While some of us like to drive our cars every day regardless of the weather, some cars are created to be enjoyed in the sunshine. For Tim and Linda Moller of Monroe, North Carolina, that's definitely the case. The Mollers have owned a variety of cars throughout the years, from street rods to '57 Chevys, but in 1998 they decided to replace the '68 Barracuda they'd owned when they first married, and the model from the following year fit the bill perfectly.

By 1969 the Barracuda had existed in its then-current form for three model years. Of course, 1970 would see the debut of the new E-Body platform, but this example was about as "cool" as you could get for the cruise scene in the A-Body package. At the time the Mollers purchased the car, it was a work-in-progress; it was basically rust-free, though some imbecile had run into the driver-side door, which was replaced with one from a '67 model. The seller, D&D Motors in Riverview, Florida, repainted it with Scorch Red Ditzler acrylic. Tim drove it home once it was finished.

Originally powered by a 318, a little more juice under the hood was in order. A mechanic by trade, Tim could have accomplished this on his own, but he received a great deal on a 360 from a friend, so that's what went between the front fenders. Built by Bob Warren in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, the motor sports a Comp 268 Extreme Energy cam, 9.5:1 Keith Black pistons, prepped heads, and an Edelbrock Performer sporting a 625-cfm Edelbrock (ex-Carter AVS) carb. A set of tti headers and a Mopar electronic ignition system complete this package. Included with the never-fired engine was a basically new, rebuilt 727 with a B&M shift kit (see, we told you it was a great deal). A 2,500-stall converter sits between the two pieces, while a 3.23 Sure Grip outfit resides in the 8 3/4 rear out back.

Suspension upgrades were next. Tim installed a quadrant of KYB gas shocks on the car so it handled in a more modern manner. For that fun '60's look, few rims have the nostalgic appeal of Cragar S/S mags and these are hosting a set of 225/R60x14 Cooper Cobra radials. While we considered the car nice enough as it sits, Tim and Linda say next on the agenda is redoing the interior and upgrading to disc brakes. One neat item on the car right now is the stealth AM/FM Chrysler radio, which has been gutted, filled with up-to-date parts, and hosts a CD changer in the trunk.

Tim admits when he first started looking for his project, he was looking for a pickup; Linda, on the other hand, wanted the Barracuda. Neither has any regrets for settling on the latter, which is humorously called TPLESS69. It has taken awards at several shows and is driven regularly. They figured about 10K changed hands to get it to its current state. It might be topless, but just like the Mastercard advertisement, the results and the fun times had while rolling down the open road with the top down and the stereo blaring are priceless.