The musclecar concept was quite simple: stuff a big engine into a small body and hang on. While this normally meant an intermediate-body style, such as the GTO, Road runner, or Chevelle, Ma Mopar took it one step further when she shoehorned a big-block between the framerails of her A-Body compact-culminating in the fabled 426 race Hemi in a handful of '68 Darts and Barracudas. It was such a potent combination that 35 years later the '68 Hemi Darts and Barracudas still dominate the fastest class of Super Stockers. as brutally fast as those Hemi cars were, they weren't much of a street piece, and definitely something you wouldn't want to drive on a daily basis. But where the Hemi fits, a wedge fits better. While A-Body Barracudas and Darts were offered with a whole range of engines-from the little Slant Six to the mighty 440-if you wanted a big-block and a stick, your only option was the low-deck 383. The B-motor came in three flavors: the 290-horse two-barrel, 330-horse four-barrel, and the 335-horse four-barrel version.
Dave Ebersole of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, bought this piece of musclecar history back in 1977 and performed the entire restoration in the comfort of his own garage. His '69 Barracuda fastback came equipped with the 330-horse version of the low-deck big-block 383, a New Process 833 four-speed trans, and an 831/44 rearend. While a 3.55 and a 3.91 gearset were optional on the '69, the original owner opted for the standard 3.23 gears and a Sure Grip. A set of 14-inch Rallye wheels was obtained and shod with modern 215/70R14 radial rubber. The Carter AVS-equipped 383 was upgraded with a small Comp Cams CRB 270H hydraulic cam, and the points ignition was tossed in favor of a Mopar Performance electronic unit.
The interior of Dave's Barracuda is covered in white vinyl and features bucket seats up front and a factory-installed Hurst shifter. The fast fish also came down the assembly line with a Rallye dash sporting the cool 150-mph speedometer and tick-tock-tachometer. The only deviation from stock was the addition of a factory-type A/C unit to make cruising in the summer that much nicer. While Dave performed all the bodywork himself, he left the application of the sinister black paint to the pros at Hollinger's Auto Center in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
While notably nose-heavy as compared to small-block versions of the Barracuda, you simply cannot complain about a car the size of an A-Body packing real big-block power and torque. What Dave has done with this Barracuda will preserve for generations an era when factories built real cars with real engines for those willing to pony-up. Leave it to Ma Mopar to take the musclecar concept just a few steps farther.