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Supercar Collectibles 1968 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda Page 2

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Tiny pins secure the plastic, lift-off hood. Collectors appreciate the authentic feel of functional hood pins, but there is the fear of losing them. Luckily, an extra set comes with the car. Sound advice: leave them off and store them in the trunk; that makes it easier to access the star attraction anyway. One other unusual feature—the front fenders are also plastic. Typically, this would be a knock against a car, but the real Hemi Barracuda had its steel hood and fenders replaced with fiberglass to save weight, and by replacing theirs, Supercar has upped its model’s authenticity another notch.

Engine. The Barracuda Super Stock was designed to house the 426 Hemi in Plymouth’s lightest platform. It wasn’t easy; the right shock tower and brake master cylinder had to be moved, but they got it to fit. This wasn’t just your average Street Hemi either; this was Chrysler’s full-bore race Hemi. With 12.5:1 compression, a radical cam and a cross ram intake manifold, it produced nearly 600hp.

Supercar didn’t have a much easier a time fitting the Hemi into its Barracuda; it chose to mold the Hemi’s bulbous cylinder heads slightly undersize. Although this provides adequate clearance, it leaves the intake manifold and headers poorly fitted, and this detracts from an otherwise excellent engine. The particularly nice carbs, fuel lines and plug wires are easily seen because of the small-diameter air cleaners. One unique feature is the radiator fan; it is linked to the driveshaft and differential so that when you roll the rear tires the fan spins!

Interior. The Hemi Barracuda is somewhat underwhelming inside—not because it is inaccurate but because there is not much in there. The skimpy van seats are present, and they’re bolted to brackets rather than conventional runners, but they do slide. There is no backseat, and the entire floor and rear compartment are covered in soft black flocking. The Hurst shift unit is prominent on the transmission tunnel, and the selector moves back and forth. The dashboard features the typical chrome accents and an opening glove box, but the gauges could use more detail. The trunk houses the Mopar Super Stock-labeled battery both to make room under the hood and to improve weight distribution.

Chassis, wheels & tires. Supercar does a nice job with the undercarriage. Chassis overspray is a nice touch, and despite being plastic, the floor pan is well detailed with flexible wire to simulate brake lines. Front and rear suspensions feature functional springs. The engine has full-length tube headers that dump into monstrous 3/4-length race exhaust pipes with drag mufflers. The system looks cool, but it would be better if the pipe exits were hollow.

The Barracuda comes with Goodyear slicks in back, paired with skinny bias-ply street tires of unspecified make up front. The wheels vary with the color combo you select: the red and the black cars come with centerline-style wheels, and the white and yellow cars feature a mix of 5-spoke mags and standard black steel jobs.

SPECS

Scale: 1:18
Overall length: 10.77 in.
Wheelbase: 5.98 in.
Width: 4.12 in.
Height: 3.25 in.
Price: $70


FEATURES
» Opening doors, trunk, glove box
» Operational steering, driveshaft, gear selector
» Articulated suspension
» Removable hood
» Extra pieces: hood pins


RATINGS (scale of 1-5)
Body, paint 3.5

Wheels, tires 3

Engine 3

Chassis, suspension, undercarriage 4

Interior 3

Presentation, proportion, stance 4

Collectibility 4


FINAL THOUGHTS
The 1968 Hemi Barracuda was perfectly suited to its time and place. Delivered just in time for the ’68 NHRA Spring Nationals, it was a terror in the Super Stock/B class from the first green light. A fair number are still campaigned in vintage drag racing with great success. Some originals and several clones have been converted to (barely) streetable hot rods, and it is that sort that the Supercar Collectibles Hemi Barracuda Super Street accurately represents. These models are great pieces of Mopar memorabilia, and with just 600 of each style being produced, they’ve got plenty of collector potential as well.

SOURCE
Supercar Collectibles (763) 425-6020; supercar1.com

Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:24 AM

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