How many times have we heard the story about a guy who parks his pride and joy in a storage building for safekeeping and never comes back? You know, he loved the car and bought it new. Periodically, he phoned the owner of the storage facility and paid him to pull the spark plugs and squirt a little oil down the cylinders. One month though, he doesn't pay the rent. A year passes, then two years. Finally, the building owner, unable to contact the renter, has to get rid of the car. He needs the space. He finally gets in contact with the guy's ex-wife. Her response is: "Do what you want to with it."
This is a true story about a '69 340 four-speed, Barracuda Formula S. The car was stored in Stowe, Vermont. Tim Quintin contacted us about his Rare Find.
According to Tim, "It's 98-percent original. It was stored up here for 10 years in a storage lot in Vermont." Tim is from a town called Williston, where cars left outside suffer the ravages of winter snows. He found the car through a business connection. Tim continued, "We [Tim and his brother Pete] own an automotive performance business, and we're big Chrysler guys."
Tim and Pete are a lot like the rest of us. If they find a screaming deal, they take advantage of it. Pete's interest was first piqued when the local Ford dealership's sales rep tipped him about a deal, "Hey, you guys are into Mopars. There's some guy in Stowe that wants to sell a Barracuda. It's an older one." The pre-'70 Barracudas are not widely recognizable. So when the rep saw the car, he wasn't sure of the model year. He continued, "The only thing I know about it, is it says 340 on the door. That's all I know." Pete got the phone number and called, but the storage owner wasn't sure of what he had, other than it was a Plymouth Barracuda. The brothers were so excited about the find they didn't let an 18-inch snowfall deter them from going to see it.
The car was sitting in the storage space it had occupied for 10 years. The building owner opened the door, and all the Quintin brothers could see was the Formula S badge. The building owner had no keys to it, so they couldn't start it or open it. The closer Tim looked, the more he realized he'd stumbled across a great "survivor" Barracuda. The Jamaica Blue paint was factory original and in nice condition. The body and undercarriage were rust free, and the rims wore the original hubcaps. The odometer showed about 62,000 miles, and the interior was like brand new. Under the hood were a few modifications, like a set of headers and an aftermarket intake and carb.
Another interested buyer had seen the Barracuda a day earlier, and Tim heard the man had offered $5,000. They found out the building owner refused that offer, so they increased their bid and made a deal. Tim tells us, "It was snowing like mad, and I [told the building owner] I'll be back on Monday to pick it up. Since I had no keys, I had a locksmith come along and make [a set]. When I opened the glove box, I found the original dealer booklet that tells you how everything works."
Apparently, the guy that abandoned the car was the original owner. Under the seat, Tim found the original broadcast sheet, and inside the trunk was the original redline spare tire. The jack and everything looked like new. They put a battery in it, changed the oil and filter, and turned it over by hand. Tim then primed the oil pump, and it fired right up.
What's interesting about this story is, there is a big car show in Stowe close to the brothers' shop. This car was sitting there, and nobody knew about it. The 340 and four-speed combination is backed by a set of 3.23 gears in an 831/44 rear with a Sure Grip