One Rare Fish: 1-Of-53 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S

Earlier in the week I took a look at a 1970 Plymouth 383 ‘Cuda and made some vague comparisons to its two predecessors. Today, I’d like to take a closer look at its immediate predecessor, a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S, located in Fort Pierce, Florida and available here on eBay for a current bid of $25,000.

Pity the poor Barracuda, it was technically the first pony car to the party having beat out the Ford Mustang by about two weeks. By 1969, Chevrolet & Ford were running far out in front sales-wise with the Camaro and Mustang, respectively. While the Barracuda didn’t get a lot of respect, it should have as it was a nice variation between the Camaro and the Mustang; it was neither, it was its own car. Similar to the Mustang, Plymouth chose to build three different body-styles, a notch-back, a fastback and a convertible. This Formula S is the notch-back body which in my estimation is the preferred style. I think it looks more balanced than the fastback version and unlike the Mustang where the fastback (sportsroof in Ford speak) tended to steal the show, certainly with the performance-oriented set. Also, the term ‘Cuda was not yet in use for high performance Barracudas; the performance version in 1969 was known as the Formula S.

This ’69 Formula S is referenced as being only 1-of-53 with a 383 CI V8 engine and a four-speed manual transmission residing in a notch-back body style. In native form, the 383 “B” block motor was good for 330 HP. The seller tells us that this Formula S only has 17,000 miles as it spent its early years on the drag strip. The performance mods noted or referenced are a Holley carburetor, aluminum intake manifold (if that’s the case, it must be painted orange), an Accel coil & wires and fender-well headers which look like a bad plumbing experiment. Hopefully, they do the trick as there was quite a bit of engine compartment cutting that occurred to make them fit. The seller tells us that the first order of business was to get the car running and stopping but he doesn’t elaborate too much beyond that regarding his success. I’ll assume it runs but I don’t know how well.

The body looks pretty stout, a lot of original paint marred only by typical road rash and some rust areas in both lower quarters. One fender has been replaced due to long ago damage but the seller has the damaged original and it is included in the sale. There is no discussion regarding the underside of the car so while there’s probably not a corrosion problem, I’d want to inspect it.

The saddle tan interior contrasts nicely with the black exterior. It is very original and in reasonable shape except that the seams in the seat covers have let go. The seller does say that he has new, replacement covers. The interior has that “all business” look about it that Plymouths and Dodges were known for, I really like it!

The seller claims that this Formula S came out of a collection of “rare Barracuda notch-backs”. There were only about 32,000 Barracudas, of all stripes, produced in 1969. Compare that statistic to 243,000 Chevrolet Camaros and 299,000 Ford Mustangs so I’d say any 1969 Barracuda is rare, by virtue of comparison. The Formula S equipment with the optional 383 engine just adds to the rarity. Now, here’s the question, does rare translate into valuable? Compared to a ’70 Cuda, probably not but there’s no denying the uniqueness of this ’69 and it’s a breath of fresh air to see one, a big-block Formula S no less, available. What’s your preference, this second gen or the third gen ‘Cuda?

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Comments

  1. Easy Money

    The thing I hate about Ebay….a person with a ‘3’ score has more than doubled the bid of a ‘700+’ bidder…The ‘3’ bidder has bid on 17 autos and will most likely pay for none of them. Drives me crazy!!

    11
    • ken tillyUK

      I think the “3” score guy is what you guys call a “Shill” bidder.

      3
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Sweet with the 383 4 speed!! Yea, easy money, the sham bidders and all the other crap on fleabay sure is taking the fun out of it. Good luck!
    Cheers
    GPC

    10
  3. angliagt

    …..and eBay usually sides with these scumbags.

    I put my Ford Consul Capri on eBay,with no reserve.
    It went to $100,& I was willing to live up to my end of the deal.
    The “buyer” never contacted me,or sent payment.
    I gave it a little time,& gave him negative feedback.He
    then gave me bad feedback,& called me a liar.I then contested
    my negative feedback (it was 100%),& forwarded all the emails,
    I had sent to the “buyer”.They ruled in his favor,& I had to pay $20
    to get my negative feed back taken off,and they removed his for free.
    About six months later,the “buyer” was banned from eBay for
    not paying for auctions that he won,& I was never given notice that
    this had happened,& never got my $20 back.

    34
    • redwagon

      I had no idea you could pay to have negative replies taken off eBay.

      5
      • ken tillyUK

        Seems to defeat the whole object of having positive, neutral and negative sale replies doesn’t it? Advertise a bad deal, take the money, appeal against the E Bay verdict, pay them some cash and carry on regardless to the detriment of honest E Bay users.

        4
    • Barney

      I’d like to know how you as a seller was even able to leave a negative feed back. I have had two no pays recently and e-bay had no way for me to leave such a feed back. When I contacted them they would only nullify the sale and realist the vehicle. They said the would deal with the no pay bidder

      1
      • Edward

        Barney,

        If the seller left a negative feedback, it had to be when seller’s were allowed to leave negative feedback, so it happened years ago.

        Sales on Ebaymotors are non-binding, as is anything on eBay that involves a titled item (Homes, Land, Cars, Motorcycles, RV’s, etc.).

        They are not true auctions, and the buyer or the seller can walk away at any time for any reason they see fit. They are not legally bound to complete the sale, nor will a buyer be penalized for not completing the sale.

        Buyers get penalized on eBay’s main site: eBay.com, not Ebaymotors.

        Today, when a seller opens a non-paying bidder complaint, the buyer can’t leave a negative.

        Hope that helps.

        4
      • angliagt

        Yes,that was a few years back.

    • Paulbz3

      Do you still have the Consul Capri? Is it still for sale? If so I’d be interested in learning more. Email to paul@cmbca.limited. Thanks!

      1
      • ken tilly UK

        Is the Consul Capri the 2 door with the very nice sloping roof or is it similar to the Consul 315/375?

      • angliagt

        No,I sold it (for $500!).I had two of them.
        Sold the other one for $500 too.

        They were both Consul Capri 335’s,
        the one with the sloping roof,& room for a
        family of five in the trunk.

    • PatrickM

      Wow!! Sounds like some remodeling “contractors.” Pay them, they do lousy work. You have to sue them to get your money back. Then, re-pay a new contractor and it still costs lawyer fees and court costs. Cheaper to just hire a new contractor. I know this has nothing to do with cars, but….. Question is, where does integrity enter the picture? Trust has always been a big issue with me.

  4. BW

    Actually, 1969 was the first year for the’Cuda.

    6
    • Old Nasty

      BW
      The term “Cuda” was not used until the E body cars were introduced in 1970. I own a ’68 notchback with a 340 & 727 torqueflite & nowhere on the car does it say “Cuda”. It is the same 2nd generation body style as the ’69.

      3
      • John Wilburn

        Nope. While the 67-69 were A bodies and 70-74 were E bodies, the term “‘cuda” did appear on the 1969 A body models.

        5
      • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

        Good back & forth! I did some quick research because I recalled somewhere from past reading that the ‘Cuda term was used in 1969 but I couldn’t find the reference or prove it so I went with what I could verify.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yep, the ‘Cuda was a trim package in ’69:
      Visually bolder than the comparatively subtle yet equal-performing 340 Formula S-equipped Barracuda, the ’Cuda added hood stripes and non-functional scoops, large name and engine callout decals on the fenders, and black lower body stripes. Black grilles and dual exhaust with chromed tips were included with the Formula S and the ’Cuda.

      More info here:
      https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2019/03/21/the-1969-cuda-340-turns-50/

      4
      • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

        Good job PRA4SNW, thx!

        4
      • Dave

        From what I can remember the use of the contraction ” ‘Cuda” began in the automotive press after the introduction of the new 1967 models. Hot Rod, Motor Trend, and Car Craft were the primary drivers, or culprits if you wish. They saved a ton of newsprint by shortening Barracuda to only 4 letters. Starting in 1970, it was used to differentiate between hi-po and standard or luxury versions.

        1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        No problem, Jim.
        When the subject was brought up, I got curious too, because I remember the term being used for the ’69 models.

        1
  5. matthew B steele

    You don’t see these around.i really like it. Maybe not as much as a 70 cuda..but it is sweet – but my choice would be a 69 chevelle,Camaro or a 66 gt 350 mustang anyway ..just saying .

  6. Troy s

    My preference would be the third generation e body ‘Cuda along with the Challenger hands down, so much so that I believe had they come out two or three years earlier than ’70 sales would have been much much higher. Right in the hunt with the Mustangs and Camaros of the late sixties.
    Don’t care for the body style here, but loving those built fender-well headers! I know this fish will flat out move.

    • John Wilburn

      I love the body style, but don’t care for the fender well headers. I hate this car got hacked up for them, especially with TTI making great fitting under-chassis pieces.

      3
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    EBay screwed me too. I sold a guy a Volvo 122 fair and square, and he called me to say he was happy with the car.

    Then, when he went to title the car in Missouri, they had some problem with the title, and would not issue the guy a title. He complained to PayPal, but PP found in my favor, they said the transaction was on the up-and-up. THEN, he complained to his credit card company, so PP refunded his money and debited my PP account $2500, which had no funds because I saw this coming.

    NEXT, PP referred the matter to a collection agency. So now, my PP account is in the negative 2500 bucks, I can’t sell on ebay, and the guy who got his money back STILL HAS THE CAR!! I don’t care too much….I don’t want the car back, I didn’t really lose any money, and the collection I don’t care about.

    18
  8. TimM

    Really cool car that you don’t see very often!! Love the red stripe breaking up that deep black color!!! 4 speed car to boot!!! Motor compartment looks sanitary and is a nice change from all the beat to hell chargers that go for big money!! This should be a joy for the true mopar guys!!!

    4
  9. PDXBryan

    I love this generation Barracudas! My preference, though is the 340 engine and “not silly” tires.

    7
  10. A-body Fan

    A great body style coupled with fantastic engine choices. Seems to be a nice original driver and will be lots of fun having a 383. Enjoy!

    2
  11. Boatman Member

    Second gen, hands down.

    5
  12. C Carl

    Beautiful car, thanks for showing it to us.

    1
  13. Ken Cwrney

    Sorry BW, but the first Barracudas came out in ’64. The first gen cars were based
    on the Plymouth Valiant. It took some doing to make them look exciting, but
    Plymouth did just that. They added a fastback roofline to the lowly Valiant and
    the rest was history. Most were powered
    by the 225 slant 6, but you could get a 273 V-8 if you so desired. The second gen cars came out in ’67 or so. As for E-Bay, I don’t mess with them after Mom
    almost lost her shirt running an online
    business there. It cost more for her to
    sell there than a regular storefront did.
    Cool car though.

    2
  14. Johnny Cuda

    I like this A-body car. I also like the E-bodies. I own a 68 Barracuda notchback 318 automatic with 55,000 actual miles. Twenty five years ago, I was the only Barracuda and sometimes the only Mopar at the local (Boston area) car shows. Now, the Barracudas, Cudas, and Mopars are coming out of the woodwork!

    2
    • David Ulrey

      I’d love to own one like yours. Second generation for me all the way. Love the coupe/notchback best of all the 3 bodystyles.

      1
  15. John

    Like!

    1
  16. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Went to school with a guy that had a Barracuda Notch Back. Drivetrain was something like 273 ci with a 4 speed. It was a nice little car but not too impressive to me at the time, after all I’d see the Hemi Under Glass perform. My opinion changed dramatically once I’d had a chance to actually drive a fast back. Short of hanging a pole off the rear bumper, it’s impossible to tell where it is when parallel parking. The notch back got a much higher respect from me after that as it was much easier to drive.
    My classmates car met an untimely death. He crested a hill on a 2 lane blacktop and found a bull standing there that had gotten out of the pasture. Do you have any idea how much damage a full grown bull can do to a car as it rolls across the car from hood to trunk? That doesn’t even include how much bologna that was lost due to one dead bull.

    6
    • Barney

      I saw the results from a Nova hitting a cow. The cow took out the grill, hood and windshield and then the roof. On its way over the car it “relieved” it’s self if you know what I mean. The driver needed a bath asap.

      3
      • TimM

        Good thing it wasn’t a convertible!!

        3
  17. Del

    Nice car.

    I prefer an E body

    But i would not turn this one down

    1
  18. Terry Bowman

    E-bodies look cool, but a little heavy and no rear end weight, as the a-bodies are lighter with a little more weight in the rear for better hook up. I also like the 340 as a better option. Lighter than the 383, with the same HP. Do the math!!!

    3
    • John Wilburn

      The 340 was 275hp. The 383 was 330-335hp.

  19. Craig

    yep, although this appears to be a Formula S, the ‘Cuda was introduced in 1969, having a hood with 2 fake scoops, and 2 hood stripes, letters on the fenders stating ‘Cuda, and available with 340, 383, and 440. I believe this was the only way to get the 440 (a low production car).

  20. Greg

    My dad had a red 67 Notchback with the 2bbl 273 and Torqueflite. He loved that car for years. I always preferred the fastback styling of both the 1st and 2nd generation Barracuda’s and I personally owned a 66 Formula S 4 speed cloaked in a gorgeous rendition of ‘British Racing Green’. The E body is, of course, every ‘Cuda’ lovers wet dream, but I would love to find a good, clean 68/69 340 that I could actually afford on my retired income.

    1
  21. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Personally am a fan of gen 3 as my dad has a vitamin c 70 Gran coupe and family friend had a in violet (plum crazy) AAR. However this A body looks sinister in black and red stripe looks great. Has a good stance and pretty hard to find in manual trans. Other than updating the headers and I may take flack for this but I think it needs the fiberglass 6 pack hood to finish of the look. Saw a blue formula s 340 4 speed like this in one of the Mopar magazines years ago that had one on it and it really looked right on that car. This one being black would be even better, would prefer a red or black interior though. Wish I had the extra funds laying around.

    1
  22. Terry Bowman

    John, that was advertised HP for Insurance satisfaction. The 340 was closer to 325-330 Hp

    2
  23. andrew smith

    I love this…my new favorite car!

  24. MAXWEDGECHARLIE MAXWEDGECHARLIE Member

    In the early Seventies a guy I worked with bought a ’68 383 4 speed notchback. The body was beat, the interior was ripped up, it had rubber floor mats and there was no headliner but what a beast! Spin the tires through first, second and part of third! In ’68 they were rated at 305 horsepower, I think, because they had just introduced the Road Runner and wanted to sell the RRs with 335 horsepower and not Barracudas. I was collecting parts to build a 440 tunnel ram notchback but the MAX got in the way!

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