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My 1966 Plymouth Barracuda

Updated on June 5, 2015

My 1966 Plymouth Barracuda

I love my 66 Barracuda. The interior is trashed and it has a puny, weak 7-1/4" differential but the body is straight and rust free and the paint looks pretty good. When I bought it, it came with a 273 2-bbl and 904 auto. I replaced the engine with a hopped up 318 and the trans with a Tremec 5 speed manual. Unfortunately the shop (I use the term loosely) that did the work failed to drain the gas tank before they fired it up, so the 5 year old rotten fuel gummed up the valve guides and it's been sitting ever since. This year I'm finally going to get it fixed and back on the road - it's been too long...

1966 Barracuda rear view
1966 Barracuda rear view

Building a 1966 Barracuda

Of all the early Mopar A bodies, I like the 1966 Plymouth Barracuda the best. It's a lot sportier looking than the Dart or Valiant, and the large rear window gives the car a very unique look (this is where all the Mustang and Camaro fans say "Yeah, but not in a good way"). The back seat folds down, creating a huge cargo space which I like for hauling model airplanes, beer, etc. It's probably big enough to sleep in, though I haven't tried that yet. The 1966 Barracuda is my favorite of the first generation 'Cudas.

The Barracuda can give great performance with a 318, especially when it's backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. It's also light enough to give decent performance with a smaller engine if a 273 or Slant Six is your thing. In fact, I'd like to find another one of these specifically to build with a Hyper Pack Slant Six. In Formula S trim, the Barracuda also provides excellent handling. It's also fairly unique and gets me lots of smiles and "thumbs up" when I drive it.

Mopar Performance - Mopar and Barracuda History

First Things First

Things to Consider When Buying a 1964 - 1966 Barracuda

Condition is very important

The 1964 - 1966 Barracudas aren't as popular as other vintage pony cars so there aren't as many reproduction parts available. Interior kits, lenses, and misc. small parts are available for the early Barracudas, but things like quarter panels (and other body parts), patch panels, and trim pieces generally aren't. Unless you're a good metal fabricator or have a lot of money to spend, "rust free" is more important for an early Barracuda than it is for other vintage cars. The other consideration is the rear window - unless you want to spend a lot of time and money tracking down a new (used) rear window, make sure your Barracuda has one.

What engine do you want to run?

The early Barracudas had 2 engine options - a Slant Six or a small block V8. It's easy enough to put a Slant Six into a V8 car or vice versa except that Mopar in their infinite wisdom decided to use a different steering drag link for the 2 different engines. On a V8 Barracuda, the drag link drops about 2" across the center to clear the oil pan. On a Slant Six Barracuda it doesn't. If you're trying to put a V8 nto a Barracuda that originally cam with a Slant Six it won't work unless you can find the correct drag link. Of course putting a Slant Six into a Barracuda that originally came with a V8 shouldn't be a problem...

Finding a 1964 - 1966 Barracuda

You probably won't find one of these in the Used Car lot at your local dealership. The best places to find a 1964 - 1966 Barracuda are probably Craig's List or EBay. You might find one sitting in a back yard or garage. They sometimes turn up at wrecking yards, especially ones catering to older vehicles. "Deals on Wheels" type publications can also be a good source. Those listed in Hemmings are probably over priced. Don't pay too much for one of these cars. With the exception of a Formula S, the 1964 - 1966 Barracudas are worth around $15000 tops when restored to Number 1 collectible condition. Most of the ones you find will be in condition 5 (restorable) or 4 (good). Get a copy of Old Cars Price Guide and study it. Don't pay too much for one of these cars - I know I already said it but it's worth repeating.

Reproduction Parts for a 64 - 66 Barracuda

Early Barracudas weren't exactly popular in the past, so it was difficult to find reproduction parts for them. That seems to be changing though because more and more parts for the early (1964-66) Barracudas are becoming available.

Mopar - The Perfomance Years

 

Thanks for checking out my 1966 Barracuda lens. I hope the info is useful and entertaining. If you have any questions on first gen Barracudas or other Mopar A Bodies post them and I'll answer the best I can. I just finished a late model 318/Kiesler 5 speed installation in my 1966 Barracuda and there is a lot of things to look out for...

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    • scoobydooo9r profile image

      scoobydooo9r 4 years ago

      I love Barracuda's! Not a huge Chrysler product fan for most of their stuff, but I love the classic muscle cars. Plus, I'm a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan, so it goes without saying that I wish I had a Charger.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I need a straight rear bumper. If you have a good one please let me know. shawnmcenery@rogers.com

    • profile image

      360terryf 4 years ago

      @anonymous: hi ! yes i do have arm rest fronts and backs i only have one set of arm rest

      pads for fronts theys well have to b painted like i dd they arent chrome. 35.00

      per set + shipping pads are 15.00 for the set. so let me know what u need.

      thanks for looking.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, have a 1966 Barracuda slant 6 for sale. When I lived in California I spent lots of work and money to bring this car to a number 1 or 2 condition, but then I transported it to The Netherlands and stored it first 10 years in a garage and the last 5 years it has been standing in the yard under a raincover. The body has started to rust pretty badly and may not be salvable except for the front panels, hood and rearhood. Other than that the car is complete and has many parts that are unique. I spend a lot of time and money to get the interior near perfect: new seats with the old patterns, dash has been repainted, even new ventholes, very hard to find. Is anyone interested??

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi! I am looking for armrests for my 65 barracuda. Can you help me?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: ,mike martin,looking for rear quarter panels 1966 barracude 304 422 4329

    • profile image

      360terryf 4 years ago

      @anonymous: i have 66 lenses for sale nice shape 50.00 a set contack me at terryfrasier@att.net

    • profile image

      360terryf 4 years ago

      360terryf i have pro street 66 barracuda. it runs a 2004 5.7 hemi engine and a 727 trans with a 8 3/4 rearend right now its running a 323 street gear and lots of fun to drive and race. if yous would like to see the car go to amercian car fever.com go to videos and see 1966 barracuda. also i have lots of barracuda parts forsale everything from nuts and blots to 3 back windows side glass to u can contack me at terryfrasier@att.net thanks for looking go MOPAR

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Has anyone bought the replacement tail light lenses from Herb's Auto for the 66 Barracuda, and if so, are they good quality and worth the $239 that they want for them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have a 66 Cuda that I'm just starting to work on. Engine is good (somebody found a way to shoehorn a 383 into it) but I need to rebuild or replace the automatic transmission (only gear working is reverse). If you have transmission parts or leads on where I might find them I would be much obliged. Live in Southern Illinois.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I have several 66 barracuda's including a slant six manual 3 speed complete and running,. contact me if you need anything off of this car I have been collecting 66 parts for 30 years and now its time to start getting rid of stuff. Bigchiefnb@aol.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am looking for the front turn signal lights under the front bumber, socket and bezel,

      ronald.woodward@aol.com

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I guess Im in for the ride, I just bought a 66 Barracuda off craigs list and its practicly rust free awesome chrome all original I couldn't believe it. V8 auto for $2,500 I really don't think the owner new what he had, you don't find that anymore I jumped on it with in 6 hrs of its listing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a '66 Barracuda parts car that I'm trying to sell. It is too rusty to build but it has a lot of good parts. Almost all of the chrome is good - both bumpers are not straight though. All the glass is good. Has a center console. Have the original 273 block, crank and intake but they are rusty. I'm thinking it should be worth about $500 but I don't know if that's reasonable or not. Any ideas?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I would like more information about your car send pic to a_cotejr@att.net g

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a 1966 Cuda for sale...original slant six...original transmission...original back window, etc. I have no idea what she is really worth. It has been in my family for about 40 years and still runs. Let me know if you are interested and I can send pics...thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am lookiing for the small chrome insert in the backup light for a 66 cuda. I had the taillight housing rechromed and the little insert would not rechrome

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      John W Shepherd, I also have a very nice 66 cuda, just had it painted orig. color with clear coat. new carpet seat covers and headliner. it really draws attention. it's a 6 cy. but I have a 66 273 vs ready to install.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Did they make a1966 supercharged version ? There is a car I found in a barn 1966 barracuda 273 and it looks to have a factory supercharger on it.All the glass is good,body not bad, interior needs work though.Is it worth $650.00 ? Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I want to convert my 66 slant six cuda from automatic to a 4 or 5 speed

      Any good suggestions for reliable transmission, clutch, bell housing sources ?

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I like the 64 Valiant, IMO it's the best looking Valiant Mopar ever made:) I have a 64 Valiant wagon and I love it. I also think the Slant Six is perfect for the early Valiants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      do you know much about the 1964 plymouth valiant with a slant six nice barricuda

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Quite a car, indeed - thanks for sharing!

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      @anonymous: For steering, Flaming River makes a really nice fast ratio manual box that fits the early A Bodies. I think Stainless Steel Brakes makes a front disc conversion but I don't know about the rear brakes. For suspension questions I recommend going to www.forabodiesonly.com and asking in their forums. Lots of good, knowledgeable people there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm looking for tips on lowering a '66 Barracuda, adding disc brakes all around and improving steering. The car is set up with a 340 from a '69 Dart. Any books, web sites, resources, etc. that anybody could recommend would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      I wish I had the talent and the funds to restore an older muscle car. Back in the day, I had a '66 Mustang with a 289 that is probably similar in weight and power to your '66. A friend had a 1970 'Cuda, and it was an awesome car. If memory servers, it was powered by a 360 Mopar.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Anyone looking for a set of original wheels and hubcaps for a '64 'cuda. Not sure what they are worth. The caps have the chrysler emblem in them.

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      @khemo53: I don't have anything against Pontiacs, but if I was going to get one it would probably be a 73 Le Mans because my best friend in high school had one. 65 GTO is very nice but out of my price range:)

    • khemo53 profile image

      khemo53 5 years ago

      Great lens. I've always liked the 65 GTO, but I know that sacrilege to a Mopar man!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a 66 fORMUALS S IN THE SHOP BEING PAINTED RIGHT NOW ..... A'WAYS INTERESTED IN BETTER PARTS TO RESTOE MY CAR

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      @anonymous: The 67-69 Barracudas don't look as good as the 64-66 (IMO - I also know they'll take a big block) and 70-74 are too expensive (I'm saving for a 70 though...). I don't care how much it's worth when I'm done. I got it because I like it, not because it's an "investment."

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'd check for rust in the rocker panels and front sub-frame too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Do yourself a favor and get a 67 or newer Cuda, parts and body panels are easier to get and the finished car is worth a lot more.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm going to look at a 66 today. I'm wondering what I should look for, I know nothing about a Barracuda, I'm wanting a winter project and from the pictures this looks pretty good shape for a 66, he says the only rust is the back lower quarters. Is there any other place I should look for rust and just walk away. Says the car is from Virginia, they don't use salt there do they?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We are looking at a 66 Couda to finish restoring and it has factory air. Is that a unique feature, or pretty standard?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @glenbrook: Thanks Glockr I'll check it out.

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      @anonymous: The Commando 273 looks good stock:) If you can find a set of Offenhauser valve covers for it they look really nice (better than the MP valve covers on a vintage car IMO). They're pricey though - around $300/set new.

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Laysons has patch panels listed on their site. Don't know if they're in stock but here's a link:

      http://www.laysons.com/Catalog.cfm?nCatID=2916&...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Have just begun woork on my 66 and I need lower rear quarter panels. Any ideas where to get them?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I own a 66 Barracuda Formula S 273 with a four barrel. This car is stock right down to the wheel covers. The care belonged to my brother and now it's mine. Been sitting in a warm garage since 1985.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like your lens

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I just bought a 66 cuda...want to dress my engine up.....Any suggestions.....I have the 273 comando....Any places to give you a great price on parts....For i am looking for the best deal on parts.........Begining my restoration.......Thanks for the info......Go...mopar

    • profile image

      outsource123 6 years ago

      Useful information about Barracuda car.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Sweet! I have a car just like that. I wouldn't mind fixing it up eventually!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you for the info. i am looking at a 66 cuda and now i know some things to look for.(especially the $$$$$ part of it.) thank you again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great site on my one of my favorite muscles cars!

    • glenbrook profile image
      Author

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm pretty sure the repair kits are a scam. I don't see how you can repair 24 year old plastic and have it look good. The lenses on my '66 need to be replaced - faded really bad and almost no color left in them. I don't know if anyone makes reproductions so I've been looking for N.O.S. pieces. If I find anything I'll post it here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Looking for rear light lenses and wondering if the repair kits are a scam... I thought you might know. Did you have to repair the rear lights on yours?

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      Ahhhh! Such a beautiful car!! Thanks for sharing so I could drool! (Sorry if I cause a little rust...)

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      RebeccaE 6 years ago

      love these kinds of cars, these are awesome thanks!

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 6 years ago

      Very cool. I love old muscle cars. Lensrolled to both my Mustang articles.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Always a Chev family, but back in the day, the only Chrysler we every owned was a 67 Cuda, pretty cool car!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Bought a 1966 with a tired 273. Found a 340 that I am planning to install. I will be staying with the automatic as that's what in the car now, and I bought a 747 with the 340. Heard that I might have some trouble with exhaust interference. Any tips or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 6 years ago

      A lot of great tips on your lens for those who like to restore cars! Good luck on your project!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am currently restoring a 66 Barracuda. I am putting a 440 in itg backed by a 727 Torqueflight. I am hoping it will be a fast little ride wwhen I'm finished. Thanks for the information that you posted.