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 interior uses a lot of...
The interior uses a lot of the original pieces, but now sports an Auto Meter tachometer and recovered factory seats and new carpet from Legendary Auto Interiors.
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.
Under the hood rests the numbers-matching 340 small-block built by Bryan, owner of Sloan Racing in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The bores were increased to 4.07 inches, and a Dragon Slayer crankshaft increased the stroke to 3.79 inches-together this generates 394 ci of Mopar power. Combined with an assortment of other well-matched internal parts and a free-flowing exhaust, it has powered Doug into consistent 10-second passes on motor, with a best of 10.62 at 124 mph. Just as impressive as the elapsed times, the Barracuda maintains a high level of streetability. Throw a quiet exhaust on it, and it would be a comfortable street car.
The Formula-S option fitted...
The Formula-S option fitted this Barracuda with a four-speed and a 340. The engine was rebuilt by Bryan, who owns Sloan Racing. It's now 394 inches and an assortment of performance parts.
The interior was restored by Doug's family. Only a handful of pieces were sent out to be worked on by specialists, but for the most part, the interior was in good shape. Legendary Auto Interiors provided the necessary interior pieces, including seat covers and carpeting, which were purchased through YearOne.
When everything came together, Doug finally had the car he wanted-something that could win at car shows, yet still put big-block Chevys and Fords on the trailer. He has several trophies to back up his accomplishments, proving the abilities of his well-balanced Barracuda.
The project took about three years, but the A-Body has been in the Sloan family since the car was brand-new. Doug, with the help of his parents and brother, has made this family affair into one incredible Mopar.
Thanks to a minor carburetor...
Thanks to a minor carburetor fire, Doug's custom Holley 750 wasn't installed during the shoot. This Holley was provided by a fellow Mopar owner to get the car rolling, demonstrating just how friendly Mopar guys are.
'69 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S
Doug Sloan, Fullerton, CA
Engine: Built by his brother, Bryan Sloan, the original 340 block has been punched out to a 4.07-inch bore and is fitted with a 3.79-inch stroke that's 394 ci. Inside, you'll find 11.0:1 compression CP pistons, Eagle 6.250-inch connecting rods, and a forged stroker Callies Dragon Slayer crankshaft. The valvetrain consists of a .586-inch lift, 260-degree duration solid flat-tappet camshaft from Comp. The 2.05-inch intake valves and 1.80-inch exhaust valves use Comp Beehive valvesprings and Pro Magnum rocker arms. The engine also features aluminum Edelbrock cylinder heads ported by IMM in Indio, California. The exhaust system begins with a pair of tti 15/8-inch headers with 3-inch collectors and finishes with 3-inch Borla XR1 mufflers.
Fuel, Air, Spark: On the intake side, Edlebrock was used again for their Super Victor aluminum intake and a custom PC built Holley HP 750 carburetor. An MSD electronic digital 6 ignition system and distributor carries the spark.
A Precision Performance Products...
A Precision Performance Products shifter controls the ProTrans-built transmission that pushes Doug into the 10s.
Transmission: The four-speed was replaced with a ProTrans automatic with a 10-inch Turbo Action 3,500 stall torque converter. It uses a Precision Performance Products shifter and a ProTrans shift kit.
Rearend: The rearend received upgraded Dutchman axles, a Detroit Locker differential, and Richmond 4.30 gears.
Suspension: A '73 large bolt-pattern front end with tubular upper-control arms by Firm Feel holds the front end up and uses QA1 adjustable drag shocks. The rear uses Rancho RS9000 and CalTrac Bars with mono leaf springs.
Rims & rubber: Weld Rod Lites are worn front and rear. The skinny 15x3.5 wheels in front use 26x7.5-15 Mickey Thompson tires; the 15x8 rears have 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials.
Paint & Body: Strip Clean acid dipped the body to remove the factory paint. After they were done, Danny's Auto Body covered the Barracuda with black PPG 2 stage paint. A fiberglass hood, hoodscoop, and front bumper were purchased from AAR Quality Fiberglass and reduce the weight of the A-Body.
Interior: The seats were recovered, and the carpet is new from Legendary Auto. Doug's parents completed the upholstery while he pulled apart the instrument cluster and stripped the dash with his brother. The interior panels, dash, and trim are all original, and CV Vacuum did the rechrome work. The back seats, radio, and speakers were taken out since they weren't necessary. Doug wanted a clean, basic interior and removed the console to make room for the shifter.