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‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. #3068965
08/17/22 06:43 PM
08/17/22 06:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,629
San Jose,CA
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Here is how I got this barracuda nearly 11 years ago. The story goes like this. Friend of mine loved working on mopars, mostly e-body and truck. He had been doing it for 40 years at the time. He came across this green on green beauty in the Palo Alto Hills of California. Fun fact, he bought it from a lady and took it home. Two months later, that part of the city burned to the ground. The car lived, but everything around the area was ashes and smoke! So with the slant six purring away and my buddy being a hotrod heathen and an old cowboy bar brawler would not stand for it being so wimpy. He decided to do some upgrades. Though he gave it to his wife, he couldn’t keep from throwing parts at it. In true hillbilly fashion, he went to his low value junk pile and started picking out parts for the build. First thing he did was take about twenty five 14in Rallye wheel cores to Stockton Wheel where Dick (rip) would make a correct set of cores into 15X8 and 15X10 wide rowdy rollers to tuck to mount huge BFG 305/50R15 baloney burners on the little fish tail. To make it fit, he cannibalized parts for the rear. Starting with 1970 b-body housing and axles with a high mile 3:23 sureslip diff and 11in rear brakes off a 1977 Cordoba and thankfully did not try to use any of the Corinthian leather with it. Installing the rear would take some work so off came the mounts and on went new ones with dodge caravan off set shackles to give it some needed room. With welding done that looked like it was by Steve Wonder using his feet, the old used challenger leaf springs with leaves added from something like a dump truck made it super stiff and still low enough to rub the tires on the tubs. Driveshaft from a pile of 40 or so units was thrown in and the 1 1/2 inches of slop was still in Tolerance to keep it in the well work 727 transmission. Deciding it was going to get big power, he kindly decided that the old ride needed disc brakes to handle the warp speed of the new engine .As he swapped out 10in drums for a challenger v8 k-member with all factory grease spots still glistening in the morning light. Then added a set of 1975 Charger spindles and 1975 Roadrunner rotors and calipers to making future brake repairs more challenging than a special needs kung fu competition. The original box and swaybar worked well Enough and rarely leaked when it was empty. Not wanting to let a perfectly good core go to waste, he pulled a 1971 440 engine from a wrecked wagon and pulled the bottom out to replace the bent 440 crank with a nicer free one in its place. To make it get the cool factor, he put an Edelbrock Performer on this torque monster and rattle can restored the engine with the finest Mopar Performance spray paint that was on sale at the dealership. JC Whitney chrome covers and electronic orange box help keep it running good and help match the 1971 Charger brake booster for that true trailer park look. 800cfm Edelbrock carb help makes it go straight to the gas station every chance it got. Keeping it cooler that a truck full of cucumbers, a 1968 Charger R/T radiator was snatched from a local swap meet, had it rebuilt with a new core and fresh black to make it mint. Making it fit was an easy thing by adding scrap metal that you would normally find on a 1900th century locomotive.
After selling a 1970 Challenger project, the parts destined for it would now help out the little fishie. The TTI exhaust system with HP 1968-1970 (yes, two different year) manifolds went under the Cuda and with just enough elbow grease and sledgehammer throws, the tip-less exhaust fit better than OJ’s glove on Shaquill O’Neal’s hand. With hard to find interior panels for a Cuda being harder to find than honest politicians, the original panels got a friendly coat ‘death-be-black’ rattle can color to hide the ever so popular dark green hue that seemed to be about 99% of all Ma Mopars ever made. The wood grained 120mph gauge cover added to the classic lines while letting those pesky camaro guys in the other lane know you meant business. Legendary Interior seat covers now cover the front and rear seats originally destined for the aforementioned Challenger, giving the car identity issues making it identify as a Dodge on every 3rd week of the month and full moon nights. Being originally a column shift car would not bring the sexy lounge lizards his way, so a 1971 Challenger was sourced for the column and console and the console brackets were carefully attached with Home Depo wood screws. Finishing the interior is an original tuff wheel with extra loose foam option. The now ready to prowl the mean streets of San Jose and show the locals how the Penstar cult gets things going.

After a grueling month of mechanical repair, it was time to ‘ release the beast’ and start the show winning paint and interior that would bring it 1st place at any trailer park parking lot party. The original green paint though shinny was still too 'super pickle' for my savvy friend, so the decision to paint it shine down on him like beer down a hobo's throat. Never wanting anything to go to waste, a friend donated a couple gallons of yellow paint and leftover primer sitting in the shed from previous projects made the cheaper than make $79 paint jobs at the time. So making this Penstar Plymouth cherry meant taping s much of it off as possible, slightly scuffing the green paint and dumping a gallon of primer through the Sears and Robuck's compressor to coat the flanks. Realizing the shop was a bit to cramped to do it properly, he decided to paint it on his gravel driveway. Making the conditions were just right to make it comparable to a modern Picasso, he waited til it was the hottest day of summer with 20 mph winds and next to a freshly mowed grass when he sprayed it with the same Steevie Wonder feet he used on most of the car. Wanting that cool AAR look without none of the parts, he sprayed the hood black to make sure those nasty sun beams don't reflect onto the windshield any more. Add hood pins without brackets and waalaaa, she is a true street crawler for miles of smiles.

A few years later, the call to own their own property and escape the ever growing tyranny of California meant that new stomping grounds for the Cuda were coming. Load up the car and headed out to Tennessee to do a new way of life. Packing up 30 years from a rental house was not easy and making weekly trips was even more insane, but moving everything in just 5 trips and taking 5 vehicles was no short of incredible. Well many moons later I get a call from my buddy asking if I wanted to buy this very custom Cuda. Apparently his wife and him were no longer a pair and time for the car to go away was now in the picture. Being short on cash, I ended up selling my 1970 Dodge Challenger project and a Restored California Special 1980 Dodge stepside truck to have enough funds to buy the Un-Mellow Yellow tarmac terror and get it shipped back to Cali.

20 years after the completion, the car in now being redone with more updates and better duct tape and bubble gum. So
As it progresses, I will post the good and bad when I can.

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Last edited by migsBIG; 08/22/22 11:10 AM.
Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3069417
08/19/22 01:08 AM
08/19/22 01:08 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 632
California
BigDaddy440 Offline
mopar
BigDaddy440  Offline
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Posts: 632
California
Very cool story smile


1969 A12 Roadrunner
1970 Plymouth Cuda
1968 Dodge Dart
Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: BigDaddy440] #3072146
08/28/22 05:49 PM
08/28/22 05:49 PM
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San Jose,CA
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Here is the car in my friends shop. Knowing I was super bummed that I could not get anything done at my place, they offered to to paint my car and do updates for free and all I had to do was pay for materials. Though we’ve know each other for over 25 years, they have been better to me than most family has. Back when I had stock plates 5 years ago, we hauled the little fishie to their garage and started the the work to make it great again.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072147
08/28/22 05:56 PM
08/28/22 05:56 PM
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San Jose,CA
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They started tearing into the car and had a lot of surprises when they started putting hands to it. Beside the badly cobbled together car, the low point for the car was just starting. Initially was just to be a cheap, barely painted street crawler and weekend racer, turned into some funky stuff. The trunk had a few holes from rust, so an attempt to seal the rear window leak was addressed sometime before I got it. What looks like to be some caulking removed from under the rear trim and took awhile to chisel out.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072154
08/28/22 06:07 PM
08/28/22 06:07 PM
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After the rear window was being worked on and found all that stuff, they desired to go over the whole car to see what they had to work with. Oh the stuff they found. Hood was bent, the repaired driverside quarter panel was a slather job and had to bring that away for most of the day and realized the body line was off by a lot. Hood had bondo and a couple rust holes.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072157
08/28/22 06:12 PM
08/28/22 06:12 PM
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When digging out the front window trim, they noticed that there was a repair done to keep the wipers from leaking. And in case what you were wondering what it was, not sure, but it smelled like spearmint.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072160
08/28/22 06:20 PM
08/28/22 06:20 PM
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Scuffing the body done and making it better for adhesion, they seem the body was king of needing more more, and desired to give it a bit more attention. Adding US car toon front stiffening plates to the shock tower and changing the radiator support to 26in would come later.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072167
08/28/22 06:39 PM
08/28/22 06:39 PM
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Being in no rush and grateful my friends were working on it, there was no need to rush and was good just to have it stored away from the house in the meantime. Beginning for BBQ cooking competition and full work schedules, they worked on it between free weekend. Then in 2019, everything came to a halt when the Pandemic hit. From the first sniffle freak out of 2019 til January of 2022, the car was in hibernation why more pressing things in like took priority over the car. With everyone able to work and do more, the finishing work started. Fixing the driver-side quarter panel by removing the caked rust and patching it makes for a cleaner car. Stitch welded trunk looks crude, but it was just meant to be a race car so making a part that will never be seen was unimportant and fine with me.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072176
08/28/22 06:55 PM
08/28/22 06:55 PM
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Early before the project started, I was gathering parts for when I could make the car more to a little of my taste with personal touches. AMD and their limited production of the 1970 CUDA rubber bumpers that were only available for sale for 3 hours and a pair luckily showed up on Craig’s list for way cheaper that other repo ones at the time. Test fitting to the car, the quality was better than race car paint, so I was happy about it. After the trial fit and adding new hood and door hinges, a nice coat was added to keep it ready before final prep.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3072177
08/28/22 07:01 PM
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Giving the car another coat was good and great in flat black. Getting ready for paint was not far off.

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Re: ‘Pandemic Plymouth’. 1970 Barracuda off to a slow start. [Re: migsBIG] #3081232
09/27/22 06:34 PM
09/27/22 06:34 PM
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MICHIGAN
DynoDave Offline
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Oh, those hidden surprises.

Actually, not as bad as it might have been. Looking much better now.


DynoDave
Walter P. Chrysler Club - Great Lakes Region
Member # 12304
1970 Plymouth Duster
1972 Dodge Charger Rallye
https://wichargerguy.proboards.com/
1977 Chrysler Cordoba






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