Chrysler's engineering department has always been known for designs that were well ahead of their time. Good examples of this are the Hemi engine, long ram induction, and also building cars using the "unitbody" method of construction. In fact, Chrysler was one of the first companies to build their cars utilizing this method, which uses the body, roof, and floors of the car, instead of a separate frame, to form the vehicle's structure. This method of building cars not only saves weight, but also saves time and material during the manufacturing process, thereby saving the company money. Attesting to Chrysler's foresight is the fact that nearly all modern cars, and some light trucks, are built utilizing the unitbody construction method. While this method of building cars makes good economic sense for a manufacturer, there are some drawbacks in the form of performance. Unitbody cars aren't as rigid as their framed counterparts, and the additional flex can create problems in handling, braking, and acceleration. Whether you're building a street car, or in our case a race car, there are many benefits to stiffening the car's suspension.

Body flex in a car can be both good and bad depending on what the car is used for. On one hand, less rigidity in a street cruiser does offer better ride quality-the body of the car flexes, helping to cushion the bumps of the road from the car's occupants. For a performance application, however, body flex is nearly always counterproductive. A street performance car needs to be nimble and to respond quickly to driver input so a more rigid frame and suspension are required. Limiting body flex in a race car is even more important. Today's large cubic-inch, high-powered engines simply apply more force to a car than a unitbody can safely handle. Wrinkled rocker panels, cracked windshields, and broken floor pans and frame-to-floor welds can all be the result of a high-powered engine in an unmodified factory car.

Since our Barracuda is destined for a life of bracket racing and will have a healthy big-block for power, we deemed it necessary to stiffen the suspension by adding subframe connectors and torque boxes.

Torque boxes were installed in many factory Mopars as a way to stiffen the forward leaf spring support area of the frame. Of course, all Hemi and convertible models were equipped with torque boxes, but we've also seen them installed on other cars, such as big-block-equipped A-bodies. Since most of us aren't building original Hemi cars or convertibles, chances are our cars don't have the factory torque boxes and can benefit from having them installed.