’66 Plymouth Barracuda
Evan Graham brought his ’66 Barracuda all the way from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, to enjoy the Mopars at the Strip event. Evan found the Barracuda back in 1988, sitting in a bank parking lot with a “for sale” sign on the rear floorboard. Asking the owner if the car was still for sale, Evan purchased the 273 powered Plymouth on the spot and began planning the car’s transformation into what it is today.
With the help of his brother Darren, and friends Mike Rose and Wayne Harvey, Evan performed a “driving” restoration of the car, painting the ’Cuda in its gold hue with acrylic enamel paint, and highly modifying the suspension with tubular components up front, Hotchkis springs and sway bars, and Bilstein front and rear shocks. An 833 four-speed was installed, along with the appropriate Hurst shifter and factory manual transmission console, Next came a 340 engine, modified with a Hughes camshaft, TRW forged pistons, and ported Edelbrock aluminum heads to replace the original 273. Comp Cams Pro Magnum roller rocker arms were utilized, and an Air-Gap intake and Holley carburetor were bolted on top of the 340. Doug’s headers and Borla XR1 exhaust get rid of the spent gasses, and sound great as well.
As a car that gets driven regularly and has an older paint job, this Barracuda still looks great sitting some two inches lower than stock on factory Rally wheels. On the dragstrip, Evan’s best elapsed time was 13.71 seconds at over 101 mph, but where this car really performs is on the street and around the curves. As a bonus this year, we arranged for our True Street Challenge cars to get some laps on the Hotchkis autocross course, and Evan’s Barracuda easily clicked off quicker laps than any of the cars in our competition. We’re considering adding the autocross as a judged portion of our contest next year, and car’s like Evan Graham’s ’66 ’Cuda will definitely have an advantage. It was a pleasure to meet Evan and his family, and we thank him for sharing his Barracuda with our readers.
’71 Dodge Challenger
Ed Wogulis of Madera, California, brought a beautiful ’71 Challenger T/A clone to Vegas this year. Ed owns a Mopar parts and restoration service, and found this Challenger while looking for a donor car for one of his customers. Too clean to use as a donor car, Ed purchased the Dodge for a case of beer...yes, a case of beer (why can’t we get this lucky?) Having owned the car for 15 years, Ed finally decided to concentrate on the project, and performed three months of restoration and modifications.
Ed added a fiberglass T/A hood, rear spoiler, and front spoilers, before straightening the amazingly clean body, and spraying the car with Citron Yellow PPG base/clear paint. Subframe connectors were installed, and the stock suspension was rebuilt with Mopar Performance components. A new dashpad, seat covers, headliner, and carpet, were installed in the interior, but the factory door panels were cleaned up and retained. The engine in this Challenger is a Mopar Performance 360 crate short-block, with a Comp Cams hydraulic camshaft, and out of the box Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads. Power is transferred to the 3.91 geared 83⁄4 through a Chrysler 833 four-speed transmission.
Ed wasn’t afraid to drive his Challenger hard, competing in our contest and racing in the drag program, where he went three rounds on Sunday. During the True Street Challenge, Ed’s Challenger ran a best elapsed time of 14.34 seconds, but during Sunday’s eliminations he got the Dodge into the 13s. Ed also had fun on the Hotchkis autocross course, turning the second best lap times of the True Street cars. We thank Ed for entering the True Street Challenge, and look forward to seeing him at future Mopars at the Strip events.
The Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge is one of our favorite contests, as it judges each car based on looks, drivability, and performance. If you’re in Vegas for the Mopars at the Strip event, we encourage you to enter the contest, as it is a fun way to see your car in the pages of Mopar Muscle. We’re considering adding the autocross to the event as a judged part of the contest, so let us know what you think.