1968 Ply­mouth 426 Hemi Bar­racuda BO29

Muscle Car Review - - 1968 Super Stock Cars -

Jim Kramer, owner of Kramer Au­to­mo­tive Spe­cial­ties, has been buy­ing and restor­ing Mopar race cars since the early 1970s. His busi­ness caters to 1962-1974 Chrysler en­thu­si­asts, fueled by Kramer’s pas­sion for factory Mopar race cars. Given that con­text, it is no sur­prise that his Psy­chotic Re­ac­tion 1968 Hemi Bar­racuda is con­sid­ered by many to be one of the most, if not the most, orig­i­nal BO29 cars in ex­is­tence.

“Psy­chotic Re­ac­tion is an orig­i­nal

BO29 four-speed car with the Dana rearend,” Kramer ex­plains. “The Hemi car was orig­i­nally bought and owned by Leon Czrew and Bob Harrop. Bob Harrop is of­ten re­mem­bered for his Fly­ing Car­pet cars. Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the pur­chase of the car, Bob and Leon had a fall­ing out. Leon bought Bob out, and soon punched a hole in the oil pan. The car was then parked un­til late 1977. It prob­a­bly had 30 or so runs. In late 1977, a friend of mine, Dave Helmick of Mas­selon, Ohio, bought the car from Leon Czrew.”

Kramer would save the Psy­chotic Re­ac­tion from the flame. “In Fe­bru­ary 1981, I was talking to Dave about buy­ing the Psy­chotic Re­ac­tion car. We made the deal on the phone about mid­night. I called him the next day and asked if I could come pick up the car, and he agreed. Three hours later, I ar­rived in Mas­sil­lon. The Bar­racuda was sit­ting in the garage with the gas tank fac­ing the house, hood on the roof. I loaded up the car and left there at 5:30 p.m. I talked to Dave the next day, and he told me that six hours af­ter I left his house, his house and his garage burned to the ground. There was a cre­osote fire at the house, and the garage was de­stroyed. The car would have been gone.”

A few psy­chotic re­ac­tions were avoided that day. Kramer has owned the car ever since. He avoids wood-burn­ing stoves.

The car was last raced by Helmick in 1980, when it ran 10.54 at 129 mph on 10.5-inch tires. The only thing not orig­i­nal to Kramer’s BO29 is the iron-case four­speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, which was stolen when Dave Helmick owned the car. How­ever, the trans­mis­sion presently in the car is a brand new, N.O.S. Chrysler “Project Plan­ning” alu­minum crash-box four-speed that had pre­vi­ously be­longed to Arlen Vanke. That works.

n Jim Kramer’s real deal BO29 1968 Hemi Bar­racuda sports the orig­i­nal Psy­chotic Re­ac­tion paint­work that was ap­plied when the car was pur­chased from Chrysler. Ac­cord­ing to Kramer, a to­tal of 72 BO29 Ply­mouth Bar­racu­das and 83 LO23 Dodge Darts were built by Hurst that year.

n Front and rear glass was factory safety glass. The side front win­dows were Corn­ing tem­pered glass, while the rear quar­ter­win­dows were fixed. The cars with au­to­matic transmissions were equipped with an 8¾ rear with 4.88 gears. Stick cars re­ceived the Dana 60 rear with 4.88 gears. Su­per Stock springs and heavy-duty shocks helped plant the tires.

n The in­te­rior is com­pletely stock. The Hurst Com­pe­ti­tion

Plus shifter had a short han­dle for short throw, and a sep­a­rate Re­verse gear lever. The Hemi cars were ra­dio- and heater-delete. The three-point roll bar might have been sent with the car from Hurst, but that is de­bat­able. Low­back A100 style seats and lightweight alu­minum seat brack­ets were all busi­ness back in 1968.

n The 12.5:1 com­pres­sion, 426ci Chrysler Hemi en­gine sports a steel crank­shaft, forged pis­tons, a cross-ram man­i­fold with cor­rect Hol­ley 4235 and 4236 car­bu­re­tors, and Hooker head­ers. The dis­trib­u­tor, spark plug wires, and fuel lines are all orig­i­nal to the car. Hurst painted the BO29 and LO23 en­gine com­part­ments gloss black in an at­tempt to hide the “mod­i­fi­ca­tions” to the pas­sen­ger­side shock tower.

n The BO29 Bar­racu­das and LO23 Darts ben­e­fit­ted from a large trunk-mounted bat­tery placed on the right side of the trunk for bet­ter trac­tion. The orig­i­nal part num­ber la­bel is still at­tached to the orig­i­nal J-bolt used for the bat­tery hold down.

n The Bar­racuda’s front fend­ers and hood were fiber­glass. The doors were chem­i­cally milled. All sound dead­ener, un­der­coat­ing, and seam sealer were deleted for weight reduction. The Hemi hood­scoop pro­vided fresh air and clear­ance for the ele­phant mo­tor.

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