After a devastating fire claimed Mark Davis' 540-inch B1-powered '71 Duster and his son Steve's '72 Cuda, they were left with the depressing reality of having lost two significant portions of their lives. But their spirits weren't broken, and they decided to build the Barracuda of their dreams.

Having wanted a '67 or '69 Barracuda for as long as he could remember, Mark placed an ad in the local paper hoping to find an A-Body 'Cuda. A gentleman from Pennsylvania took the bait and called Mark explaining he had a rust-free '67 fastback from Nevada he would be willing to part with. It turns out the '67 was an original 383 Formula S car and the perfect foundation for his fantasy 'Cuda, so Mark bought it.

The first thing on the agenda was the installation of an S&W 4-link rear suspension, supporting a narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend with a 4.88-geared Detroit Locker, and the addition of a 12-point rollcage. Wilwood disc brakes were chosen for the front and rear to slow the beast down. Mark and friend Frank Pleil then moved to the front of the car, where Alston lower control arms, Magnum Force uppers, Mustang II spindles, Koni coilovers, and a Mustang II rack and pinion were combined to make up the front end. Big 'n' little Weld wheels adorn the four corners and are shod with little Mickeys on the front, and 33x18.5-inch Mickeys on the 14-inch-wide rear Welds. Brother Jim Davis performed the flawless bodywork and slathered on the retina-burning Viper Red paint. John D'Alessandro of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, was commissioned to create the graphics, and George Yago of South Park, Pennsylvania, stitched the custom interior in black vinyl. With the body, interior, and chassis done, it was time for Mark to address the most important factor: the engine. Nothing less than a big-inch Hemi would do.

A MP Mega Block was chosen for its strength and ability to support lots of cubic inches. Jake Salvani of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, handled all the machine work and assembly. A Callies 4.5-inch steel stroker-crank, and a 4.5-inch bore filled with Wiseco forged pistons combine for a cool 572 ci. Manley rods swing on the Callies crank and the final compression ratio is 12:1, necessitating a steady diet of race gas. A Comp roller stick with 283/291-degrees of duration at .050-inch valve lift and .699-inch lift bumps the valves in the ported aluminum Indy Legend Hemi heads. An Indy tunnel ram tops the monster Hemi and a pair of 825-cfm Race Demons handle the fuel-mixing chores. An MSD ignition is responsible for lighting the fire, while Hooker headers expel the fumes through 4-inch Borla mufflers. Subtle it ain't.

A Gerry Herd-built, Turbo Action valvebody-equipped 727 was chosen to transfer the abuse to the rear tires through a Dynamic 8-inch converter. Abuse the tires it does, to the tune of 9.80 at 140 mph on its first, and only, trip down the 1320. Keep in mind Mark clicked it off 250 feet before the traps, making low-nines a simple full pass away. The hood was threatening to lift off when the 'Cuda reached speed, forcing Mark to lift. Mark has since added a couple more hood pins to keep the AAR-supplied fiberglass hood in place.

There you have it. A show-car pretty, street-driven, 9-second Barracuda built on the heels of a devastating fire. Just goes to show that fire can destroy sheetmetal, but it cannot break the spirit of a true gearhead-especially when he has a clear vision of his dream.