Mopar Muscle - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOS BY CAM BENTY

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.

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