It's not every day that we find a car that captures the spirit of what a classic Mopar musclecar should represent. Doug Sloan's '69 Plymouth Barracuda does this in a rather in-your-face fashion with its black tuxedo paint and drag radials. The car was purchased brand-new in early 1969 by his grandfather in Riverside, California. It started life as a Dark Forest Green 340 Formula S four-speed car with manual steering and brakes, as well as a black interior with bucket seats. The 'Cuda spent its entire life in Riverside as a daily driver for his grandfather, who was stationed at March Air Force Base.

The last date of registration before Doug got the car was in 1982. Apparently, it suffered from a mechanical problem, which forced his grandfather to park it. It turns out that his grandfather had made some adjustments to the transmission and didn't connect the shift linkage properly and it wouldn't shift. The car sat for almost 9 years until his grandfather passed away in 1991. Doug's grandfather had three sons and three Barracudas: a '67, a '68, and the '69. The three sons each picked the one they wanted, and Doug and his brother, Bryan, were ecstatic that their father had chosen the '69. They both knew that the Formula S was the most special of the group and in the best condition. At the time, 16-year-old Doug and 18-year-old Bryan were not in the financial position to do anything with the car, but both were complete "car maniacs." For years, it just sat in their parents' garage collecting dust.

After high school, Doug joined the military. When he returned home to attend college, the car was still sitting in the garage in need of some serious attention. So Doug devised a slick plan to procure the car from his father and get the project started. He asked his father to give him the car with the understanding that he would restore it without cutting it up, and his dad would have access to it at anytime. His father succumbed to the proposal, and Doug began the project in October 2003.

The budget for the ambitious project was $10,000, which Doug felt would get him on the road with his new Formula that was already straight and clean. He intended to pull the motor and transmission, freshen them up, and get the car running, leaving the factory paint and torn bucket seats in play. But a little birdie in his ear-Bryan-was coaxing him to take a different path with the A-Body. after minimal coaxing, the project took a new turn-one that quickly diminished the 10-grand budget Doug had originally set.

The new goal was to do a complete restoration on the Barracuda. the brothers started stripping it down and cataloging all the parts to determine the best way to restore them. They constructed a chassis dolly that would accommodate the unibody and allow them to move it easily. Around this time, Doug decided he didn't want to paint the car green again, and he also didn't want any of the old green paint to show through the new color. So the body was sent to Strip Clean in Santa Ana, California, where it was dipped and all traces of the Dark Forest hue were removed. After it was washed down to remove the acid, it was sent to a body shop, where it spent the next two years of its life. The amount of time the car spent at the shop didn't make Doug too happy. "Believe me, I had words with them on several occasions," he says. During that extended time, Doug and Bryan were able to tune, tweak, and refurbish everything else, ensuring they would never have to do it again. As soon as the body was finally released back to them, they slaved on the assembly for the next six months, working only on the weekends. The Sloans put an increased amount of detail work in, using the most advanced sealants, adhesives, insulations, and seals the auto industry had to offer.