"Dave Vrankin and I started to work on the engine compartment modifications. I took this opportunity to clean up the frame and remove the old motor mount supports. Once done, the inner fender/shock tower, frame, and steering box looked new.

"I visited Ray's shop several times during the engine build process, and I had the opportunity to see my block and heads machined and tested at different stages. At first, I was a little nervous about the shortage of blocks from Mopar Performance, but Craig and Ray came through to keep pace with my deadline. Ray agreed to shave a little bit off the back right corner of the cross-ram intake since clearance was an issue, and Craig talked me into powdercoating the cross-ram.

"We installed the Mopar Performance master cylinder offset kit. An Aeromotive A-1000 fuel pump was also installed. Dave Vrankin talked me into dressing up the Super Stock hood, so I made a stencil, and we painted a silver 528 Hemi symbol on the top of the scoop to match the silver fade-a-way stripe on the bottom of the car. It's tough to see because it has a ghost effect; we didn't want it to overpower the hood.

"Finally, the motor was ready for the dyno. Craig Serra and Ray Barton's team came through. The sound of all that power coming from this motor was awesome. After Dave Barton conducted several runs and adjustments, they finally achieved 832 hp and 712 lb-ft of torque. What a thrill, driving an 830hp car on the street is like no other experience!

"It didn't take long to find out the 5.13 in the rearend was too much gear, and I quickly switched to 4.30s. New QA1 adjustable coil-over shocks and springs were installed, and the aluminum tubs and rear panels were caulked and cleaned in preparation for the new rearend. I took this opportunity to sand, paint, and clear-coat all the four-link bars and rearend.

"Tom Brush Racing weighed the car, totaling 3,283 pounds, and adjusted the four-link suspension, so this car goes straight out of the hole."

Fast Facts

  • Owner: Mike Baldwin, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Car: '68 Plymouth Barracuda fastback
  • Color: Deep purple with silver "ghost" 528 Hemi markings on hood and side stripe
  • Engine: 528-inch Ray Barton-built, cross-rammed Hemi. Dual Holley vacuum-secondaries, Hedman headers, Jet Hot coated
  • Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite automatic, LPW deep-finned pan, 8-inch, 5,000-stall converter, Cheetah SCS Competition shifter
  • Rearend: Dana 60 with 4.30 gears and Detroit Locker, four-link rear suspension
  • Wheels/Tires Front: Weld Pro Stars with 205/75x15 tires
  • Wheels/Tires Rear: Weld Pro Stars with Mickey Thompson ET Street 32x17.5x15 tires
  • Quarter-Mile: N/A