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Automotive trends in the early and mid-1960s encouraged U.S. automakers to create compact sports cars. Chrysler also made efforts in this direction. The Plymouth Valiant was taken as the basis. The result was a typical rear-wheel-drive muscle car that competed to some extent with the Ford Mustang, and its April 1, 1964 premiere was two weeks ahead of the Ford bestseller.
The sports car of Chrysler Corporation's subsidiary Plymouth Barracuda was produced from 1964 to 1974 at two plants: Hamtramck (Michigan) and Windsor (Ontario, Canada). Three generations of Barracuda were produced, all of them were 2-door.
The first generation was based on the Plymouth Valiant Model A platform and was built from 1964 to 1966. Body dimensions were 4780/1781 mm (length/width) with a wheelbase of 2692 mm. The hood, headlights, windshield wipers, bumpers and body panels were all Valiant, while the other body parts were original. This approach allowed to significantly reduce time and cost to build the model.
The engines used were Chrysler 6-cylinder gasoline engines Slant-6 with the displacement of 2.8 liter (101 hp) and 3.7 liter (145 hp), as well as LA V8 4.5 liter. The compact and powerful LA V8 developed a maximum power of 180 hp. These engines were used together with an automatic Torqueflite transmission.