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Plymouth Barracuda Commando 65

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Plymouth Barracuda Commando 65

Plymouth Barracuda Commando 65

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Plymouth Barracuda Commando 1965

The history of Plymouth's Barracuda has a lot of highlights, but many would agree the '65 version was one of the special years. After all, 1965 was the year when the first-gen fish hit the dragstrip. Bill Shrewsberry, Bob Sullivan, Tom McEwen, and Richard Petty, all had examples on the racetrack, and some were also being raced in SCCA competition as well. Meanwhile, the factory would tool up some 60,000-plus pedestrian examples, powered by sixes and small V-8s. This after the cars had debuted as a variant on the Valiant platform for the '64 model year, 16 days before the mid-year release of Ford's new Mustang. The fastback body shape was achieved primarily with a giant backlight, which wrapped down to the fender line. Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) collaborated with Chrysler designers to produce this 14.4 ft² (1,33 m²) rear window, the largest ever installed on a standard production car up to that time.

The powerplant leader for the '65 model was the new Commando 273 V-8, an LA (late A) design, which was part of the car's Performance Group; the Commando was the only optional engine over the standard 225 Slant Six and the no-extra-charge two-barrel 273 V-8. Those Barracudas equipped with the Performance Group got the Rallye suspension and this four-barrel 235-horse Commando mill with its domed 10.0:1 compression pistons, but serious buyers could opt for the even hairier Formula S option. This got the Rallye suspension, the Commando powerplant (with a 6,000-rpm tach standard), bigger 5½-inch wide steel wheels, and Goodyear 6.95x14 Blue Streak tires-plus Formula S badges and an optional "over the top" racing body stripe.

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