Also fortunate for Daniel: The condition this glass-backed Fish was in. Thanks to its garaging (to escape the ravages of the Empire State's winter weather and accompanying road salt, which is brutal from the Battery to Buffalo), and thanks to an exterior resto done by the second owner and his son, Daniel had a solid car to start with-and one that still contained a lot of original parts inside its all-original sheetmetal. "When I bought the car, everything on it was date-coded or stamped '65," Daniel says. "My friend John Quinn, who works at Bronx Ignition, an automotive-electric shop, says that it has the original bearing in the back of the alternator."

What else is original? As Daniel describes, "It has the original C-clips on the U-joints from the assembly line that have the little extra tab with a piece of wire going through it, so they wouldn't lose the caps on the assembly line." And? "The original Blue Streak spare is still in the car."

Still, there was plenty to do. "When I got it, I pulled the engine and tranny, and I did the engine compartment, drivetrain, tires and wheels, and interior," Daniel says. "I fixed all that stuff up-I basically finished the restoration."

One big thing that didn't need a total re-do was the Commando 273. "It's never been rebuilt," Daniel says of the original engine that now has 115,000 miles on it. "It ran so well when I took it out that I just put a new oil pump and timing chain in it. Even the water pump is the original date-coded one, so I had it rebuilt."

Now that it's all done, what does Daniel think of his Formula S? "The car is incredible! It drives perfectly." He adds, "When I got it, I was very hesitant to take it apart and do the drivetrain. That's because me and my friend restored a bunch of cars over the years. We'd done them 'soup-to-nuts'-new axles, tires and wheels-and we'd always get some kind of shake or vibration. This car just drives smooth as anything. When I'm doing 70 miles an hour, I'm at 2,600 rpm."

Speaking of friends, Daniel credits them with the help they gave him while finishing the Fish. "My friend John Quinn is a living Mopar encyclopedia,"he says. "He knows date codes, what's right and what's wrong-he lives Mopar. He's like a godfather if you need advice on what color. Daniel adds, "We have an engine guy, a chrome guy, a powdercoating guy, that we're all friends with. We all help each other." Daniel also gives thanks to his fellow Bronx Mopars club members, too, for their inspiration and help.

That help has come in handy over the years to Daniel. "I've been doing this with along with my uncle's friends since I was about 12 years old," he says. They'll likely be a big help should he decide to restore another Mopar rarity in his garage. "I also have a '79 Road Runner that I've had since I was 16, that's one of 217 made."

"It was a 'legend'-you'd only see it maybe once every year, or every five years."-Daniel Lyon

Fast Facts
'66 Plymouth Barracuda Forumla 'S'
Owned by:
Daniel Lyon, Mount Vernon, New York

Mopar Power

  • Engine: The first of Ma Mopar's high-performance LA-series smallblocks: the Commando 273, which (in Formula S trim) got a solid lifter cam, 10.5:1 compression and a Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor as OEM equipment, along with dual exhausts that flowed into a big resonator with a single chrome tip out back. This one has all that-and has never been rebuilt!
  • Transmission: Ma Mopar's own A-833 4-speed, with an OEM Inland Steel toilet flusher shifter with reverse-lockout T-bar.
  • Rearend: 83/4-inch with Sure Grip and 2.73 rear gears.