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Wheels in the Grass

1965 Plymouth Barracuda, Mayville, N.Y.

Some cars I find while out on the road are a little more in the grass than others. This 1965 Plymouth Barracuda is one of them. Way back in someone’s yard just north of Mayville, N.Y., it’s hard to tell if it’s got a really faded paint job, or has been primered. Seeing that the “Plymouth” letters on the trunklid seem to be intact and unpainted, I’m guessing this ‘Cuda has just faded over the years. Plymouth introduced the Barracuda as a model of the compact Valiant line in 1964 — it was basically a Valiant with a different roof; you can tell the ’64s from the ’65s because those first cars had a Valiant badge under the right side of the trunklid. The Barracuda became a model of its own for 1965.

'65 Barracuda brochure art

A neat little car, and arguably the first ponycar, it was overshadowed by the introduction of the Ford Mustang just two weeks later in mid-April, 1964. Plymouth sold 64,596 Barracudas that first year (compared to 680,989 Mustangs which went out the door between April and January!). List price for the Barracuda six-cylinder with a stick shift was $2,487. The Mustang was a bit cheaper —and, I guess, way cooler, at $2,372. I’m one of the few of my generation to never have owned a Mustang, but I did have a 1967 Barracuda hardtop coupe and it was a great car.

'65 Barracuda brochure art

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know