|2012 Edition - 1968 Plymouth Barracuda|
The 1970–1974 E-body Barracuda, no longer Valiant-based, was available as a coupe and a convertible, both of which were very different from the previous models. The final model year for the Barracuda was 1974.
The second-generation Barracuda, now a 108 in (2,743 mm) wheelbase A-body still sharing many components with the Valiant, was fully redesigned with Barracuda-specific sheet metal styling and its own range of models including convertibles as well as fastback and notchback hardtops.
Design cues included a concave rear deck panel, wider wheel openings, curved side glass, and S-curved roof pillars on the notchback.
The rear portion of the roof on the fastback coupe was more streamlined, and the back glass, raked at a substantially horizontal angle, was much smaller compared with that of the previous model. Also, the use of chrome trim on the external sheet metal was more restrained.
During this time frame the first U.S. Federal auto safety standards were phased in, and Chrysler's response to the introduction of each phase distinguishes each model year of the second-generation Barracuda:
As the pony-car class became established and competition increased, Plymouth began to revise the Barracuda's engine options.
In 1967, while the 225 cu in (3.7 L) slant-6 was still the base engine, the V8 options ranged from the 2-barrel and 4-barrel versions of the 273 cu in (4.5 L) to a seldom-ordered 383 cu in (6.3 L) "B" big-block, the latter available only with the Formula S package.
In 1968, the 273 was replaced by the 318 cu in (5.2 L) LA engine as the smallest V8 available, and the new 340 cu in (5.6 L) LA 4-barrel was released. The 383 Super Commando engine was upgraded with the intake manifold, camshaft, and cylinder heads from the Road Runner and Super bee, but the more restrictive exhaust manifolds specific to the A-body cars limited its output to 300 bhp (220 kW).
Also in 1968, Chrysler made approximately 50 fastback Barracudas equipped with the 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi for Super Stock drag racing. These cars were assembled by Hurst Performance and featured lightweight items such as lightweight Chemcor side glass, fiberglass front fenders, and hood with scoop, lightweight seats, and sound deadener and other street equipment such as rear seats omitted. An included sticker indicated that the car was not for use on public roads; it could run the quarter-mile in the mid-10s in 1968.
For the South African export market, a 190 bhp (140 kW) high-performance version of the 225 slant-6 called Charger Power was offered with 9.3:1 compression, 2-barrel carburetor, more aggressive camshaft, and low-restriction exhaust system.
A handful of Savage GTs were also built from the second-generation Barracuda.
In 1969, Plymouth placed increased emphasis on providing and marketing performance. A new option was the Mod Top, a vinyl roof covering with a floral motif, available in 1969 and 1970. Plymouth sold it as a package with seat and door panel inserts done in the same pattern.
The 1969 version of the 383 engine was upgraded to increase power output to 330 bhp (250 kW), and a new trim package called 'Cuda was released. The 'Cuda, based on the Formula S option, was available with either the 340, 383 and new for 1969 the 440 Super Commando V8.