I’ve had a couple of Enthusiasts that forwarded me a link from a forum. The discussion centered around the “awkward roof” and why we didn’t lower the side door frames & glass configurations. First let me say that I welcome any constructive criticism or inquiries about the build of this car. The frustrating part is revisiting topics that have been discussed and explained over & over again. I would like to address the question about the side glass and the height as it relates to the windshield. We did not take the “easy way out” and construct something using shortcuts. Many of the “suggestions” that people have provided were considered LONG before they were made by the critics. We thought many of the same things until we become involved in the engineering and physics of the project. I learned that sitting in a chair verbalizing the “obvious” was nothing like building and engineering the real thing. While the light blue/gray Artist’s rendering of the 4 Door Barracuda looks appealing, that appearance would never work in actual design. It’s like painting a nice looking humanistic Robot where the internals are not shown or functionally illustrate the actual creation. It’s a just a fictitious painting that represents a hypothetical idea. (The back glass would never roll down into the door frame that is shown in the painting of the 4 Door Barracuda.)
I would like to once again explain the engineering process of our design and why we built what we built. From the start, we realized that we had to work with what was available. Even with the parts that we had access to, there was a tremendous amount of fabrication and alterations to make those components work. First, we had to engineer a realistic design for the cowl, dash frame, windshield, A pillar and door frames, in order for them to work in unison. Since a B Body windshield would not work with the cowl frame of a Barracuda, the windshield frame of a Barracuda had to be morphed with a B Body roof and A pillar. The inner half of the A pillar on this car is a 1970 Barracuda design (for the proper fitment of the windshield with the cowl) and the outer half is a B Body A pillar design. The A pillar tapers towards the Cowl because the outer section still has to line up and door seal of the B Body door frames. It is IMPOSSIBLE to lower/shorten the door frames and still use the stock configuration of the B Body glass. Many have suggested that we perform that type of alteration but they do not understand the physics of what they’re suggesting. If you cut and alter the door frames to lower them by 2 inches, the front edge of the frames will have to be moved 2 inches back from the cowl. That would leave an 2 inch gap from the front of the door frame to the area that seals against the A Pillar. It will not work. The roof would also have to be cut apart in 4 sections and widened to accommodate the door frames being shortened and lowered. That would cause a domino effect of design changes with the cowl width, the dash width, the headliner width, the vinyl top width, the window regulators, the door seals, the weatherstripping, and the glass. Many of you have no idea the changes that would need to be made from simply removing a couple of inches out of the door frames. It sure is easy to write about in a sentence or two but extremely difficult to apply in a real world build.
Some of you don’t like the design because it’s different and you’re not use to seeing it. Had the car been offered in 1970, there may not have been so many negative comments that are made today. Having the real 2 door Barracuda makes it that much easier to criticize this 4 door design because we are use to seeing the actual Factory version. There were many cars built that have “odd” appearances but they are accepted because they are “real” cars. No one has to like ALL the different variations and designs. That’s why the Manufacturers made so many different makes & models. I know this car is polarizing and unappealing to some people. That’s fine and can be expected with a project like this. One thing I can assure the critics is that ALL of your suggestions and solutions were considered by us LONG before you ever thought about them. I have an Engineering background I can assure those “critics” that many of you would have given up had you been faced with the complexity of this project. You remind me of those who stand at the bottom of Mount Everest and ask those descending from the top, “What’s the big deal? All you had to do was walk up the side of that Mountain and then walk back down!” I guess it’s true that those who complain from the sidelines, typically think they’re more accomplished than those who actually master the Game.
While doing this Project, I decided to manufacture Factory appearing Paperwork to coincide with the build of this Car. We have manufactured Factory “correct” Broadcast Sheets, MSO, Invoice, Vehicle Traveler Sheet and a “Factory” Brochure. Pictured below are comparison photos of the Brochure. I took an original 1970 Barracuda example, scanned in all the pictures and information, then changed some of the the photos and verbiage to represent what Chrysler would have offered if they had manufactured a 4 Door Barracuda. We then had them professionally re-printed to mimic the Factory originals.
Here are a few “side by side” comparison pictures of the original and our reproduction. (Reproduction is the top photo and the Original is on the bottom.) The results are very authentic in appearance. We will be handing these out at the Carlisle Show. Hope to see you there.
I’ve had quite a few questions asking about different details of the Project and I’ll try to start covering them in batches. I was asked if we placed decal & paper items on various components even though they would not be seen. The answer is YES! We did everything like the Factory but with a twist. Since this vehicle is a tribute to a “Show Concept”, all of these items were positioned in a very “nice” fashion. Instead of making them look haphazard in placement, I took the time to position them straight & uniform. No wrinkles and as appealing looking as possible. This will also be a benefit when the Car is judged in the SEMA – “Battle of the Builders” event.
We did place a Broadcast Sheet on the back of the Dash Glove-box Liner prior to installing it. For things like the Jack Base Decal, the Decal was made, positioned and then pictures were taken to document this small item. For the Dash Control Knobs, I spent over 2 hours detailing and airbrushing the correct colors in the recessed arrows. Most of that time was spent preparing and cleaning the plastic area surrounding the arrows, after the paint was carefully applied. All of these tiny detailing efforts will make the difference in the overall appearance. We have done approximately 98% of the work ourselves. With the exception of things like Interior parts and soft goods, we have fabricated just about everything for this Project. From Seat-belt Labels, to Body Work and Exhaust Components, we have done it all. Here are a few photos showing some of these detailing items.
Here are a few pictures showing the Broadcast Sheets in place. We had about 14 printed and will use them in areas where they were found on Factory Cars. The great thing about these are that they are the original Broadcast Sheets to this Concept Vehicle. (lol)
Pictured below is another 4 Door Concept vehicle (pictured in the center, right portion of the photo) that never made it into mass production. It is an XP-836 also know as the Chevrolet Camaro. As stated on many occasions, every Auto Manufacturer was making 4 Door Concepts of their “sporty” 2 Door production vehicles. Some have asked how our Concept Tribute will be unveiled to the Public when complete. It will be presented exactly the way it has been written about since its introduction. After completing 3 OE Gold and Best of Show vehicles at the Mopar Nationals, I decided it was time to do something different. I came across an Artist’s rendering of a light blue-gray painting of a 1970 4 Door Barracuda and decided to build one. It was originally going to be a lemon twist yellow car with a Gator Grain Top and a Rally Hood. A few weeks into the project, we came across an article that was written by Roger Johnson in 2007. He wrote about a Red 1970 4 Door Barracuda Concept Car that he saw while working at Chrysler’s Corporate Headquarters in 1969. It was at that time that I decided to change the direction of the project and do a “What If” scenario based on Roger Johnson’s article. The car would be built to match his recollection but with an added twist. It will be built as if Chrysler had given the “Okay” to manufacture a production vehicle of this type car.
After spending about a year trying to contact Roger Johnson, he responded to one of my emails and I had the opportunity to talk with him about his recollection of the “original” 4 Door Concept Barracuda. I have also talked with other Chrysler Employees from back in the day, who confirmed that Chrysler built 4 Door Concept versions of just about every 2 Door vehicle that they manufactured. The main part of this story however, is that we have done something that has never been accomplished in the Automotive World. We have engineered and built a Factory style vehicle from a Concept design. All of the Assembly Line characteristics, a VIN that coincides with the body design and a legitimate DMV Title puts the exclamation point on the efforts. That is how the story will be presented and people are free to take from it whatever they choose.