It looks like we're buying a second house this summer which can only mean one thing - I get to decide our next big purchase (the house was my wife's idea). My first car was a 70 Barracuda and I've kinda decided I want another one. My favorite car of all time is the AAR Cuda so the plan is to find a 70 Cuda and build it into an AAR replica. I already have the Six Pack intake system and I'm saving my money for a nice rust free example.
My wife got off at 3:00 this morning, I picked her up and we came back home to put the kids in the car, them we headed out for Morgan Hill, CA to pick up my 1962 Buick Special station wagon. When we got there, I could hardly believe how nice the car is. The chrome looks like new, the interior (even the plastic dash pieces!!!) look like new, there is like uhm... NO rust, it starts and runs good, and as claimed in the EBay listing it does indeed drive like new.
I just picked up my first Buick, a Special DeLuxe 4100 series station wagon. It's also my first EBay buy so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. This looks to be a really cool little wagon. It has a 112" wheel base so it's in between the compact station wagons (Plymouth Valiant, Ford Falcon, etc) and full size wagons (i.e. Vista Cruiser, Chrysler Town and Country, etc). The wagon I bought was a 1 owner car since 1962 until this year when the original owner passed away.
This is good news far any Mopar A Body owner. IMHO the Mopar 8-3/4 rear end is the best there is for any car powered by a small block Mopar. I'm aware the Dana 60 is stronger - it's also heavier and lacks the convenient drop out carrier of the 8-2/4 rear. The only problem with the 8-3/4 unit is that finding one for an A Body can be a pain in the butt. Most early A Bodies came with a weak 7-1/4 differential with later ones coming with a 8-1/4 unit. Niether are popular as performance pieces so parts (especially posi units) are difficult or impossible to find.
The good news is my Barracuda is completely finished except for a line running from the throwout bearing to the master cylinder. I even got to hear the engine run (it sounds awesome). I dropped off the final part yesterday (getting it will be the subject of another story) and supposedly it will be installed today or early next week and I'll pick up my car on Wednesday... YIPEE!!!!! Except... I'm not happy with the work.
It's been a long slog but I finally got a call from my shop today, the Barracuda is finished except for the transmission line that runs from the throwout bearing to the master cylinder. I also finally got the correct part ordered from Keisler today and it's supposed to be here by next Tuesday (March 30) so I can drop it off Wed and my Barracuda should be done by the first week of April. Here's all that was done, hope to post details over the next few weeks as I have time to write:
I'm putting a Keisler 5 speed transmission kit in my Barracuda, replacing the stock Torqueflight automatic. I bought the kit around 5 years ago. It was supposed to be a drop in (sort of) kit designed specifically for the 1963-66 Mopar A body cars. When I got the kit, I checked it out but I guess not thoroughly enough I guess. The first problem noticed was that the master cylinder was missing. I called Keisler to get a replacement and was told that due to the length of time since I'd bought the kit, I'd have to pay for the replacement.
I wasn't planning on spending any money on my cars for awhile, but I just couldn't help myself. Guess I need to stay away from Craig's List. Actually I was looking for an 8-3/4 rear end for my Barracuda and saw an ad for a Slant Six out of a 1970 Dodge pickup. No big deal - but it came with a 4 speed. One of the cars I'd like to build eventually is a replica of Scott Harvey's 64 Valiant with a Hyper Pack.
I got a call from the shop yesterday, "we need to talk to you." I thought OMG!!! How much is this going to cost??? Turned out not much and not too big a deal. Actually it was good because I learned something new. The original engine in my Barracuda was a 273. Swapping in a 318 "shouldn't" be a problem. Well, I found out today that it might be, depending on how new or old you 318 is. Early 318's shared engine mount dimensions with the 273. I don't know what year that changed, but the passenger side motor mount pad on my 1986 318 is the exact opposite of the original 273.
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