'72 Plymouth Barracuda
When Tom Eskridge teamed up with his friend Kipp Smallwood to build this 'Cuda, they wanted a car that was fun to drive and fun to race. Starting with a clean, low-mileage, original car made their job easy. After purchasing this 'Cuda, Tom and Kipp went through the car, replacing anything that was worn or broken. The interior remains mostly stock with the addition of a Blaupunkt stereo system, Kenwood speakers, and aftermarket gauges. The factory disc brakes were rebuilt along with the front end, and Weld Pro-Star wheels were added to accommodate the sticky Mickey Thompson 275/50 rear tires. The Top Banana paint job isn't the original from the factory, but was in good shape so it was detailed and left alone.

Since Tom wanted this car to both race and cruise, he decided the engine should be slightly warmer than stock. Beginning with a factory block, crank, and rods, Tom had the block bored .030-inch oversize and added Speed-Pro flat-top pistons and a Hughes .640-inch lift flat-tappet camshaft to wake the 440 up. Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads top the engine, and factory electronic ignition lights the fires. Behind the engine the TorqueFlite was freshened, and a looser converter was installed; out back the factory 3.23-geared 831/44 rear handles getting the power to the pavement.

Tom stresses this is no show car-it's driven regularly and sees regular time at the local dragstrip. In Vegas, this combination was good for mid-12-second elapsed times in the quarter-mile-enough to tie him for fourth Place.

'68 Plymouth GTX
Having owned this GTX for more than twenty years, S.E. Garrick is quite familiar with his Mopar. Over the years, he has driven this car in various configurations, but he always knew he'd restore it one day. Loving the way the car came from the factory, he decided to leave everything pretty much stock, rebuilding and replacing only the items that were worn. The maroon interior was recovered with Legendary seat covers, and the carpet, headliner, and dashpad were all replaced. The stock radio still resides in the dash and even works! Cragar wheels were added to lighten up the rolling stock, and BFGoodrich tires adorn all four corners. The suspension and drum brakes were rebuilt, but are still the same items this GTX left the factory with.

When it was time to rebuild the engine for this project, S.E. was pleasantly surprised. The 440 block was in amazing shape and didn't even need an overbore. The factory crank, rods, and pistons were used, and the heads were freshened and reinstalled. The only internal modification performed was the addition of a Mopar Performance .509-inch lift hydraulic camshaft and matching valvesprings. A Mallory distributor and electronic ignition handle the spark duties. Behind the engine, the transmission was freshened, and the stock converter was checked and reinstalled. Out back, the 831/44 Sure Grip was inspected and reassembled with new seals.

While the GTX didn't perform as well as he would have liked, the 15-second quarter-mile times were still respectable given Las Vegas' elevation, and earned S.E. a tie for fourth place.