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Mopar Muscle Cars

Updated on June 15, 2016

If you were into cars in the late 60’s and early 70’s, you had a lot to get excited about. If you were a kid and didn’t have any money and/or weren’t old enough to drive, then you at least had a lot to drool over.

There were a lot of great muscle cars on the road during that time. Chevy and Ford had some terrific muscle cars then and so did Chrysler. Mopar muscle cars of this era were some of the best muscle cars on the road. Whether we are talking about the 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, the Dodge Challenger T/A, the Plymouth Road Runner or the Dodge Super Bee, there was something for everyone who was a fan of Mopar muscle cars. Below, I have included some information and also some great photos of some of my favorite Mopar muscle cars from that era.

Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth Road Runner
Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth Road Runner
Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth Road Runner Convertible
Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth Road Runner Convertible

Plymouth Road Runner

The Plymouth Road Runner (built between 1968 and 1980) was a no-frills muscle car.

The Road Runner was built by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation. With regard to muscle cars, Plymouth wanted to get back to basics (everything essential to performance and handling was beefed-up and improved and everything that wasn't was dropped) and looked to build a car that could run 14-second times in the quarter mile and sell for less than $3000. The Plymouth Road Runner met both goals. The Road Runner could run the 1/4-mile in 13.5 seconds at 105 mph.

It's been written that Chrysler Corporation paid $50,000 to Warner Brothers to use the name and likeness of their Road Runner cartoon character as well as a "beep, beep" horn. The Plymouth Road Runner was built on the Chrysler "B" platform which was the same as used in the Belvedere, Satellite and GTX models.

The standard engine was a 383 CID Roadrunner V8 developing 335 HP. For a little more, a buyer could get the 426 CID Hemi, which developed 425 HP.

Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth 'Cuda
Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth 'Cuda

Plymouth 'Cuda

The Plymouth Barracuda was built by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1964 through 1974.

The early Barracudas were a fastback design that was based on the Plymouth Valiant economy car. They had a wraparound back window and were built from 1964 to 1966. The 1967-1969 Barracudas were redesigned, but were still based on the Valiant A-body.

The real change came in 1970 when the Barracuda underwent a big redesign that was no longer based on the Plymouth Valiant. The all-new 1970 redesign was styled by John E. Herlitz and was built on a shorter, wider version of Chrysler's B platform that became known as the E-body. It kept this look through the last model year of 1974.

The 1970-1974 Barracudas were available as coupes or convertibles, both of which were very different from the previous models. The Barracuda models became high-performance 'Cudas when you added among other things, hood scoops, special striping and either a 383, 440 six-pack or Hemi engine.

Unfortunately, because of the increasing energy crisis of that time, most American big block high performance engines were scaled back in horsepower to reduce exhaust emissions, which of course, cut performance. With sales dropping, Barracuda production ended April 1, 1974, ten years to the day after it had begun.

Plymouth 'Cuda Tribute

Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth GTX
Mopar Muscle Cars - Plymouth GTX

Plymouth 440 GTX

The Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation introduced the Plymouth GTX as the Belvedere GTX in 1967. It was designed to be a blend of style and performance. Some of the differences between the GTX and the standard Plymouth Belvedere were its mock hood scoops, chrome "pit stop" fuel filler cap and optional racing stripes.

The GTX came standard with a heavy-duty suspension system. Also standard was a 440 cu in (7.2 L) V8, an engine rated at 375 hp. A buyer could also pay a little more and get the Chrysler 426 cu in (7 L) Hemi instead. The final year for the GTX was 1971 where less than 3000 cars were made.

Mopar Muscle Cars - Dodge Challenger T/A
Mopar Muscle Cars - Dodge Challenger T/A

Dodge Challenger TA

The Dodge Challenger T/A was produced for one year only, 1970. The T/A stands for "Trans Am". The Dodge Challenger T/A was quite different from the standard Challenger. First, the T/A version had a different stripe, a fresh air scoop mounted on the hood as well as front "chin" spoilers and back "duck tail" spoilers. Also, the Challenger T/A's exhaust exited out the sides of the car in front of the back wheels.

The Dodge Challenger T/A came with a 340 6 Pack V8. The maximum factory horsepower was 290 bhp @ 5,000 rpm. The Challenger T/A's hood was made of lightweight fiberglass and included a functional hood scoop meaning that it would draw in fresh air.

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    • Juggergnost profile image

      Juggergnost 5 years ago


      Me too!

    • profile image

      Todd Eblin 5 years ago

      68 or 69 road runner or bee are the most, my dream cars

    • Juggergnost profile image

      Juggergnost 5 years ago

      Dear wmhoward4:

      Thanks for the great comments! The reason is, I didn't have a really good photo of one I could use. :-)

      The Charger was one of my all time favorites too.

    • wmhoward4 profile image

      William A. Howard IV 5 years ago from Baltimore Maryland (USA)

      This was well written, accurate and informative. Just wondering how you could leave out the Charger? It was the crown of muscle.

    • Juggergnost profile image

      Juggergnost 6 years ago

      Dear Leaderofmany:

      I didn't want to include the Chevelle's on a Mopar hub, but you can check them out by clicking on the "Chevy Muscle Cars" link above.

    • Leaderofmany profile image

      Leaderofmany 6 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      The 'Cuda and the Challenger are awesome, I don't see the Cheville in there.