Everybody remembers their first car, whether they are a car enthusiast or not. While most people have stories of a less than stellar first car, a fellow by the name of Russell T had a Sassy Grass Green 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Gran Coupe as his first car when he was in high school.
He tells us, “I got my 1970 Barracuda the same year I met my wife. I was 20 years old and I’m 71 now so do the math; that was 51 years ago! My uncle was a big car collector who had around 40 collector cars in three different buildings. When he passed away, the car was left to me. It’s always been really special to me because it was in our family for that long.”
When Russell got his Barracuda, it originally had a 383-2bbl under the hood. Over the years, he eventually removed the 383 and installed a 440. A while back, he decided it was time to tear the car down and do a full restoration.
“I’ve been doing restoration work for 45 years so it was pretty second nature for me when it came to restoring the car. It was a really good car but since it wasn’t numbers matching, I decided to turn it into a resto-mod style build. It takes a crazy person to cut up a perfectly good 1970 Barracuda with a 440, modify everything and change the engine but it’s been a labor of love”, he shares.
Over the course of four years, Russell did a full restoration of the car. Overall the car had a really good body and only needed quarter panels and a few minor things. Once the body work was complete, it was painted a fresh coat of FJ6 Sassy Grass Green.
The bumpers were color matched to the car and a satin black AAR hood, front and rear spoilers and matching AAR stripes were installed. All of the chrome trim was sand blasted and powder coated satin black.
Russell decided in lieu of the 440 that had rested between the Barracuda’s fenders for a good portion of its life, he’d go a more modern route so he acquired an extremely low mileage 2007 Chrysler 300 SRT8 with a 6.1L Hemi as a donor car for the build. The 300 donated the engine, floor pan structure, seats, center console, cooling fans and Brembo brakes to the Barracuda.
A 45RFE automatic transmission from a 2009 Ram 1500 pickup was used and the Brembos were custom powder coated Sassy Grass Green to match the car. To give the car a bit more horsepower, the 6.1L Hemi was fitted with a new COMP Cams street camshaft, performance lifters and custom ceramic coated headers.
The floor pan and suspension was from the Chrysler 300 donor car and made it easy to get the ride height just right. It rides on satin black 20-inch Hellcat wheels wrapped in Firestone Firehawk tires.
On the inside, a number of parts from the 300 SRT8 were used in combination with the factory interior. An adjustable steering column and aftermarket steering wheel were installed along with an AM/FM radio and new speakers.
The gauges were upgraded to a cluster from Dakota Digital Instruments. A Vintage Air set-up was installed to keep the interior cool on those hot days.
Although the Barracuda has been a labor of love for Russell, he’s decided to send it to auction in hopes it finds its next forever home. It will be going to the Vicari Auction in Biloxi, Mississippi that takes place between October 4th and 7th of this year.