,340 lbs. The second generation wheelbase was increased by 2 inches.

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The 1967 Pontiac GTO / Specs and Photos

The 1969 Chevy Camaro

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Reference material and excellent books regarding the Plymouth Barracuda include...Barracuda Model Portfolio 1964-1974 by author R.M. Clarke. Also Challenger and Cuda, Mopar's E-Body Muscle Cars by Robert Genat and Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda by author David Newhardt.

1960's Plymouth Barracuda Collector Cars

The Plymouth Barracudas from the 1960's ate true muscle cars. As mentioned above, the Barracuda was the first Pony Car, coming on the market a few weeks prior to the Ford Mustang.

plymouth barracuda hemiWhen it comes to Plymouth Barracuda collector popularity, everything pretty much starts with the second generation, 67-69 models, where the design departure from the Valiant occurred.

As of this writing you'll likely see asking prices for 1968 Plymouth Barracudas in the range of $15,000 to $29,000 depending of course on overall condition and mileage. Restored Barracudas will be on the high side and priced to the quality and degree of restoration.

You'll also see the limited edition 426 Hemi priced perhaps in the high $100,000 area. There were only about fifty of these Hemi models built for 1968 and of course they are rare.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)

1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Hardtop Coupe / Photos Specs

The 1971-1973 Mercury Cougars were the last of the Cougar Pony Cars. The car featured in this article is a 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7. The XR-7 was the upscale model with leather seating and a wood grained dashboard.

mercury cougar xr-7

1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7

First and Second Generations Mercury Cougar

The first generation Mercury Cougars were produced from 1967 through 1970. These first generation Cougars can be said to be Mercury's version of the Mustang. The 71-73 Cougars were somewhat more of a luxury car than a Pony Car during these model years. These were the second generation Cougars and had received a restyling.The Mercury Cougar actually started to have some resemblance to the Thunderbird and the Continental Mark IV. In fact, some will say that the second generation Cougars are not "real Cougars". They prefer instead the first generation cars.

The 1971-73 models were heavier cars . Design changes for this generation Mercury Cougars included a much more prominent center grille and exposed headlamps.The more luxurious XR-7 models were the top of the line. Compared to the 1972 Cougar, the 73 model styling was largely unchanged with the exception of the grille and the tail lights.

cougar xr-7 specifications

The 1973 Mercury Cougar was also the last year for it's Mustang chassis. Although it used the Mustang chassis through 1973, the wheelbase was three inches longer. The 1973 model was the last year of the Cougar 'personal car' concept that was first introduced in 1967.The 1974 model year saw significant changes for the Cougar models. That model was essentially a large luxury car.

Sales Pick Up in 1973

Sales had been sliding for a while and it wasn't until the 1973 model year that sales finally turned up. As an example, total production in 1971 for the Cougar XR-7 Hardtop Coupe was 25,416 vehicles. The 1971 production for the XR-7 Convertible was 1,717 vehicles. Two model years later in 1973, the production for the XR-7 Hardtop Coupe was 35,100 units. For the 1971 Xr-7 Convertibles it was 3,165 units. The ragtops, first introduced in 1969, obviously are the much more rare Cougar XR-7's. It's interesting to know that the 1973 Cougar Convertible was the last Mercury ragtop of that decade.

Mercury Promotes the 1973 Cougar

Mercury advertised the 1973 Cougar as a smooth riding car, as smooth as the high priced luxury automobiles. The reason per Mercury was simply " we build them better". The Mercury Cougar also had good success on the competitive racing circuit during the late 60's and early 70's. This was promoted by Mercury as well however during the early 1970's, new emission and safety standards imposed by the government along with the gas shortage crisis pretty much put an end to the real muscle car era that began in the mid 60's. What Mercury really did with it's Cougar model was to offer excellent performance along with a comfortable ride.

1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Specifications

The 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 was built with a 351 cubic inch eight cylinder engine delivering 168 HP with a two barrel carburetor. This model also was available with a four barrel carburetor putting out 264 HP.Transmissions included a three and four speed manual and a Select-Shift automatic.

mercury xr-7

Another engine available in limited numbers in 1973 was the Big Block 429 CJ V-8. This engine was rated at 375 HP. There was a police version for this engine as well.

Transmissions included a three and four speed manual and a Select-Shift automatic.

Overall outside car length was 199.5 inches on a wheelbase of 112.1 inches. Overall width was 75.0 inches. By today's standards the second generation Cougars were large cars. Weight for the 73 Cougar was 3,500 lbs.

See these additional Auto Museum Online car articles on the links below...

One Sharp Looking 1969 Pontiac GTO

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Where to Find Serial Numbers on Classic and Vintage Cars

A 50's Classic / 1958 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

 

mercury cougar muscle carThe new car price for a 1973 Mercury Cougar ranged from $3,400 to $3,900. The XR-7's being on the higher end.

Mercury Cougar XR-7 Collector Cars

For the 1971-73 era , the 429 CJ cars are the ones in greater demand by collectors.

As of this writing we see second generation Mercury Cougar Hardtop Coupes with asking prices between $10,000 and $18,000. The price is dictated by condition and mileage plus any restoration performed.

The Cougar convertibles also have a wide range of asking prices. You should find some in the high teens area and for XR-7's in great condition in the mid twenties to the mid thirties.

(Articles and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)

Chevy Chevelle Malibu of 1965 / Photos and Specs

The automobile featured in this article is the 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu. Chevy introduced the Chevelle model in 1964 as a mid-sized offering. The Chevy Chevelle was to compete directly against the Ford Fairlane. The higher powered Chevelle V-8's competed mainly against the Pontiac GTO and Ford Torino.

1965 chevelle malibu

65 Chevy Chevelle Malibu

The Chevelle was also Chevrolet's entry into the 60's muscle car battles.The muscle car battle of the 1960's was, in part, an extension of the public's desire for more powerful vehicles for an improved highway system. When you look at total production numbers, muscle car sales was a small fraction of the total but did receive outsized publicity. This publicity likely helped the automaker immensely. Some might call it bragging rights.

General Motors built the Chevelle model in three generations for the 1964 through 1977 model years. The Malibu was the top of the line subseries for the Chevelle.

Chevelle Served a Wide Car Buying Public

The Chevrolet Chevelle, a mid-sized automobile, was available in six body styles and with a choice of six engines. Four straight six and two V-8's were offered. By mid-year 1965, a 396 cubic inch 375 hp big-block was optional. The car appealed to families, businessmen and muscle car enthusiasts, quite a large market.

1965 Chevrolet ChevelleChevy's Chevelle, with it's crisp, clean styling, had two major redesigns, one in 1968 and one in 1973. Chevelle's were built as coupes, two and four door sedans, convertibles and station wagons.

The Chevelle Malibu SS

The top performance / top of the line Chevy Chevelle for 1965 was the Chevelle Malibu. The SS models had the V-8 power plants and top end trim. The 1965 Malibu SS was available in both sport coupe and convertible models and with both straight 6 and V8 engines.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Specifications

As mentioned above, the 65 Chevy Chevelle was built with a choice of six different engine versions. The SS models came with a 283 or 327 cubic inch V-8. The Chevelle Malibu also had four straight six engines available. Later in the year Chevelle came out with a limited edition 396 cubic inch engine known as the Z-16 Package.

The Malibu ranked number one in Chevelle sales. The model had high end tailored fabrics with metallic thread accents. Adding to the Malibu's popularity were the many available options which included the sport coupe, convertible, 4-door sedan, and 2-seat wagon.

Transmissions included an automatic and a four speed manual.

Brakes were four wheel power disc.

1965 chevy malibuThe 65 Chevelle Malibu had a 115.0 inch wheelbase. Interestingly enough, the wheelbase matched that of the 55 Chevrolet. Total outside length was 197.0 inches.

Chevy's Chevelle weighed 3,160 lbs which was relatively light. This light weight helped with performance. The car could take either a small or large block engine without difficulty.

Over the thirteen year Chevrolet Chevelle production run, over 5 million models were built. The Chevy Chevelle was one of Chevrolet's most successful models.

See the additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

 Ford's 1969 Gran Torino GT Muscle Car

1967 Pontiac GTO

1970 High Performance Ford Mustang

1955 Olds Rocket 88 Specs and Photos

Two excellent source books on the subject of cars from the 1960's include...American Muscle Cars by authors William G. Holder and Phillip Kunz....American Cars of the 1960's: A decade of Diversity by author John Gunnell.

Chevrolet Chevelle Collector Cars

The Chevy Chevelle is a popular collector car and you'll most likely see one at most car shows and swap / meets. You'll certainly run across restored and unrestored Chevrolet Chevelle's for sale. You may have also seen two door Chevelles that were cut up to race as stock cars.

Chevy chevelle

Chevelle Malibu dashboard

Because there were so many different body styles with the 1965 Chevelle, you'll find just about any one of them for sale in a variety of conditions. Exact model, originality and car condition will determine the asking price.

As of this writing we see restored 65 Chevy Chevelles priced in the $25,000 to $35,000 range. The SS (Super Sport) models will be on the higher end. For restored Chevelle Malibu models you may see prices in the $45,000 to  $60,000 plus range and more. Non-restored Chevelles of course will be priced substantially lower.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)