MARCH 29, 2013 (APRIL 2013): 1964 PLYMOUTH VALIANT BARRACUDA-DOOR NUMBER THREE FOR MOPAR GUYS

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There’s no question the 3rd Generation Barracuda is the undisputed heavyweight champ of the legendary pony car from Plymouth.

 

The 3rd Gen gets all the press so the 1st Generation ‘cuda gets lost in the pages of history as a less important version of the Barracuda.

 

That’s unfortunate because this ’64 Barracuda is a shining example of how cool these car were…and are, in 2013.

 

 

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Dane Skinner is a self-described “Mopar Man and he wanted something that was “off the beaten path” in the world of Barracudas. This ’64 Barracuda fit the bill.

 

They built just over 30,000 of these cars in ’64 and most of them had the 273 V-8 under the hood after the ‘cuda debuted on April 1, 1964. That was almost two weeks before the Mustang so the little Plymouth got the jump in the pony car race but history demonstrated which car won the race.

 

 

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Nevertheless, Dane saw potential in his ’64 Barracuda so he turned it into something that caught the eye of every spectator at a car show last year.

 

This car is a combination of bone stock and rest-mod because Dane is a very practical owner. This Barracuda is an AC car and it has the “typewriter” (pushbutton) transmission because it was built in 1964-the last year for the pushbutton Mopars.

 

 

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Dane gave a brief biography on the car, “I’ve had it for awhile, I’ve owned it for 12 years and it was originally a gold car. I drove it all the time but I wanted to do a few things with it”.

 

The crossroads in any project begins and ends under the hood and this Barracuda was no exception because Dane admits that it would have been pretty easy to stick a crate motor under the hood but in reality, he wanted to keep the same driving experience that he’d had for 12 years.

 

He focused on the factory 273, “It was bored out 30 over and completely rebuilt” so the feel of the car didn’t change but he did change out the rear end to 8 3/4″. Dane retained the 2-barrel carb and admits, ” it’s got lots of power plus I pull down decent gas mileage” so the ‘cuda combines form and function with today’s “arm and a leg” gas prices.

 

 

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This car is clearly not a factory color and the wheels are far from stock as Dane admits, “They’re Chip Foose wheels, I wanted something a little cooler and I liked the new color too”.

 

Dane has spent many hours behind the wheel of his ’64 Barracuda and it’s still a thrill for him as he admits, “It drives nice and I still enjoy it. I’ve spent a lot of time in the car and it’s still great”.

 

The Barracuda is a big part of Dane’s life and one of the reasons is the year it was built, “I was born in 1964 too so it seems kind of right to own this car”.

 

 

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The other reason is the succession plan, “I’ve had it for awhile and I fell in love with it a long time ago and now my Grandson loves it so it’s willed to him”.

 

Ultimately Dane summed it up in one sentence, “You get something for your money with a car like this, it’s priceless”.

Jerry Sutherland

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