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1970 Plymouth Barracuda - Tennessee Volunteer

A 'Cuda With a 500ci Bite

By Geoff Stunkard, Photography by Geoff Stunkard

Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: Why did you make this car so radical?
Dave Cogdill: I've had lots of street cars-Darts, Road Runners-but they were just things we put together under the shade tree. I wanted this one to be a big-time, flat-out Pro Street-style car. I wanted the four-link, the Indy heads, and all the good stuff, and I hope to get it on the track soon. We took it up to Bristol for the Hensleys' Mopar Mania last June, but they wouldn't let me run it without a harness.

CC: What was your first impression when you began driving it?
DC: (laughs) Well, it made me a little nervous. The first time I really got after it, it wanted to go sideways in every gear. You sort of learn how to drive these cars-you can cruise in them, but when you really give it the gas, it can be a handful. I guess I could say it still makes me a little nervous.

CC: Tell us about who helped you out.
DC: Ken and Matt Hensley put the motor together for me, and I picked up one of their transmissions for it as well. A race-car chassis guy down in south Knoxville named Bugs Rudd did the frame, the rollcage, the tinwork, and the narrowed 8 3/4-inch rearend so we could get the axles and big tires on it.

CC: How's the car scene in Knoxville?
DC: For Mopar guys, we have the East Tennessee Mopar Association here, so we have a lot of connections. Most of us meet in an old Kmart parking lot, and it seems like more and more cars come out every weekend. It's about 40 percent Mopars and the rest are mixed; it's like a big car show.

The Details
Car: '70 Plymouth Barracuda
Owner: Dave Cogdill, Knoxville, TN

Engine: Balanced 500ci stroker Mopar 440 wedge by Hensley Performance, Mopar steel stroker crank, Ross 10.25:1 pistons, Manley rods, Indy Street aluminum cylinder heads with 2.08/1.94 valves, double-roller timing chain, MSD/Mopar ignition, Hedman headers, 3-inch Flowmaster mufflers, undercar exit

Induction: Weiand Tunnel with two Holley 750s, Holley fuel pump, 16 gallon RCI cell

Camshaft: Custom Comp Cams roller grind designed by Hensley Performance, Crane roller rockers, Comp double springs

Output: 750-plus horsepower at 6,800 rpm

Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite by Hensley, Turbo Action valve body, 9.5-inch PTC 3,500-stall converter, Turbo Action SCS shifter

Rearend: 8 3/4-inch Chrysler, 4.10:1 Richmond gear, Sure Grip

Brakes: Factory standard drums

Wheels and tires: Weld 15x6, front; 15x10.5, rear; M/T Sportsmans, front; M/T 31x18.50-15, rear

Interior: Stock front seats, Auto Meter gauges, custom tinwork by Bugs Rudd

Body mods: Hood cut for clearance

Paint: Limco Yellow urethane by Dave Cogdill

Cost to build: Approximately $25,000

By Geoff Stunkard
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