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Promo Image: Jack’s Journal: The Barracuda

Jack’s Journal: The Barracuda

All this month, Jack O’Malley’s having a blast taking us through the history of American muscle cars.

Yes, Mustang ignited the muscle car era, and Camaro seemed to answer the call, but it was another manufacturer that was the first on the scene.

“But what a lot of people don’t realize actually that it was the Barracuda that pre-dates the Mustang by just a couple of weeks. It was introduced April 1, 1964,” explains Jonathan Klinger.

Chrysler was the first, but over the years with good-natured competition among the public, Chrysler/Mopar seemed to always be on the defensive, but owners of those products were always loyal.

“I don’t think it’s because they’d had to defend their car to both Ford and Chevy.  It’s the fact deep down they know they started the muscle car wars. They had some of the early performance gains and some of the more radical engines at the peak of the muscle car era,” says Jonathan.

The Barracuda was the first, and it was known for the beautiful fastback styling, later to be picked up by Mustang. That styling stayed popular. Today some of the most sought after classics are those with the fastback look.

One ‘Cuda owner still loves that fact that people notice.

“It’s a lot of fun to drive, it turns a lot of heads. People don’t even recognize it at first.  Ask me what it is, I tell them, it’s a Barracuda and they say, oh yeah I had one in high school, or a friend had one in high school,” says Robert Vancoillie.

Maybe short on some of the headlines of Mustang and Camaro in the muscle car wars, Chrysler held their own in muscle car street racing. There was always “that Charger they just couldn’t beat”.