’68 BARRACUDA TROY MARTIN’S 440-CID
Troy Martin’s 440-cid ’68 Barracuda
In our youth, we built smaller-scale car models, because, quite frankly, that’s what we can afford. In this way we can try different vehicular modifications without breaking the bank. You don’t like that last paintjob, you sand it off and paint it again. The engine isn’t powerful enough, you pop in a bigger one. The tires and wheels don’t look right? Bolt up some new ones. It’s just that simple.
For Troy Martin, owner of Full Scale Hot Rods in Oxnard, California, that ability to continually swap out parts until he gets things just right has been his focus in life. Today, his shop cranks out all kinds of crazy machinery from MGB’S
with LS engines to hot rod ’48 Ford coupes. So the changes he made to his daily driven ’68 Barracuda should come as no surprise.
The sharp-looking B5 Blue ’68 coupe may still wear the original 2008 paintjob as when he purchased the Mopar, but everything under the skin is different from the day he traded a ’01 Corvette convertible and a ’89 BMW 635i plus cash for the Barracuda’s pink slip. But today, the modifications made to this machine have proven well worth it.
“When I purchased the car from my insurance broker, it had some issues,” Martin said. “The engine didn’t run well, and the brakes were far from adequate.
It was clear that a lot of things had to change before I would be satisfied with its driveability. The first step was to remove the engine and assess the internals — that was truly just the start.”
The 440-cid engine was completely rebuilt and bored 0.030-inch over by Precision Machine in nearby Santa Paula, California. Martin topped the block with an Edelbrock Power Pack top end kit that included Edelbrock RPM 440-cid aluminum cylinder heads, Performer intake, and camshaft. The biggest change to driveability came with the installation of an MSD Atomic EFI unit that allows Martin to adjust the tune from inside the car with a remote programmer. An MSD Billet 6AL box fires the plugs, timing set at 14-degree initial and 34 degrees all in. Estimates have the power set at close to 500 hp.
While the stock ’68 Mopar oil pan and windage tray are used, the headers are from TTI feeding and flowing exhaust to 2.5-inch Dynamax mufflers and glass-packs (OTC exhaust cut-outs allow Martin to uncork the exhaust remotely). The Champion aluminum radiator keeps things cool enhanced with a pair of Flex-a-lite fans.
“I’ve had four of these Barracudas in the past, so I know how to build them from
experience,” notes Martin. “The 1968 727 Torqueflite transmission, reworked by Hughes Performance, uses a 2,500-stall speed converter of the same make. A Gear Vendors overdrive helps improve mileage when cruising flowing power back through a 3-inch diameter Driveshaft Pros driveshaft to the Currie 9-inch rear end outfit with 3.25:1 ratio gearing. Four-wheel disc brakes are used all around, modified ’74 Mopar A-body slotted discs are used up front and Ford Explorer units out back. Martin drastically improved the handling of the little A-body with Hotchkis upper and lower control arms, front and rear sway bars, and Eaton springs and KYB shocks.
Experience speaks volumes and Martin has plenty when it comes to cars in general. The look and feel of the 1968 are impressive when behind the wheel, the power of the 440 engine backed by the overdrive delivers high-speed driving when called upon — or simply getting to work on time — which in this case could be one and the same. Dressed with a set of Magnum 500-style wheels, the Barracuda retains all the classic muscle car appearances, but under the skin this is a sophisticated machine.
Clearly all those years building smallscale models helped with Martin’s Full Scale Hot Rods.
The B5 Blue Barracuda strikes an impressive pose when rolling down the highway.
Lighting up the Bridgestone with over 500 lb-ft of torque emanating from the 440-cid engine isn’t an issue. Behind Martin’s shop are the many witness marks from his many “testdrives.”
The 440-cid engine produces somewhere close to 500 hp, courtesy of Edelbrock cylinder heads, camshaft, and intake manifold.
The 440-cid engine install is no easy drop in to the tiny A-body engine compartment. As usual, TTI headers are required equipment for any properly built Mopar.
The MSD Atomic fuel injection feeds to 440-cid engine supported with a reliable MSD 6A ignition box. The system is completely tunable — whether driving down the road or tuning the in driveway — via an interior-mounted programmer.
Despite what you may think, this Barracuda is Troy Martin’s shop vehicle. He drives this beautiful machine to work at least three times a week. That’s especially impressive when you consider this Barracuda sports a paintjob that’s currently 10 years old.
Troy Martin’s Full Scale Hot Rods shop is well known in the Oxnard area for its diverse line of hot rod projects.
The stainless steel trim and other brightwork are cleaned often to retain the exterior appearances.
Braking is handled through a ’74 A-body front disc brake system updated with slotted and drilled front rotors, while Ford Explorer rear discs brakes were fitted to the Dana. Up front, the Hotchkis upper and lower control arms backed with front and rear sway bars keep the Barracuda’s cornering attitude in check.
Troy Martin with his daily driver. From what it was when he first traded for the Barracuda to what it has become is an amazing transformation.
To add some excitement to the party, OTP cut-outs allow Martin to open up the exhaust remotely from inside the car.