1970 Plymouth Barracuda – Fifth Ave., Midtown, NYC
There was an all new Barracuda for 1970, now based on the all-new E-body platform, which was a shortened B-body Road Runner platform. No longer would the Barracuda be based on the humble A-body Valiant chassis, this bodystyle would sever all ties with its platform-sharing predecessor. Fastback models were dropped, there was now only a notchback hardtop coupe and a convertible. And this time around, Dodge would have a twin called the Challenger, although they would share no body panels and the Dodge would have a 2 inch longer wheelbase. The new bodystyle was evidence that Chrysler was finally serious about getting serious in the pony car market, especially after watching GM and Ford for years rack up 200,000+ yearly sales for their entries… but one had to wonder if this was a classic case of “too little, too late”, especially since this same year, GM had redesigned its F-body twins, the Camaro and Firebird, to an all-new European-inspired fastback design. This, plus insurance companies had really started cracking down on muscle cars in general, and would all soon be emasculated by all-new emission laws.
If Plymouth indeed introduced the E-body Barracuda to the muscle-car party too late, it certainly made up for it by not arriving unnoticed. The ’70 Barracuda was available with just about every engine in Chrysler’s lineup in some variation, starting with the 3.7L 225 cid Slant-6 for the base models all the way to the holy-grail 426 Hemi on the ‘Cudas. 318s could be had on base coupes, but the ‘Cuda models would return with the 383 V8 standard (although the 340 could be had as a credit option). Options were the 440 (4 bbl and 6 bbl) and the aforementioned Hemi. Since the E-body was a shortened B-body frame, it accomodated a big-block V8 much better than the previous generation, and they could all have power steering and air conditioning (except the Hemi or the 440+6, which weren’t available with A/C). Plus they could have shaker hoods, ram-air hoods, just about any color you can think of (including pink and purple)… the array of choices and combinations were nothing short of dizzying – the option list alone had to be about the size of a small-town telephone directory.
For those that desired a little bit of luxury, a Gran Coupe package was available, similar to the Dodge Challenger SE, which included a vinyl roof, nicer interior and extra chrome on the outside. A very limited-edition AAR (All American Racers) package was also available (similar to the Dodge Challenger T/A), which included (among other things) the 340 V8 with the 3×2 “Six Pack” carburetor setup (exclusive to the AAR), fiberglass hood (in flat-black paint), strobe-striping on the sides with a unique AAR badge, and chrome side exhaust tips. The AAR could be had with a 4-speed manual or the 727 3-speed automatic.