Plymouth Barracuda 440 (1969)
In 1969, the pony cars wars were getting serious as Mustang defended its position as the best-selling model in its class and the Camaro/Firebird duo attacked with everything GM had. Chrysler was also a formidable competitor since the restyled Barracuda had more muscle with the introduction of the optional 383 engine. It also had two more body styles – the convertible and notchback coupe. However, the biggest news for 1969 was the introduction of the Barracuda 440 V8, a monster pony car with the biggest engine ever installed under the hood of a car in that segment. Plymouth wanted to be a dominant force in a stock class of drag racing championships and needed a weapon equipped with a big block and tons of torque (via Motor Trend).
The Barracuda 440 was exactly what they needed even if it was small to drive. It required a complicated production process since the big 440 would only fit in a small Barracuda’s engine bay with extensive modifications. The Barracuda 440 had 375 horsepower and a massive 480 pounds of torque, which made it pretty fast but also hard to launch due to loads of wheel spin. Due to the tight fit of the engine, there wasn’t space for a power steering pump, so you had to use your muscles to turn this compact but overly powerful car. Plymouth only made a handful of these models, which makes them sought-after today.