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This ’71 Plymouth Barracuda Ad Is a Savage Takedown of the Mustang Going Soft

The Ford Mustang invented the pony car of the 1960s, but by 1971, it had become a different animal. Fatter, larger, less sporty, the Mustang of the early 1970s was more of a semi-luxury “personal coupe” than an all-out pony car. And Plymouth wanted you to know it.

This Plymouth promotional film, intended to educate dealership sales staffs on the 1971 Barracuda, gleefully points out how fat, heavy, oversized and under-muscled the Mustang had become. You got more power and style for your money in a ‘Cuda, the sales pitch goes—but also better visibility, durability, safety, and room for up to six passengers.

Yes, even in 1971, when cars were far lighter and worlds simpler than they are today, enthusiast marketing still bemoaned the fatter, heavier, more complex cars being foisted on us. Light weight, high horsepower and no frills was what gearheads wanted.

Bask in the not-so-subtle criticisms that Plymouth hurled at the portly, ponderously-styled 1971 Mustang back in the day. Never mind that, 45 years later, the Mustang is the one left standing.

R&T

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