V8 Upgrade: 1969 Plymouth Barracuda

With the values of Third Generation Plymouth Barracudas continuing to climb, Mopar enthusiasts sometimes struggle to locate affordable alternative project cars. That’s where candidates like this 1969 Barracuda could ride to the rescue. It is a rock-solid and complete classic with a V8 under the hood. It has sat for a while, but reviving it may not be difficult. It has also attracted minimal bidding, meaning it could prove an affordable starting point for a project build. You will find the Barracuda listed here on eBay in Monroe, Michigan. The price sits at $7,500 after only two bids, with that figure pushing it beyond the reserve. Somebody could score this Plymouth for a song if the action doesn’t heat up in the next couple of days.

This Barracuda spent the first two decades of its life in the dry climes of Texas before finding its way to Michigan in around 1990. It has always been garage-kept, helping explain why its rust problems are essentially superficial. The seller identifies small areas in the driver’s side lower rear quarter panel requiring patches and one spot in a front fender, but there’s nothing justifying panel replacement. Delving below the surface confirms that prone areas like the floors, trunk pan, and rails are rock-solid. Its Code R6 Scorch Red paint is baked in spots, but a repaint as part of the project build would lift the presentation enormously. However, since this classic is not 100% original, that might represent the ideal opportunity for a color change to help this Plymouth stand out from the crowd. The windshield requires replacement, but the remaining glass looks okay. There is also grille damage, but most of the remaining trim should respond positively to some old-fashioned polishing.

The best word to describe this Barracuda’s interior is “tired.” Most upholstered surfaces are baked beyond salvation, meaning a total retrim is the most sensible course of action. The good news is that the interior is complete, and various owners have installed aftermarket additions in a way that would allow their removal without compromising the originality. The factory radio is intact, and the inclusion of bucket seats and air conditioning adds a luxurious feel. This build aspect is unlikely to leave any change from $2,000, but the result should be a factory-fresh appearance.

When shiny and new, this Plymouth’s engine bay hosted a 225ci slant-six producing 145hp. Mated to a three-speed TorqueFlite transmission, it allowed the Barracuda to cover the ¼ mile in a relatively leisurely 18.7 seconds. Coinciding with its move from Texas to Michigan, the original six made way for a 318ci V8 of 1970 vintage. That motor is mounted on a V8 K-Frame from the same model year, while a 904 TorqueFlite sends the power to the rear wheels. With the output boosted to 230hp, this classic should be capable of storming the ¼ mile in 15.8 seconds. That’s a significant improvement, helped by the ’69’s relatively low curb weight of 3,009lbs. If the next owner performs basic upgrades to the induction system, exhaust, and camshaft, that could lift performance significantly without breaking the bank. The vehicle has hibernated since the 1990s, but the engine roars to life courtesy of an external fuel source. The brakes are inoperative, and the lack of recent activity means it requires a thorough inspection to confirm there are no further problems. The lack of structural rust opens the tantalizing prospect that the buyer could return the car to a mechanically roadworthy state and enjoy the motoring experience while tackling the panel and paint issues at their leisure.

While many focus on the later E-Body variant of the Plymouth Barracuda, it is worth giving the Second Generation cars a closer look. They may not possess the same muscular stance as the later model, but they have one characteristic worth keeping in mind. The E-Body brought more muscular looks to the table, but it also brought increased weight. Our feature car tips the scales at around 3,009lbs, but an E-Body with a 318 pushes that figure to 3,194lbs. As most enthusiasts will confirm, weight is the enemy of performance. Therefore, if a Barracuda with potential muscle credentials is on your Wish List, this solid example is worth a closer look.


  1. DrillnFill

    I like it. A good looking car at (possibly) a decent price. I’d get her mechanically sorted out, leave the paint but redo the interior/ spiff up what outer trim I could and drive around “Roadkill” style. Maybe upgrade to some 15” Rallyes/ BFGs.

    Like 5
  2. Emel

    Front end is kinda of Dart-ish.

    So thank god 1970 came around ! lol

    • S

      These cars were in fact based on the Valiant – it’s an A body. When they restyled the Valiant and Dart in 1967, the Barracuda was also restyled. The separate E body platform did not arrive until 1970.

      Like 1
      • Emel

        Yep….which is why i said……thank god 1970 came around !

  3. Desert Rat

    The are cool cars when done right. The price could get a guy into a 60s pony car for cheap compared to the other makes and man is that car light at around 3,000 pounds.

    Like 4
  4. S

    I like it – but it will need to be restored, especially the interior.

    Like 4
  5. S

    It has 1968 Plymouth Fury wheel covers – which is a bit odd.

    Like 1
  6. Paul B

    I thought this was one of the nicest looking American cars of its era. It wasn’t showy. It didn’t look like a bully. It had beautiful simple lines. We don’t see that anymore.
    I’d buy it, fix the interior, and think about putting in a 4-speed manual, since it’s already been converted from six to V8. Not a collector car really this way, just a fun car, and a good looking one at that.

    Like 8
  7. JBD

    One of my fav fish! I helped my buddy move years ago and most small stuff fit in the back fold down rear seat. The 318 was the most reliable V8, being built for 60 plus years.

    Like 1
  8. Jt Toy

    Always a fan of Gen 2 ‘Cudas. I take this, do very little and drive it like I stole it. Not every car has to be restored to concours. Oh yeah, I had a black ’69 ‘Cuda. Never forget it!

    Like 2
  9. MarkoBravo

    Interior refurb, cam kit, MSD or Mallory Elec. ign upgrade, aftmkt intake/exhaust combo, 4spd upgrade w/optional hwy overdrive, and enjoy every road in America til I pass it on to my son!

    Now, where should I purchase that winning lotto ticket.?.?

    Like 2
  10. Rixx56 Member

    At the moment it’s a reasonable purchase.
    I’m guessing these will only rise in value, as
    ’70 and up versions go stratospheric! I know
    the comparison is really non-existent.
    I wish its winning bidder the best.

    Like 2
  11. John M.Stecx

    Love these cars,owned a 69 way back when with a 340 , and a torque flite automatic. Took a licking and kept on ticking. But the best part was folding down the rear seat and parking with your favorite girl ,and watching theoon and the stars thru the big back window on the fastback model

    Like 1
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I just submitted a ’66 Barracuda, red, slanty, in very similar condition to this one. At $9,500, I thought it was a pretty good deal, considering what stuff is going for nowadays.

    This one could end up a bargain, but there’s still almost 2 days left.

    Like 2
  13. Gary

    I liked the fastback 68-69 barracudas, especially the Hemi Cudas and also the Hemi Darts.

    Like 1
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $7,700.

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