22 Years of Enjoyment
Well ever since the restoration in 1985, I have driven and enjoyed the car! During high school, I used to drive it regularly to and from work at a local seafood restaurant. I attended shows with my dad who had the most perfect 1967 Camaro convertible I have ever seen. We would also drive the cars in the local parades.
Here are a few photos over the years of owning and driving the car. Notice the new Cragars I got Christmas 1986. When it was time for college, I stored the vehicle in my parents garage enjoying it during my summer vacation. The car went a long time unchanged but maintained due to more important priorities like employment, marriage, and family. Many years I didn't get to drive it but maybe 100 miles a year. Here are a few general images btw 1985 to the mid '90s.
A few projects have come and gone as I have maintained the car. In 1993, while working for a Chevy dealership as a service advisor, I had one of our body shop men cut my rear valence for the factory Formula S exhaust. I also purchased an 8 3/4 rear from a mopar guy that had an old pink dart. After having it completely stripped, repainted, and rebuilt, I had some of my fellow mechanics install it in my Barracuda. It has a 489 case with 3.23 Sure-grip. Again it was driven when possible.
In 2003, I completed a front-end rebuild including 1973 Dart disc brakes, KYB shocks, and a Hellwig swaybar. I used poly-graphite bushings and upgraded the torsion bars to .920 units. I even had Moser Engineering cut down a set of Van axles so I could get the big bolt pattern and 11" brakes in the rear. I completed the suspension with a set of HD ESPO rear springs with poly-bushings. For tires and rims, I installed 225/60/15 BF Goodrich radial T/As on the front, and 255/60/15's on the rear.
While visiting the "Run to the Sun" show at Myrtle Beach, SC , I purchased my rechromed bumpers from Tri-City Plating who attended in the vendor section. What a difference clean shiny bumpers make to an old car.
|I found an original fan shroud- a rare piece for our cars. I considered a slant six shroud turned upside down, but as much as I like a little customizing, I wanted something with the "perfect" fit. I found my shroud at Tony's Mopar and Parts in Harrington, Del. It wasn't cheap, but since they are so rare, I expected that. It makes a major difference during the summer temperatures, especially at idle.||
I also purchased a Mopar Performance Electronic Ignition and upgraded to the 1970 and above dual field regulator and Power Master Alternator. This is the chrome unit that pumps out 80 amps at highway speed and around 40 amps at idle. Honestly, since my Cuda idles around 500 rpm, there is still a little discharge, but as soon as it hits 600 and above, it's charge city!
Because of small feed wires to the headlights and some dimming at idle, I thought I would go ahead and upgrade to a relay system for the headlights... I got the idea from a few of my BarracudaOwners mailing list members and a site focused on lighting upgrades Daniel Stern Lighting. Mainly the focus is on larger wiring, relays and a good feed straight from the alternator. I hid the relays under the battery tray and used 10 gauge wires to all the lights from the relays. I have noticed a major amount of light improvement... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! (I have also installed Hella-450 fog lamps for a little better lighting and of course that cool look.)
In 2004, I replaced the worn carpet and upgraded the seatbelts. I went with a company called Ssnake Oyl that restored the belts to brand new condition and matched the burgundy interior.. As the kids grow, they have been much more interested about riding in the "Cuda-car" so I had to make sure the family was safe. I also added a console and moved the shifter off the column with a manual steering column sleeve.
I had a SPARE dash cluster chrome plated (the original uncut dash is in storage), installed a CD player, put a small tachometer in the center opening, and added a Grant steering wheel. (I plan to complete the A/C installation when I reassemble the car after its next restoration.)
From 2005- 2007 any work on the Barracuda was put on hold as I finished my Master's degree. In November of 2007, I landed a decent job providing the opportunity to tear down the car and prepare for the bodywork the car is now needing again. Here are a couple of the last photos of her before the work began.