When Don Rae, of Everett, Washington, finished his Army tour 25 years ago, he set his heart on an A-Body Barracuda fastback. While traveling to a friend's house for dinner, he saw such a Barracuda on the side of the road with a "For Sale" sign in the window. After an obligatory screeching of his brakes and a violent U-turn, he returned and noticed the Formula S emblems. As soon as he got to his friend's place, a quick phone call resulted in a return trip to see the Barracuda. Don had little cash on hand (being fresh out of uniform), so his friend cosigned the loan, and for $895 Don acquired his '67 Formula S four-speed screamer.
Don drove the car seven years before getting in a fender bender, at which time he parked it and bought a '68 Valiant to drive to work. But before Don could save the cash to get the Barracuda fixed, he was laid off and the car sat for the next 14 years.
To his advantage, this unexpected hiatus bought Don time to collect choice restoration parts. On the downside, in 1995 the Barracuda's 340 engine was stolen from his garage. And fate, as they say, intervened.
"That's why I ended up with the crate motor," says Don. "Many people said they would have given up and sold the car, but I couldn't give up on the old girl. So I just kept plugging away. Since I couldn't return it to stock, I decided to make what I wanted."
When finances finally allowed, the body was given to Darrin Kleirath of Arlington, Washington, who massaged the metal and replaced the rear quarters, decklid, and core support. Darrin then covered the body with a Mopar shade of Viper Blue accented with Alpine White stripes. The suspension was treated to a heaping helping of parts from PST and Mopar Performance, as well as a front disc brake setup from a '75 A-Body. The Super Stock springs in back support a narrowed C-Body rear filled with a Sure Grip spinning 4.10 gears. American Racing wheels help the S-coupe hug the asphalt with the support of Goodyear rubber. To be sure the body kept its shape, subframe connectors were also added.
Since someone who needs a proper beating . . . er . . . education had stolen the engine, Don bought a 380hp 360 crate engine and backed it with a later-model four-speed overdrive tranny. For the interior, the front buckets were recovered with new skins by Legendary Auto Interiors, and a Legendary carpet set covers the floor. The rest of the interior is A-1 original.
Oh, just try telling Don this is yet another pretty face. He has driven the car from his hometown of Everett to Los Angeles (1,500 miles), and from Everett to the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Ohio (much further than 1,500 miles!). Don tells us the car also runs low-13s to high-12s, spinning the tires.
So, let's see. It looks good, is driven cross-country, and smokes a Camaro at a stoplight. We would call that a triple threat, for sure. Don just calls it his daily driver.