By: Glen Grissom
Photography: HOT ROD
Reprint from Hot Rod Magazine, Winter 2004
The ’70 Plymouth Barracuda is one of the all-time musclecar body shapes ever to come off the pen of a factory designer. Simultaneously pretty and lithe, it had proportions that were not the girl next door. Mated with Mopar’s earth-rotating, and factory-underrated 426ci Hemi, the ‘Cuda left the boulevard competition in its wake. Apparently the powertrain engineers were having their way with the bean counters at Chrysler at the time. If you had the cash and the cojones, you could go to your local Mopar dealer and buy this (barely) streetable engine, which was very close to its racing mill brothers, in a variety of body styles. Equipped with the Hemi,
the ‘Cuda was a velvet chainsaw.
Stand-up comedian and host of the Fear Factor TV show, Joe Rogan, owned a ’70 ‘Cuda when he was 19. His economic lot at the time meant his was more trashed-out piece of transportation than a legit musclecar. But he could dream, couldn’t he? Now his career and wallet have expanded, and he wanted to bring his dormant automotive dream into reality. He’s stepped upmarket with his daily transportation, which includes a Porsche 911 Turbo, but being a hot rodder at heart, he wanted to drive a part of his past. So he enlisted two of the best custom car dream-makers; designer Chip Foose and builder Troy
When the three of them got together at Rad Rides by Troy in beautiful Manteno, IL, the enthusiasm of Rogan challenged the drawing pen of Foose and the fabrication skills of Trepanier. Foose’s original sketch had the ‘Cuda in two-tone paint, which breaks the car up to the eye and makes it look smaller. Amazingly, the outgoing Rogan chose the all-silver look. He figured look-at-me paint wasn’t going to further amplify the message Sick Fish was already going to say loud and clear with a ride height just 4 inches off the ground, 22-inch rear wheels, and Hemi rumble:
No fear; let’s play.HRM
>You can get the basic engine at your Chrysler dealer, it’s a 528ci Hemi crate engine (10.25:1 CR, 610 hp/650 lb-ft). That’s the rating before EFI-guru John Meany tuned-up the dual 600-cfm, 4bbl BDS-fabbed throttl bodies with sequential EFI and eight Bosch 45lb/hr injectors at 60 psi. Rad Rides reconfigured the
accessory drive and built the mounts for the Billet Specialties pulleys, which cleaned up the engine’s front.