We've heard about rare Mopars that were barn-stored for years, spotted by their current owners on one lucky day. But how about one that spent over three decades in a chicken coop...and was spotted by the current owner's wife as a car with potential?

That describes Greg King's '68 Barracuda Formula S, one of the 2,874 fastback Formula fish that got the new-that-year 340.

"My wife Kathy actually found this car in 2004," says Greg from his shop in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. "She's my secretary here. When she went to pick a customer up who'd brought her car in to get its air conditioner fixed, this car was sitting in the driveway."

That morning, the Formula S had been pulled from its long-term storage facility-a chicken coop! Greg continues, "That lady's husband had passed away, and they'd dragged it out that morning because she was going to sell it. My wife asked, 'Where'd that come from?' The customer said, 'That was my husband's, and we're going to sell it.' Kathy walked around the car and said, 'I'll take it!'"

The most recent state inspection sticker on it bore a 1981 date, so it's likely that's when the previous owner parked it. But not before some adventures. "For some reason, four teenage boys learned how to drive on this car, and they all put their mark on it-a little ding here, a little dent there," Greg says. "The last of the boys took it to State College, to Penn State, and he and his friends decided to paint it."

Originally, Greg planned for this to be a "fix up and drive" project. "I was thinking, The original engine was blown up, and it's got a 318 in it now," he recalls. "But we started looking into it. On the transmission case, when they stamped the numbers, they stamped them all at the same time, and they lined up perfectly. That's when we started getting excited about the car."

One of the Fish's original features was a head-scratcher at first. "Once I took the wheels off, I saw that it had these red plastic fenderwell liners in it," says Greg. "Of course, I wasn't aware that was an option-I was looking at these things and saying, 'Who put GM liners in this Mopar?' So I pulled them off and tossed them into a corner. In the meantime, I talked to Jim Schoonveld of the Tidewater Mopar Club, down in Norfolk, Virginia, where I used to live. I was telling him about this car, and he says, 'What were the liners? Do you still have them?' and I said, 'Yes, why?' and he says, 'That was a rare option.'" Those red fenderwell liners were shipped in the trunk from the factory for dealer installation and were a fastback and hardtop-only Barracuda option in '68.

They then found the original buildsheet, which showed this was a 340/727 car from the get-go, one of just 1,800 '68 Formula S fastbacks so equipped. Further research told them that OEM powertrain was still in the car, whose odometer showed just 49,000 original miles, and was also a factory Airtemp A/C car that was sold new in Florida. "When I found out how rare this car was, I said, 'That's it. We have to restore this car,'" Greg says. "So, that started a four-year restoration."

The project took four years, and Greg had plenty of help in tracking down correct '68 parts for his Formula S. "We found a lot of N.O.S. parts for it," he says. "Tom Frencheck, who's a '67-'69 A-Body Barracuda gentleman, really helped out a lot on this car, as far as finding pieces to put on it that were correct."

The project was a lot of fun for Greg, as this was the first car he restored for himself and was the first one he'd done after relocating to Pennsylvania from Virginia in the early '90s.

Completed just days before the 2008 All-Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle, and trailered there behind his motorhome, Greg says that trip was an adventure. "We put it in the Fun Field, not having any idea what to expect. Someone said, 'You need to put this in the Invitational Display next year.' That's how we got it in the Invitational building the next year." To top off the trip, the motorhome broke down on the way home, and the tow company would only tow it. "I said, 'No problem-we'll drive the car,'" says Greg. "We got to drive the car for the first time and turn the air conditioning on, and we really enjoyed the two-hour trip home. I told Kathy, 'It's alright-the engine needed to get broken in, anyhow.'"

Taking four years to restore a Mopar to this condition takes patience-the biggest advice Greg can give. "If you don't find a part right away, don't worry-one will surface, one that will suit your budget and your car."

Back in 1968, a fully-loaded Barracuda Formula S may have been a stretch for some budgets, with a sticker pushing four grand, like this car's sticker likely was. The base Barracuda fastback's $2,868 sticker price-with a 318 under the hood-was about a hundred bucks less than the base Road Runner coupe, so that may have turned potential A-Body sales for Plymouth into B-Bodies sold in the brand's best-ever sales year.

Still, the Formula S Barracuda had a well-deserved reputation for power and handling, especially with the 340, and it enjoys that reputation to this day.

Even if one of them did spend over three decades in a chicken coop.

Fast Facts

'68 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S fastback Owned by: Greg King, Scottdale, Pennsylvania

Mopar Power

  • Engine: Original numbers-matching 340 Magnum, breathing through an N.O.S. Formula S dual exhaust system.
  • Transmission: Also original: the console-shifted 727 Torqueflite.
  • Rearend: Also original: the 3.23-geared 8-3/4 with Sure Grip.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: Restored original '68 Barracuda Formula S: (Front) heavy-duty longitudinal torsion bars and tubular shocks with an anti-sway bar. (Rear) heavy-duty leaf springs with tubular shocks.
  • Brakes: Restored original power-assisted front disc/rear drum.
  • Wheels and Tires: Original 14x5-1/2-inch steel wheels wear their OEM wire wheel covers and a set of P205/75R14 Coker Classic radials that look just like the factory's red stripe bias-plies.

High Impact

  • Body: Original '68 Plymouth Barracuda fastback unibody needed the right-side door replaced, but no other sheetmetal surgery. Bodywork and paint prep by George Santimeyer, Scottdale, Pennsylvania.
  • Paint: The same shade that went on in 1968: MM1 Turbine Bronze, sprayed on in basecoat/clearcoat form by George Santimeyer.
  • Interior: The OEM pearl white bucket seat interior was restored, thanks to Alice Kelly, Scottdale, Pennsylvania.