April 17, 2014 is the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford Mustang. This isn't just the year of Ford's legendary pony car, though. It also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of Chrysler's entry into the pony car wars - the Plymouth Barracuda.

The 'Cuda, as it would become known, was originally a performance-minded trim level of the ho-hum Valiant. This much we know. But did you know the lengths that Chrysler went in order to learn what Ford was up to with the Mustang project, and to develop the Barracuda accordingly? Let's just say there were private investigators involved.

In honor of its fiftieth birthday, Hemmings has a great recap of the car's history, from its time as the Valiant Barracuda, through to the 1968 model shown above, to when it simply became known as the Cuda and on to its untimely death in 1974. It's a great read for fans of not just Chrysler history, but for those of the classic era of muscle and pony cars in general. Hop over and give it a read. You can also scroll down and have a look at a period advertisement for the 1966 Barracuda that we found on YouTube.

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