Douglas T 1969 Plymouth Barracuda 2dr Convertible

THE FISH THAT DIDN'T GET AWAY

DURING CHRISTMAS BREAK FOR 1983 I STOPPED AT FURRY AUTO WRECKING YARD IN EVERETT. WALKING AROUND I FOUND A 1969 BARRACUDA DARK GREEN DROPTOP, CHRYSLERS NAME FOR A CONVERTIBLE THAT YEAR, SETTING ON FOUR RIM STANDS. THE FRONT SHEET METAL WAS LONG GONE WITH MOST OF THE FRONT SUSPENSION. THE TRUNK LID WAS ALSO GONE AND THE INTERIOR WAS TRASHED. THE DOOR PANELS HAD BEEN REPLACED WITH THIN WOOD CUT TO COVER THE OPENING. ALL THE WINDSHIELD CHROME AND FRONT WINDSHIELD HAD BEEN REMOVED. THIS WAS A REAL BASKET CASE. BUT THE TOP FRAME WAS STILL THERE

I WALKED UP FRONT TO THE OFFICE AND ASKED WHAT DID THEY WANT FOR THE REMAINS, THEY SAID $200. SO I WENT HOME AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR A COUPE OF DAYS AND WENT BACK AND IT WAS STILL THERE, IT WAS NOW THE FIRST PART OF JANUARY. SO I BOUGHT IT. SINCE THEN I LIVED NOT FAR FROM WERE THE YARD WAS.

THEY SAID THEY WOULD DELIVER IT TO MY HOUSE. THIS HOUSE HAD A ONE CAR GARAGE AND ONE A ONE CAR CARPORT. SINCE I WORKED DURING THE DAY I ASKED MY MOTHER TO BE THERE SO THE COULD DROP IT OFF. THEY WOULD PUT IN THE GARAGE AND THAT LEFT THE CARPORT OPEN TO PUT A PARTS CAR IN SO I COULD TAKE IT APART AND STILL BE UNDER COVER.

AT THIS TIME I WAS WORKING DOWN AT RENTON BOEING AND MY LEAD WAS TONY ASCONIO. WE HAD TALKED A LOT ABOUT CARS AND KNEW THAT HE A YELLOW 1969 BARRACUDA CONVERTIBLE AND THAT I HAD A 1967 BARRACUDA FASTBACK. WE HAD TALKED ABOUT HIS 1969 BARRACUDA FASTBACK THAT HIS SON, Frank, HAD PUT IN A DITCH. THE OUTSIDE COLOR WAS BRONZE AND THE INSIDE WAS A LIGHT TAN COLOR. I MADE OFFER TO TONY ON HIS FASTBACK AND HE TOOK IT. SO I RENTED A TRAILER, TONYS SON WORK AT A RENTAL COMPANY AT THE TIME AND WE PUT IT IN MY CARPORT.

ONE THE FIRST THINGS I DID WAS CLEAN OUT WHAT WAS LEFT INSIDE AND THROW AWAY ANYTHING I DIDN'T OR COULD USE. MAKING SURE TO KEEP ANYTHING I MIGHT NEED. I NEXTED OPENED UP THE YELLOW PAGES AND STARTED CALLING AROUND TO THE DIFFERENT WRECKING YARD, AS THIS BEFORE THE INTERNET. I FOUND A 1969 NOSE AT A WRECKING YARD RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM EVERETT BOEING, IT WAS UNDER THE LANDING PATTERN. I TOLD THEM TO HOLD IT FOR ME AS IT WAS TO LATE TO GET IT THAT DAY. SO THE NEXT DAY I WENT TO PICK IT UP AND MET DON AND LORRAINE RAIMER, HE WAS LOOKING FOR A NOSE FOR HIS PROJECT A 1969 BARRACUDA.

I WOULD LATER SAY I BOUGHT IT FROM UNDER HIS NOSE. THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THIS CAR WAS IT WAS THE SAME COLOR AS THE CONVERTIBLE. ONE OTHER THINGS I DID WAS TO START GETTING HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS, SOMETHING I REMEMBERED SEEING AROUND AS A KID.

SO NOW I HAD MOST OF THE SHEET METAL AND A LOT OF PARTS. I HAD TO START SOME WHERE SO I THOUGHT IT MADE SINCE TO START TAKING PARTS OFF THE FASTBACK TO A LEVEL WHERE I COULD START PUTTING PARTS ON THE CONVERTIBLE. I STARTED BY REMOVING THE SHEET METAL OFF THE FRONT OF THE CAR GETTING DOWN TO THE FRONT SUSPENSION SO I COULD TRANSFER IT TO THE CONVERTIBLE, THUS HAVING A ROLLING CAR. I MUST REMIND EVERYBODY THAT THIS PROJECT WAS STARTED IN JANUARY, WHICH IS RATHER COLD IN A NON HEATED CARPORT AND GARAGE. I WOULD COME HOME FROM WORK AND WORK ON THE CAR FOR A COUPE OF HOURS. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS WAS THAT MY FOLKS WOULD TRY AND CALL ME AND SINCE I WOULD BE OUTSIDE WERE I COULDN'T HEAR THE PHONE, THEY WOULD DRIVE OVER TO MY PLACE TO SEE IS THERE WAS A PROBLEM, THEY THOUGHT I MIGHT BE STUCK UNDER THE CAR OR SOMETHING AS BAD BECAUSE THEY COULD GET IN TOUCH WITH ME.

AFTER MAKING THE CONVERTIBLE A ROLLER AND HAVING MOST OF THE NEW METAL INSTALLED ON THE CONVERTIBLE, I TOOK AS MUCH OF THE FASTBACK APART SAVING PIECES FOR THE CONVERTIBLE. I LEFT THE MOTOR AND TRANSMISSION STILL IN THE CAR AND TALKED TO A WRECKING YARD TO COME AND GET IT. AT THE SAME YARD I FOUND A 1973 340 MOTOR, BY THIS TIME I HAD FOUND OUT THAT MY CONVERTIBLE WAS NOT JUST ONE OF THE 1442 CONVERTIBLES BUILT BUT ONE OF THE 83 FORMULA S CONVERTIBLES BUILT IN 1969.

NEW PARTS WERE HARD TO COME BY AS THIS WAS ALSO BEFORE COMPANIES START MAKING REPO PARTS FOR A BODIES. THERE WERE STILL SOME NOS PARTS OUT THERE BUT THEY WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. IN TALKING WITH TONY, HE WAS ABLE BUY THE REAR TRIM PANEL FOR HIS CAR AND IT TURNED OUT THAT IT WAS STILL AVABLE FROM THE DEALER (NON FORMULA S). FOR GRILLS AND CONVERTIBLE FRONT RUBBER AND WINDSHIELD TRIM NO SUCH LUCK. SO I OPENED UP HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS AND ON SATURDAYS I WOULD START CALLING AND WRITING LETTERS TO MAKE CONTACT WITH PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY LOOKING FOR THESE PARTS. I CONTACTED A WRECKING YARD BY THE NAME OF IMPERIAL MOTORS AND GOT LUCKY. THEY THE RUBBER AND CHROME TRIM FOR THE FRONT WINDSHIELD ALONG WITH THE PARTS TO MAKE THE TOP GO UP AND DOWN. I ALSO GOT THE PANELS THAT HID THE ACTIVATORS, THEY EVEN HAD THE ARMREST. AROUND THIS TIME I HAD STARTED TO GO YARDING AND CAME ACROSS A 1968 DART CONVERTIBLE. I GOT THE BACK SEAT, FRONT RUBBER, CHROME TRIM, REAR PANELS AND SOME OTHER MISC. PIECES. STILL NEEDED GRILL I CAME ACROSS A REPAIRABLE ONE AT AMERICAN DOWN IN TACOMA.

YEARS EARLY MY BROTHER HAD HIS 1965 BARRACUDA REPAIRED AFTER HIS WIFE GOT IN A FINDER BRENDER SO I TALKED TO THE SHOP AND TOOK IT DOWN THERE. AND HAD IT PAINT THE CORRECT DARK GREEN BUT HAD THEM CHANGE THE INSIDE COLOR TO LIGHT TAN.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Superbird Bob Arlington October 22, 2014 at 21:50
    Great story Mr. D. Did not know it was that far gone to begin with. Very cool ride now.

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