Episode 50. Plymouth Barracuda. 41-2721. (Part 1).

A few months ago, back when I started my little blog of babble about my cars I wondered how long I would be able to keep it going? I wondered if I would start, and like so many other things I start, slowly lose interest, and let it go. Fifty posts in, and I'm still wondering that if I'm honest, but I still enjoy writing it, so I guess I'll just carry on! So what to write about for my fiftieth episode? Well, how about the fiftieth car that I ever owned?


My 1968 Plymouth Barracuda! Now, I could start right here, with the picture of it that I found on ebay back in 2014. That would be a good, and reasonable place to start, but to tell you the truth, this isn't where this story starts. This story starts much further back in history. The year was 1973, and I was just a four year old boy, living in southern England. My Auntie had taken it upon herself to buy me a new toy car every week when she came to my folks house to see me. To me, cars were Cortinas, Minis, Vivas, Capris, and other European type cars, and I loved them. Like most of my friends, I loved them, and I had my favourites. But then one day when my Auntie came round she hadn't bought with her a Matchbox car, or even a Corgi Juniors car. This time it would be different, this time the local toy shop was stocking something new, it had started to stock HotWheels cars! My little world of cars was about to be turned on its head! My Auntie had got me this...


The HotWheels King Kuda!! That was it for me, from there on in everything else was just cars! As a side note incase you're wondering, yes, this is the very toy that my Auntie bought me back in 1973, I've kept it all these years! And yes, it has been re-painted, it was originally 'Spectraflame' Green, and at some point in the eighties I re-painted it with metallic green Humbrol enamel! I'd stopped playing with toy cars by then, but I kept hold of it, and because it was quite playworn I decided that a new coat of paint would make it better! Anyhoo, the years passed, and although I had never forgotten about that toy Barracuda, I still hadn't ever seen one in the steel so to speak. I'd been to America, twice, and not seen one, although we saw countless other cool (to me) cars. But about the closest I got to seeing one, would be seeing the Hurst Hemi Under Glass on something like World of Sport with Dickie Davis on a Saturday morning! Even though by now most of my friends were hankering after a black Trans Am like Burt Reynolds in Smokey & The Bandit, I knew that as pretty as a second generation Firebird is, I wanted a late sixties Barracuda fastback... And it needed to be green! Before long I was driving, and although not driving a Plymouth Barracuda I did atleast drive something with the Chrysler Pentastar on the grille... A 1979 Chrysler Alpine! In this car I started to attend car shows local to me, but actually seeing a Plymouth Barracuda still eluded me! Finally in 2003, I was given some tickets to go to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, and I wasn't going to go because I had other things planned for that day. But in the end I decided to go, and it was then that this happened...


The Hurst Hemi Under Glass!! Admittedly this is the wrong one for me, being a '65(ish) model, but it was a Barracuda fastback, I had finally seen one, and it was the Hemi Under Glass!! To say I was a bit star-struck was the understatement of the day! I stood there for ages looking at it, before even thinking about taking a few snaps!


Finally, thirty years after getting the King Kuda I had seen one in the steel, and it was good! It was the wrong model, the wrong year, and as cool as it is pulling wheelies with a rear mounted Hemi engine where your back seat should be, I wanted my engine to be under the bonnet! But the seed that was planted thirty years previously was really starting to take hold! Fast forward another decade or so, and the internet had made shopping for cars anywhere in the world a doddle! Well, atleast it was a doddle compared to how hard it would've been to import a car in the seventies! By now I had bought myself Mustangs, Firebirds, Dodge pick ups, and other things, but still no Barracuda! The problem was not that they weren't out there for sale, the problem was that I didn't have enough money to afford one. But then, this one showed up on ebay, and it had no bidders, and was therefore cheap! But best of all, it was green! I knew I had to have a go. I consulted the bank, got the green light. I consulted Mrs Clint, got the green light... It was a go! The car was in Montana, and this meant that the auction was finishing around 03:45hrs here in England! I set my alarm, and got ready to get up in the middle of the night on a work day to put in a bid on a car over 3000 miles away! The auction had minutes left on it, and at the time it was still at its starting price with no bidders! I was thinking it was still very cheap, and as I was just sitting there, I watched it for the final minutes until I was counting down the seconds, 59, 58, 57, 56, still no bidders, should I bid on it? Should I? 45, 44, 43, 42, Still no bidders! What am I missing? 32, 31, 30, 29, By now Mrs Clint had joined me, so I asked her what she thought, GO FOR IT, she said... The light is GREEN for GO!! I didn't need telling twice! 20, 19, 18, 17, Still no bidders, I thought that I must have missed something, but it was too late! I had to put in my bid, and got ready to hit confirm...12, 11, 10, 9, 8, my heart was pounding in my chest with the excitement, was it really going to be mine, was it? Was I really going to be the only bidder? 6, 5, 4, 3 confirm CONFIRM!!! I jabbed at the screen on my tablet and waited for the screen to refresh, my heart thumping away, was it mine, WAS IT? The screen refreshed, and there was that green stripe across the top of the auction listing with the words, You won this auction... YES!!!!!!!! We've got a Barracuda!! I was the only bidder and I had got it, I contacted the seller straight away, to try and arrange a bank transfer, then I'd call the shippers to arrange to get it collected, six to eight weeks from now... I'm gonna be driving my Barracuda out of the docks! Or so I thought... The problem was that the seller didn't have a bank account! It was then that I also noticed a little thing that had kept away other potential buyers, the seller had joined ebay the day that he listed the Barracuda for sale! It all became clear, this was why I was the only bidder! I felt quite uneasy about this, but the seller eventually agreed to get himself a bank account, but it took nearly two months to convince him that this was the way forward! I went to my bank, and emptied my account to pay for what I hoped would be a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda fastback, but still quite concerned that I hadn't just spent every penny I had on a photograph of a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda fastback on the internet! I sent the guy a message asking him when I could get it collected! He didn't respond for over a week, and to be fair I was really concerned that I'd lost my money! But eventually he did get back to me, and a date was arranged. I was still unsure that I hadn't just bought a picture on the Internet, so I asked the seller to send me a couple of photos of the Barracuda on the truck once it was collected and about a month later I got this...


It was real, I hadn't just bought a picture on the internet, but better still...


It was on its way!! Six weeks or so later, in early 2015 I was down at Southampton docks standing in the pouring rain looking at something I had wanted since 1973... My own 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, in green!


The seller had been pretty honest with his description of the Barracuda, it is no trophy winner, but a good solid driver! If anything, he had probably undersold the thing... No matter, it's mine now so there was just one thing for it, load it up on the trailer behind my Ford Ranger...


Then lug it home!


Once back at BelongaClint it was given a thorough look over, and to be fair to it, it would appear to be in fantastic condition for the most part. However, the interior hasn't fared well over the last 48 years. The dash etcetera is ok, but the seats have seen better days!


But it has to be said that duct tape fixes all manner of sins! I have a new carpet for it, and various other new parts for the interior. But as yet, they have not been fitted! However as bad as the interior is, the rest of the bodywork and mechanicals are in fine fettle. There would appear to be no rust what so ever, and the engine runs like a charm! But as good as it is, sadly I didn't have the time to get it on the road. Due to other (work) commitments my dream car, my Barracuda sat patiently outside BelongaClint all through 2015, and halfway through 2016 without being touched apart from the occasional wash, and run around the block!


2016 came and I was determined to get it on the road, but that will be a tale for another time...

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