1968 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible / Specs, Photos, Styling and Performance

Our featured automobile is a great looking 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible. While the first Barracuda’s back in 1964 were certainly not considered muscle cars, by 1968 with the kind of engines offered, the Plymouth Barracuda was a potent muscle car.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible

The Barracuda..The First Pony Car

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.

68 barracuda specifications

1969 Plymouth Barracuda Styling

The Plymouth Barracuda was designed by John Samsen who also did design work for the first Ford Thunderbirds. Samsen’s career was designing cars for both the Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Corporation. It was also Samsen who chose the word “Barracuda” for these new Plymouth models. The Barracuda name was not the direction senior Chrysler management was going with at that time. Management’s choice was “Panda”. Obviously, and very fortunately, Samsen’s suggestion of “Barracuda” won the day. Barracuda was surely the better nameplate for what would become one of America’s true muscle cars.

The Plymouth Barracuda received a major redesign for 1967. Samsen took a chance with all new sheet metal and designed one of the most modern looking automobile of the year. Because of this major redesign in 1967 the 68 Plymouth Barracuda’s design was a carryover. One quick way to tell the difference however between the 67 and 68 models are that the 68 models had round side marker lights. Another distinguishing characteristic was in the engines offered.

1968 barracuda muscle car

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible Specifications
Several engines were available for the 1968 Barracuda. There was a  225 cubic inch (slant six)..and plenty of V-8’s including a 273, 318, 340, 383, 440 and 426 cubic inch choices. Surely, an engine for just about anyone’s taste. 
With the Barracuda built with fiber glass front clips and lightweight steel doors, some of these Barracuda’s could do the quarter mile in under 11 seconds at 130 plus MPH. This is true muscle car performance.
Ever since the 1965 model year the Plymouth Barracuda offered the Formula S option V-8 package. The Formula S package included a heavy duty suspension system with upgraded shocks and wheels. 
Transmissions were a three or four speed manual and a three speed automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums with optional front discs.

Suspension for the the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda included a front independent wishbone and a live axle rear with leaf springs.

Dimensions include a 108.0 inch wheelbase, 192.8 inch outside overall length, 71.6 inch width, 52.8 inch height.

Total 1968 Plymouth production totaled 682,100 vehicles. Out of that number 45,400 Barracuda’s were built.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1968 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible

1967 Pontiac GTO

Reference material for this article includes..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..Chrysler Corporation Archives.

68 plymouth barracuda convertible specs

1968 Plymouth Barracuda Collector Car

The Plymouth Barracuda remains a very popular collector car and is very representative of the muscle car era of the 1960’s. The Barracuda’s from 1967-1969 may be the most popular models. As mentioned above, the Barracuda came out a few weeks before the Mustang and is arguably America’s first pony car.

Current sales and auction prices for the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda cover a wide range. In general Fastback’s are valued higher than Convertibles in similar condition. Formula S examples are priced higher than standard models.

Excellent restored V-8 examples of the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda with high originality  currently are seen in a range from about $40,000 to $60,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)