Kurt Hollembeak's relationship with this Formula S Barracuda began in 1975 when his father bought it off a used car lot for 550 bucks. Kurt was only 15 then and didn't even have a driver's license. Even though the paint was faded, the left fender and door were damaged, and the interior was ripped to shreds, it ran really well. Hell, the car was only six years old at the time. He slowly fixed a dent here, a dent there, stitched the interior in new green vinyl, and crashed it into a tree in 1976. Off it went to a friend's body shop where the A-body was straightened and repainted. Kurt drove it like that all through high school, eventually adding shackles, Cragars, and Gabriel Hi Jackers for that unmistakably era-correct look-it was the '70s after all. Around 1981, Kurt moved on to other interests and parked his first car, where it sat under a tree for the next 20 years or more. Fast forward to the new millennium...
The year 2000 rolled around, and Kurt, a bodyman by trade, is wondering why he has time to work on everyone else's car, while his own Barracuda still sits under a tree. His friends' cars are collecting trophies at the local car shows, while his Formula S collects bird droppings. But Kurt had inadvertently been preparing for this day five years earlier when he bought another green-on-green Formula S '69 Barracuda as a parts car. Kurt stripped the entire fish down to nothing and got started on the body work, while good friend and partner in crime, Kenny Davis, got the mechanicals in order by rebuilding the front suspension, the 727 transmission, and engine. Kenny freshened up the original 340, adding ported J-castings, an MP hydraulic cam, 273-sourced adjustable rockers, an MP intake manifold, and Holley carb. MSD was chosen to provide the distributor, coil, wires, and 6AL ignition box, while Mopar Performance 1 5/8-inch headers take care of the exhaust.
Right around 2003, the reassembly began. Kurt painted the Barracuda and went as far as having the entire front suspension, brake components, and torsion bars powder coated. The Barracuda would be better than the day it rolled off the assembly line.
Hailing from New Mexico, it's obvious Kurt's not afraid to hit the road when the urge takes hold. In fact, he was still assembling his resurrected Barracuda the day before the '04 Hot Rod Power Tour. Without the benefit of a meaningful shakedown run, Kurt hit the highway and drove more than 3,300 miles, completing the entire Power Tour loop. While he experienced his fair share of teething problems, Kurt's first car never missed a beat-in fact, it never missed a gas station either, despite outfitting the 8 3/4 out back with a set of 2.94 gears.
When pressed about future plans for his Barracuda, Kurt merely stated that he was going to drive the wheels off. With almost 30 years of history together, what else should Kurt do? Park it? Not this time.
Owner: Kurt Hollembeak
Body: '69 Plymouth Barracuda
- 340 LA, 4.07-inch bore
- Stock steel crankshaft
- Stock 10.5:1 pistons
- Mopar Performance hydraulic flat-tappet cam, 284-degrees advertised duration, .484-inch lift
- Iron J-castings, ported and polished
- Mopar Performance M-1 single-plane intake manifold, 750-cfm Holley carb
Transmission: 727 automatic, B&M shift kit, MP 2700 rpm stall torque converter
Rearend: 8 3/4 with 2.94 gears (while on the road), 4.10 gears (around town)
Front: Billet Specialties w/ 17x7 with Nitto 235/50R17 tiresRear: Billet Specialties w/ 17x8 with Nitto 255/50R17 tires