MAY 10, 2009: The Barracuda First Family – A New England Presidential Legacy

my star cuda story

We’ve never heard of anybody with a stronger Plymouth Barracuda family pedigree than Roger Kizer.  

‘Roger’s dad drove a 66 Cuda, later it was Roger’s prom car, his mom drove a 67 fastback and Roger’s 1st car was a 64 Valiant-the Barracuda’s fraternal twin.’

He owned a ‘68 Barracuda during a stint in the army and his uncle owned the Cuda’s 1st cousin, a ‘69 Roadrunner.

That is truly a family commitment to the vintage ‘Cuda cause.

Roger loved hearing stories about how these little Plymouths routinely slapped cocky Mustang owners around like balsa wood on the street-he even thrashed one himself when he drove the ’66 to his prom. Roger lives in the New England area where more than one car has met a tragic rusty fate. His trusty Valiant was the 1st casualty flowed by his mother’s beloved 67 Cuda-that one ended being cut into nice transportable pieces.

Both cars had long family histories so Roger was determined to find a parts car and save his dad’s ’66 Barracuda-he did but the guy wanted his car for parts. Roger is a patient guy so a few months later the guy with the green Cuda sold his car to Roger-his dad’s white Cuda would live.

Not so fast.

The white car was terminal so it became the donor car and the stranger’s green ‘cuda was given the Governor’s 11th hour reprieve-at the expense of the family car. Roger had mixed feelings about baling yet another family legacy but the reality was that the green car was a much better candidate for a resurrection. Roger took everything he could off the white Cuda and said yet another goodbye to a family member.

That is the cold hard reality of cars that are past the point of no return.

Roger dumped the original slant 6 (the one with a big knocking sound) in favor of a bulletproof 318, he found fenders for it, repaired some very ethically challenged bodywork and the 1st show he proudly attended was Chryslers at Carlyle. He had a little adventure with the transmission on the way home but the car is almost there. Roger even likes the light primer at this point-it reminds him of his dad’s ’66.

By the way, Roger is the President of the Early Valiant Barracuda Club-

The last President from the New England area that had a comparable family legacy so well tuned to the job was a guy named John F. Kennedy.

Jerry Sutherland


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