Discovered and purchased by...
Discovered and purchased by Muscle Car Restorations' John Balow at the 2000 Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals, the unrestored '67 Barracuda had clocked over 70,000 miles. John says, "This real driver was from Nashville, Tennessee, and had no obvious signs of rust or rot. The only real items that needed attention were the seats that were in need of being rebuilt." John continues, "I really thought that I would drive the car and enjoy it. I liked the 14-inch small-bolt pattern, non uni-lug wheels and, at the time, I just had to have it. Road Scholar Transport was at Carlisle, and getting it home was an easy proposition, so I bought it."
Remember when the Mopars that won the best of show awards were driven on and off trailers more often than on the open highway?
It wasn't that long ago. Even the pages of this magazine were focusing on chalk marks and correct finishes, spending less time on the subject of enhancing and delivering rear-wheel drive performance and, perhaps more importantly, reliability. Maybe we forgot that it was performance that made muscle Mopars so revered and, as a result, so valuable today.
What we've learned through our travels to see exquisitely restored concours Mopars is how to take that uncompromised aesthetic appearance and apply it to the cars that we prefer to drive every day. Impossible? Not anymore!
The truth of the matter is, there are no fewer trailered show cars now than in previous years, but there are many more well driven Mopars attending shows, competing for awards, and blasting down the quarter-mile. Some call what we are experiencing in Mopar circles the Muscle Car Renaissance. We'd prefer to call it natural selection. Certainly you'd rather enjoy every facet of your Mopar-not just what it looks like. The best Mopars run, race, and rule the show field all at the same time.
Natural selection surmises that we're building cars we want to show, drive, and race. Today's Mopar enthusiasts want to drive their show car not simply to prove that it's a driver, but rather to enjoy everything available from four wheels, a four-speed, and gobs of V8 power. They not only can win Best of Show and drive home, but the enjoyment of getting behind the wheel makes the experience multi-dimensional. It's our natural selection as Mopar enthusiasts to choose cars that run, drive, and look good all in equal, yet exceptional, balance.
Rather than take on a pure...
Rather than take on a pure restoration project, John chose to make the car exactly what he wanted. That's where natural selection must begin. You aren't building something to impress the judges as much as you are building it exactly the way you want it. In the case of the Barracuda, making it exactly what John wanted would necessitate an interior and exterior color change. Forget what your friends have said about reproduction parts for A-Bodies. John discovered after a look through the A- and C-Body Year One catalog that there were only a few small parts that would require serious salvage effort.
That's the impetus behind our latest project with Muscle Car Restorations of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. As a follow-up to the no-holds-barred Holley Road Runner, it was determined that we needed a "real-world head-turner." The Road Runner was a great magazine project car, yet it was nearly a blank check project. We needed to build a musclecar for the masses-delivered in a manner that is far more realistic to duplicate, yet offers so much curb appeal that you simply cannot give it just a casual glance.
John Balow recommended the convertible '67 Barracuda as a popular platform still available for a reasonable sum. There's certainly no better car to drive than a convertible for pure "on the road" pleasure, and with our intentions of invading events like the Hot Rod Power Tour with exciting and well-accomplished Mopars, the jaded world of Camaros and Mustangs would soon realize that the Mopars may have an advantage to reach new enthusiasts.
In our first installment, we offer a photo essay of the car that John chose, and what the preliminary steps in building a show-winning street driver would require from a body and paint perspective.
In the coming months, we'll bring you additional installments, including the Mopar Performance Parts crate engine drivetrain, the best of the performance aftermarket by providing both creature comforts such as the Classic Auto Air R-134a air conditioning, as well as the bulletproof TCI 727 TorqueFlite and National Drivetrain-equipped 831/44 rearend. We'll show just how much coverage there is from Year One right from their A- and C-Body catalog, as well as conduct an interior color change, replace the convertible top, and assemble a Barracuda that has so much panache that you'd swear it came in on the trailer. But trust us, it didn't.
Product Focus: A-Body Sheetmetal from Year OneThe lineup of sheetmetal available from Year One for '67-'69 Barracudas is far more extensive than you might believe. Here's a list of the sheetmetal available from Year One for the A-Body Barracudas.
The original 273 2-bbl engine ran and drove great, but John wanted the Barracuda to deliver exceptional performance-something that the original V8 could not offer without undue expense. Thanks to the Mopar Performance Parts 360ci/380hp Magnum crate engine, the Barracuda would transform from a modest pony car to a street bruiser. Backing up the crate engine would be a TCI-built Street Fighter 727 TorqueFlite with a 2,800-rpm stall converter that links the rearend to a custom driveshaft provided by Denny's Driveshafts. While we may be pushing the limits with 3.55 gears, especially since this car was built for the Hot Rod Power Tour, we did opt for an 831/44 housing provided by Stephens Performance. The housing was fitted with a National Drivetrain-built center section and rounded out with big-bolt pattern axles supplied by Moser Engineering, which will accommodate our Wheel Vintiques "Comet" design five-spoke wheels.
As the process began for the Barracuda, Muscle Car Restorations found that the original, non-A/C A-Body was everything they had expected. No rust was found, and that was John's primary goal. "Take the time to find the best car possible," says John, "for the time necessary to complete the restoration will be made up if you buy the first wreck that comes along." Like most projects, however, the focus on the final product did take further effort, including the body-off restoration of the car. We didn't say the process of building a top-notch driver is any less work than a concours show car-it's just that the final results are often more enjoyable.
The project took on a grander scope when our eventual owner decided that the 'Cuda needed air conditioning. That required an air conditioned Barracuda front clip from Freman Auto in Whitehall, Montana. While that may seem excessive, consider that a complete direct-fit A/C system was simply not available as an exact fit replacement. In addition to providing the underhood A/C components including the compressor, dryer, condenser, expansion valve, and hoses with compression fittings, Classic Auto Air Manufacturing rebuilt the water control valve from the factory setup that Muscle Car Restorations removed from the donor clip and restored. Classic Auto Air, as a result of this program, will offer their Perfect Fit series A/C for not only A-Bodies, but B- and E-Bodies as well, in 2003. Stay tuned for an installation on that system.
Chassis parts and the 8 3/4 A-Body rearend housing supplied by Stephens Performance were media-blasted and coated with PPG DP90 epoxy. The black is John Balow's own special blend of chassis black, which he was more than willing to share. John notes, "The chassis black consists of four parts [one gallon] of PPG Delstar 9000 factory black paint, one part [one quart] of PPG DX265 flattening agent, and finally, 3.5 parts [311/42 quarts] of PPG DTR 602 reducer." This produces two gallons of sprayable chassis paint. John applies two medium wet coats over DP90 black epoxy and achieves the desired finish.
"If you are going to keep the paint on hand," says John, "you'll need to vigorously stir the mixture before using it the next time, as the flattener will sink to the bottom." John also notes that the mixture does not use hardener.
Beware, for the most significant...
Beware, for the most significant factor in restoring a convertible Barracuda is the amount of chrome and polished trim. The windshield header and vent-window chrome components were sent to Paul's Plating, while Iverson Automotive received all of the stainless trim for expert repair and polishing.
Fortunately, A-Body window...
Fortunately, A-Body window felts are available from Year One for the '67 Barracuda, but we still took extreme care removing the originals. Just another fallacy of the A-Body restoration that has been debunked.
The striker assembly in the...
The striker assembly in the A-Body had been previously repaired. As we've mentioned in previous articles, striker repair is commonly needed and anticipated as part of the restoration of most A-Bodies.
The first sign of any previous...
The first sign of any previous damage was from a light hit in the right rear quarter-panel. The sheetmetal was wrinkled beyond repair and the framerail was kinked 1 1/2 inches. That required replacement sheetmetal from Year One, and frame alignment provided by a local specialist near Chippewa Falls.
Once the unibody was within...
Once the unibody was within spec following the frame alignment, the Year One quarterpanel was grafted in place.
With the sheetmetal work completed...
With the sheetmetal work completed by the crew at Muscle Car Restorations, the car is shown here in PPG DP90 epoxy and PPG K36 Filling Primer. Factory-appearing seam sealer has been applied using a method which duplicates the original process.
Final wet sanding was accomplished...
Final wet sanding was accomplished prior to the application of the Viper Red basecoat/ clearcoat PPG system.
The dash frame is coated with...
The dash frame is coated with gloss lacquer black. John recommends two wet coats over one coat of DP90, and no sanding.
How does a shop like Muscle...
How does a shop like Muscle Car Restorations run 12 months a year considering the frigid cold that Wisconsin winters can deliver? This supplied air system from Titan Air Corporation provides constant air temperature so the temperature-sensitive paints catalyze properly and result in the highest quality finish, regardless of the ambient temperature outside.
Notice the gray primer where...
Notice the gray primer where the white interior color will be added after the color and clearcoat have been applied and the particular part color-sanded and buffed. Upon completion of the door, the interior basecoat is applied.
The plan all along was a red...
The plan all along was a red exterior (Viper Red) and white interior. John notes that the particular color he chose has no metallic in it, and is well suited for panel painting, as demonstrated with the inner and outer fenders shown here. John says, "Panel painting match-up is not an issue with the PPG Concept DCC single-stage acrylic urethane paint."
The rebuilt door hinges are...
The rebuilt door hinges are also painted off the car to get the best finish possible.
Here the underside of the...
Here the underside of the chassis is apparent, as is the PPG Concept, DCC Acrylic Urethane paint. John prefers the high-gloss, "wet-look" that this PPG system offers. For more information, see the sidebar "Product Focus: PPG CONCEPT, DCC Acrylic Urethane."
As the color-sanded and buffed...
As the color-sanded and buffed car body heads towards Muscle Car Restoration's assembly building, we bid adieu in this first installment. Next, we'll watch as Muscle Car Restorations tackles the drivetrain installation.
For a complete list of the...
For a complete list of the Year One components on this '67 Barracuda, visit our Web site, www.moparmusclemagazine.com, and click on "Invasion of the '67 Barracuda."
|Part Description||Part No.|
|1967 LH Quarterpanel Skin||KQ167LH|
|1967 RH Quarterpanel Skin||KQ167RH|
|1967 Quarterpanel Skins (Pair)||KQ167LHRH|
|1968 LH Quarterpanel Skin||KQ168LH|
|1968 RH Quarterpanel Skin||KQ168RH|
|1968 Quarterpanel Skins (Pair)||KQ168LHRH|
|1969 LH Quarterpanel Skin||BN51LH|
|1969 RH Quarterpanel Skin||BN51RH|
|1969 Quarterpanel Skins (Pair)||BN51LHRH|
|1967-'69 Outer Wheelhouse Panel (LH)||BN35LH|
|1967-'69 Outer Wheelhouse Panel (RH)||BN35RH|
|1967-'69 Outer Wheelhouse Panel (Pair)||BN35LHRH|
|1967-'74 A-Body Trunk Floor (LH)||M217LH|
|1967-'74 A-Body Trunk Floor (RH)||M217RH|
|1967-'74 A-Body Trunk Floor (Pair)||M217LHRH|
|1967-'74 A-Body One Piece Trunk Floor||M216|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (LH)||JS6002LH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (RH)||JS6002RH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (Pair)||JS6002LHRH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (LH, Hi-Quality)||M224LH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (RH, Hi-Quality)||M224RH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (Pair, Hi-Quality)||M224LHRH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Rear Floor Pan (LH)||JS6001LH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (RH)||JS6001RH|
|1967-'76 A-Body Front Floor Pan (Pair)||JS6001LHRH|
P.O. Box 129
Tucker, GA 30085-0129
Service Focus: Freman Auto
Rust free. The automotive gamble of all time. Unfortunately, you've discovered that your rare Mopar is not as rust free as you would have preferred. Where will you turn? If it is a part that is commercially available in reproduction, there really isn't a big issue, but what if you need a firewall, a front clip, or another hard-to-find structural item?
Look no further than Freman Auto. This large wrecking yard specializes in American-made cars from 1940-1980. The biggest percentage of their inventory is from 1950-1975.
Did we mention that Neil Freman has over 30,000 cars in several locations? Plus, Freman Auto's Web site offers a detailed inventory for specific cars that covers approximately 70 percent of the inventory.
Freman Auto adds cars to the inventory daily, and if they don't have the car or parts you need, they may be able to help you locate them elsewhere.
If you need parts for your car or if you are looking for a complete car, just call, write, fax, or e-mail Freman Auto with your needs. A price quote on the items you requested will be provided.
Freman Auto, 406/287-5436, fremansauto.com
Product Focus: PPG CONCEPT(r) DCC Acrylic UrethaneSingle-stage. Two-stage. Flash time. If the terms of the paint professional are not your first vocabulary, perhaps PPG Concept DCC Acrylic Urethane is the topcoat for your next Mopar project.
Concept DCC Acrylic Urethane is a premium quality, single-stage, two-component refinish product designed to offer exceptional gloss and color match. It is available in conventional single-stage solid and metallic colors, and can be used over all properly prepared OEM finishes, as well as cured air-dried finishes.
For more information on Concept DCC Acrylic Urethane, download Product Information Bulletin P-168 at www.ppg.com/refinishftpsite/docs/p-168.pdf.
PPG Auto Refinish
One PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15272