1967-1969 Plymouth Barracuda 383/440

Barracuda became a Plymouth series all its own in 1967. It marked the occasion with a two-inch wheelbase stretch, to 108, and with the addition of a two-door hardtop and convertible to go along with its fastback body style.

Any resemblance to the Valiant was gone. The styling was more rounded than anything else in the Chrysler line, and the new hardtop was especially continental in flavor. Along with the new body came an engine bay wider by two inches. That was a clue to what Plymouth had in mind for this second-generation Barracuda.

1967 Plymouth Barracuda
The 1967 Plymouth Barracuda’s engine bay was widened by two inches,
making rooom to fit the big 383- and 440-cid engines.

The base ’67 Barracudas were equipped with the familiar MoPar slant six engine, while both 273 cubic-inch V-8s remained options. But Plymouth had tracked the performance winds and found them blowing toward more cubic inches. The automaker had apparently intended to offer a fortified version of its 318-cubic-inch V-8 in the ’67 Barracuda. But it learned that Mustang would be available with a 390 V-8 for ’67, the Chevy Camaro with a 396, and the Pontiac Firebird a 400.

Plymouth responded by shoehorning in the 383-cubic-inch B-Wedge V-8. With its single Carter AFB four-barrel and 10.0:1 compression ratio, it was good for 280 horsepower. The 383 was optional only in the top-of-the-line fastback Formula S Barracuda, and brought as standard a four-speed manual transmission; TorqueFlite was optional. The only axle ratio available with the 383 was a 3.23:1.

Like its predecessors, the ’67 Barracuda had front torsion-bar and rear leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. The firm-riding Formula S package included front disc brakes as well as bigger D70x14 tires.

What couldn’t be fitted, as it turned out, was something the 383 Barracuda desperately needed: power steering. The 383 engine’s exhaust headers occupied the space normally filled by the power steering pump. Trying to park a nose-heavy 383 Barracuda with the standard manual steering was “like trying to dock the Queen Mary,” moaned Car and Driver.

Customers found enough to like, however, and Barracuda sales increased sharply for ’67. Some 94 percent of the 62,534 production total was split about evenly between the fastback and the new hardtop. The new convertible accounted for the balance, with 4228 built.

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