Plymouth Barracuda Designer Dies

John Herlitz, a leading designer of the immortal U.S. muscle car era, died recently at the age of 65.
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NAPLES, Fla., April 13 -- John Herlitz, a leading designer of the immortal U.S. muscle car era, died recently at the age of 65.

Herlitz's most significant contribution was the design of the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, a high-powered street racer that offered tire-smoking acceleration from a 425-horsepower engine.

Herlitz's son, Kirk, told The New York Times his father died March 24 of complications from a fall at his home in Naples, Fla.

Along with the "Cuda," Herlitz was involved in the development of Chrysler's Road Runner. He was also known for having worked with the teams of designers who created the boxy K-car compact cars and the early generations of minivans that became the antithesis of the muscle car but also helped save Chrysler from bankruptcy.

The Times noted Chrysler has recreated the Barracuda's basic themes in its Dodge Challenger.

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