Thursday, February 23, 2012

#29in29 Day 23

I thought I'd follow Bobskoot on the classic car post. He mentioned to me that he owned a '68 Barracuda so I couldn't resist writing about my '69 Plymouth Barracuda Notchback.

I know I have plenty of pictures but let's see if I can recall the tale.

My step dad Chip has always been into cars, Mopars in particular. He lived and worked just north of Spokane and had several '67 Dodge Chargers in his collection, although I was into cars I didn't own anything special. So we would check out car shows and look through the nickel ads at all the old cars for sale and soon Chip was asking what cars I liked.

I always liked Corvettes as a kid, older Corvettes. I still like the '63 split window Corvette but as I got older I stepped out of the mainstream Ford vs. Chevy bout and started to appreciate the underdogs. I remember seeing a Mod Top Mopar one day and thought that was the coolest thing ever, but then Hemi Under Glass was pretty awesome too and that was the influence of my decision to look for a Barracuda.

Being a phone man in a small town, dad knew he saw one somewhere in a backyard, eventually found it and talked to the owner, the original owner. It was a 1969 notchback in great shape, driven by a school teacher who'd stopped driving it because the brakes were going bad. We pulled the tarp off, poured a little gasoline down the carburetor, jumped the battery and the little 318ci V8 fired right up.

We drove it up and out of the backyard and used a tow rope to get it home.

The car was all original and even had the redline tire in the trunk, a dealer installed 8 track player under the dash and didn't need anything but some new tires, paint and upholstery.

Original redline spare tire

Dealer installed 8 track player

The internet then wasn't even close to what it is today but I would spend hours searching for wheels and learning everything I could about it. I found the original build sheet behind the back seat and was  back on the internet learning what all the codes meant. I even bought a full color showroom brochure for it off ebay, I think I may still have it.

We'd take the Barracuda and Charger to car shows and collect dash plaques and I even won a small trophy once. We took it to the Spokane Raceway and ran her down the 1/4 mile straight track a couple times. It wasn't very fast, but it sure was fun.

Other vehicles came and went, my girlfriend at the time didn't like my new girlfriend nearly as much as I did so she moved out, I changed jobs, we moved around a bit, we got married, moved around some more and I changed jobs again but the Barracuda stayed.

I eventually registered it in Canada and applied for collector plates, hence all the pictures for documentation. Soon after money became tight, I had to give up the collector plates and that old car became our daily driver to and from work. Other vehicles would break down, leave us stranded or simply would not start but that Barracuda would start every time and get us through the worst snowstorms we'd ever seen. It would power past trucks stuck in the snow, roll right by cars spinning their tires going nowhere and it would keep climbing the icy slopes to get us home. It was such a great car.

We decided to move to the US and we sold it to move down here. It was a very difficult decision and on occasion I do wish I still had it, but to be honest with myself I'm much happier riding on two wheels than polishing four. I still don't have the money to maintain it or the room to store it so it is better that it is sitting safely in a collection.

Now I am just one of those guys that just reminisce and tell anyone who will listen that "I used to have one of those".



  1. Troubadour:

    I kept reading your words, " my girlfriend at the time didn't like my new girlfriend nearly as much as I did so she moved out, I changed jobs, we moved around a bit, we got married ", you are referring to Trobairitz, right ? I mean, did all 3 of you live together like "3's Company"

    You haven't changed, that photo of you in the car window is "SO YOU", it's your trademark. My "Cuda looked just like yours, only it was Pure Virgin White, with black interior. 318ci V8 torqueflight auto, with the rare bench seat option. I also have a story behind mine, but it was sold to a person in Kelowna back in the 70's

    You have made me think about scanning some of my old photos

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Settle down Bob, it wasn't a "3's Company" thing at all. Let's just say I had to sell one bike before I could make the down payment and bring my dream bike home. My dream bike is still my dream bike and always will be.

      I'd love to see your old photos of your Barracuda. I thought the bucket seats in mine were rare, oh to have that build sheet.

    2. I believe the only difference between the '68 and the '69 is the front grill. The '68 had an X grill while the '69 had a Y grill (center).

  2. What a pretty car! My hubby loves the Baracuda's too.

  3. I have never heard of this model but it looks pretty awesome.


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