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						Barracuda Formula S
Day-Two Modified Barracuda Formula S

383-powered 1969 Barracuda Formula S

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

Making a commercially successful muscle car was all about engineering a complete package that offered extra show and go for image-sensitive young buyers. Some of these packages might consist of nothing more than a disc brake upgrade, four-barrel intake manifold, a cam, some mag wheels and stripes, but for the right price, that might be enough to lure certain buyers away from the Mustang and into Plymouth’s A-body. That was the sort of thinking that brought about the Barracuda Formula S.

Before the ’Cuda, there was the Barracuda, a smaller A-body sedan designed to compete with the first-generation Ford Mustang. The first-gen Barracuda was a bit unassuming, but sported a cool wrap-around rear windshield and some fun features. But Plymouth’s top option for the car was the 273 ci LA V8, which left something to be desired in full-throttle performance.

Plymouth hit it right in 1967 though, with a completely redesigned Barracuda available in Fastback, notchback and convertible versions with the full array of Chrysler V8 engines available. There were hotter Barracudas (’68 B029 426 Super Stock and 440-powered cars), but for your average buyer, the Formula S package was the right mix of show and go.

The Formula S had been around since ’65, but really came into its own in the second-generation Barracuda with 340 and 383 ci V8s. The package was available across all-three body styles, and featured either the 275 hp 340 ci LA small-block, or the 300 hp 383 ci B-series big-block. By ’69, that (likely underrated) advertised output was up to 330 hp. Automatics and four-speeds were available, along with front discs, and the Formula S rode on heavy-duty suspension.

But the performance image was also a piece of the puzzle, and Plymouth made deluxe wheel covers and mag-type wheels available on the Formula S. Sport stripes could be had in red, black, white, green or blue, and the cars came with 340 and 383 specific Formula S badging.

As a self proclaimed Mopar nut, I’m smitten by this ’69 Formula S 383 notchback on Craigslist. It’s in excellent condition and the right combination of show and go, boasting a numbers-matching 383 big-block, four-speed transmission and B5 blue paint with blue sport stripes. Sure, if I were staring at the dealer order form, I’d have to have the Fastback, but there’s something purposeful and righteous about this notchback, especially with the optional hood scoops and the day-two mods. The wide steelies in the rear, mags up front, redline rubber, supplemental gauges and bolt-ons are all textbook day-two mods, but this one goes a bit further with a stroker kit from 440 Source. The seller doesn’t tell which kit is used (440 Source sells 496 and 438 ci kits), but does mention that the stock crank is included.

Call me bias, but I think this Formula S is rad for $37,900. It has it all from show to go, and is the right mix of exciting mods and documented originality. Check it out here on Nashville Craigslist.

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Mopar Muscle Cars Plymouth