The 5 most legendary Muscle Cars ever produced by Plymouth

Although discontinued more than two decades ago, Plymouth lives on in the hearts and minds of muscle car enthusiasts thanks to its legendary models.

Plymouth’s story begins in the summer of 1928, when Chrysler introduced a new brand aimed at competing with Ford and Chevrolet in the affordable car segment.

This turned out to be an excellent decision, as Plymouth models kept the Chrysler Corporation alive during the Great Depression years.

Its golden age came in the 1960s and 1970s, when it produced some of the greatest muscle cars of all time.

Unfortunately, the 1980s and 1990s proved disastrous for Plymouth, and in 2001 Chrysler announced the end of the iconic brand.

Although gone, Plymouth is not forgotten, thanks to the legendary muscle cars bearing the brand’s badges. Even half a century after their introduction, these dastardly machines are still revered by generations of car enthusiasts.

1962-1964 Plymouth Sport Fury Super Stock

Photo: Mecum

Based on Chrysler’s latest B-body platform, the third generation Fury hit public roads in the 1962 model year.

Even with an all-new design, the downsized model initially angered the brand’s loyal following as the Sport Fury sub-model was gone.

Fortunately, Plymouth heeded the pleas and reintroduced the Sport Fury in the latter part of the model year. But that wasn’t the only good news for the brand’s performance lovers.

Plymouth also released a new performance package called Super Stock. As the name suggests, it was intended to make the Sport Fury a legitimate drag racing weapon in the super stock classes, but interestingly, it keeps the car street legal.

In terms of looks, the 1962 Super Stock didn’t differ much from the standard Sport Fury, but under the hood was the powerful 413-ci (6.7-liter) Max Wedge, which produced 410 or 420 hp. depending on the selected version of the compression ratio.

The drag strip-oriented model returned in 1963 and 1964, featuring the enlarged 426-ci (7.0-liter) version of the mighty “Orange Monster” with either 415 or 420 hp. (again depending on the compression ratio).

During a production run that lasted only about two and a half years, only about 100 Plymouth Sport Fury Super Stocks were produced.

1968 Plymouth Barracuda B029 Super Stock

Plymouth Barracuda B029 Super Stock

Photo: Mecum

Although Ford’s legendary Mustang is considered the originator of the pony car segment, the Plymouth Barracuda competitor was actually introduced a few weeks earlier.

However, the segment was called “pony” and no “fish” or “Barracuda” because the Mustang outsold its main competitor by a wide margin.

For the 1967 model year, Plymouth introduced a completely redesigned Barracuda that aimed to outsell the Stang. While that didn’t happen, the second generation fared better against its rival and, more importantly, gave Mopar fans another Super Stock legend.

Developed with the help of Hurst Performance and available in the 1968 model year, the B029 Super Stock was a street-legal weapon that differed from every other second-generation Cuda in two main ways.

First, it received a lightweight treatment that included a fiberglass front end, hood, and a clean interior.

Second, it was the only second-generation Cuda to leave the factory with the 425-hp 426 HEMI. under the hood.

One of the main reasons none of the Cuda A-bodies got the mighty Elephant engine was the cramped engine bay. However, Hurst engineers were able to fit it into the B029 Super Stock by modifying the shock turrets.

This legendary drag strip oriented model was a one year only and only about 50 to 70 units were produced.

1970 Plymouth Superbird

Plymouth Superbird

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In the 1960s, Chrysler’s Dodge and Plymouth divisions were embroiled in a heated battle with Ford and Mercury for NASCAR supremacy.

In the latter part of the decade, Ford consistently beat its rivals thanks to the dynamically efficient shape of its Torino.

The Mopar camp finally responded in 1969 with the Dodge Charger Daytona, but it was no match for the improved Torino Talladega.

Then, for the 1970 season, the Daytona project evolved into the Plymouth Superbird, an aero car that finally managed to beat Ford.

The Superbird program also gave birth to one of Plymouth’s most legendary street-legal cars.

Based on the Road Runner, the road car featured all the extravagant aero upgrades of its racing siblings, including a bespoke nose and huge rear wing.

To meet the homologation requirement, which dictated a minimum mileage of 1,920 street-legal Superbirds, Plymouth made the car available with any of its performance-oriented big-block V8s: the 440-ci (7.2-liter), Super Commando with 375 hp Six-Barrel 440 with 390 hp and, of course, the 425-hp HEMI.

1970-1971 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda

Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda

Photo: Mecum

As I mentioned earlier, no street-legal Barracuda has left the factory with a HEMI under its hood. This finally changed with the arrival of the third generation launched in 1970.

Although the standard model was still powered by a Slant-6, performance versions of the pony car now had an engine bay large enough to accommodate Mopar’s most powerful big-block V8s.

When equipped with the legendary Elephant engine, the third-generation Cuda was the fastest factory-built muscle car money could buy.

According to multiple independent tests conducted during the period, the HEMI ‘Cuda consistently ran the quarter mile in the low 13s.

Although the third generation survived on the market until 1974, the HEMI version was only available in 1970 and 1971.

Most units produced during this period were hardtop coupes, but 21 convertibles also left the factory equipped with the 426.

Today, any original HEMI ‘Cuda is extremely expensive. However, rare convertibles take the notion to another level as their value exceeds the 4 million mark.

1968-1970 Plymouth Road Runner and GTX

Plymouth Road Runner

Photo: Mecum

Based on the Belvedere, the first GTX appeared in 1967 and was advertised as a high quality “a gentleman’s muscle car.

The model was completely redesigned a year later, but retained its premium flair, while those looking for an affordable alternative can now opt for the new Road Runner.

Essentially a GTX without the luxury interior and trim, the Road Runner was all about performance, which helped make it a bestseller.

Both models were available with the 440 and 426 HEMIs, but while the former’s V8 was standard on the GTX, the Road Runner’s base engine was a 335-hp 383-ci (6.3-liter) version of Chrysler’s RB.

By 1970, the Road Runner had become Plymouth’s best-selling model and one of the best-selling muscle cars ever produced.

The success of its sibling took a toll on GTX sales, but it was still one of the most impressive muscle cars of the era.

Both models were redesigned in 1971, but the new shape was far less attractive. With the growing insurance race and the looming oil crisis, none of them were able to replicate the success of the previous generation.

Today, the second-generation GTX and first-generation Road Runner remain some of the most sought-after models from the golden era of muscle cars.

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