Featured is a beautiful 1970 Plymouth Cuda. The Plymouth Barracuda was produced from 1964 to 1974. The first generation Barracuda models ran from 1964 to 1966. The second generation ran from 1967 through 1969 and the third generation 1970-1974.

70 plymouth cuda pony car
1970 Plymouth Cuda

1970 Plymouth Cuda had a successful decade during the 1960’s. This was the decade that Plymouth introduced several undisputed classics like the Fury, Road Runner, Duster, and the Barracuda. The Barracuda, upon managements suggestion, was originally going to be named the Panda. That name was eventually dropped in favor of the Barracuda which undoubtedly was a better choice for what would become an iconic muscle car.

First Muscle Car

The Plymouth Barracuda was actually the first Pony Car that came on the market. The Barracuda was introduced about two weeks before Ford’s Mustang. That 1964 Barracuda was actually an option package for the Plymouth Valiant model. Three years later in 1967 the Barracuda model didn’t look anything like the Valiant. The redesign that took place for the 1970 Barracuda removed all its previous commonality with the Valiant.

1970 plymouth cuda photos

While the Plymouth Barracuda came out shortly before the Ford Mustang, it’s standing in the muscle car field was rather short lived. The big reason was the engine. The low cost Mustang debuted with a V-6 and two V-8’s the larger delivering 210 HP.  The 1964 Barracuda came out with two Inline Six engines and a 273 cubic inch V-8. The V-8 delivered 180 HP. After the Mustang came out to a huge success, the Plymouth Barracuda was in a perpetual catch up game. For 1965 the Mustang 289 V-8 was delivering 225 HP.

The Cuda Package

The optional Cuda Package was first introduced for 1969 models as their performance offering. While the Barracuda was introduced years earlier, the muscle car competition was heating up and it was time for Plymouth to up the ante.

The Cuda Package was an appearance / performance package that had roots in the Formula S performance package. The largest engine for the 1970 Plymouth Cuda was the 440 cubic inch V-8 with triple two barrel carburetors and 395 HP. There was also a 426 cubic inch V-8 with two four barrel carbs and 425 HP.

1970 Plymouth Barracuda Specifications

The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and those with the Cuda package offered several engines.

For 1970  the Barracuda had available two slant six engines, a 198 cubic inch and the  225 cubic inch. There were also three different V8’s. These were the 383 cubic inch 383  two-barrel carburetor with single exhaust, and the 383 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust delivering 330 HP.

The standard 1970 Cuda engine was the 383 with 335 HP.  Options included the 340 cubic inch Six Pack  with triple 2-barrel carburetors, a 440 cubic inch four-barrel with 375 HP,  the 440 cubic inch triple two-barrel Super Commando Six Pack rated at 390 HP, and the 426 cubic inch Hemi rated at 425 HP.

Transmissions available included a 3-speed manual, the Torqueflite automatic, and the Hurst shifter equipped four-speed.

70 barracuda specifications

The 1970 Plymouth Cuda had a 106.0 inch wheelbase,a length of 186.7 inches, height 50.9 inches and width 74.9 inches. Curb weight averaged about 3,100 lbs.

Total 1970 Plymouth Barracuda production was 48,800 units. Out of that number 16,700 Hardtop Cuda’s and  548 Cuda Convertibles were produced.

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.

1970 Plymouth Cuda Collector Car

The second generation Plymouth Barracuda’s is where the model’s popularity kicked in and it carried into the third generation.  This second  generation is where the design departure from the Plymouth Valiant was solidified. These were also the generations where Plymouth added more power to it’s Barracuda’s with the 1969 model year being the best performance car of that generation. The 440 cubic inch V-8 engine Six Pack with it’s three two barrel carburetors built on Cuda’s offered 395 HP.

Current auction and asking prices for the 1970 Plymouth Cuda can range from $50,000 and well into the $100,000 plus area.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)