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> 1970 Plymouth Barracuda - Terracuda, Chip Foose Builds A Muscle Car With Nods To The Past And The Present
post Mar 3 2010, 07:53 PM
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By Christopher Titus
Photography by Randy Lorentzen

As they say, brown is the new black, and Chip Foose nailed it with the Terracuda. Notice the recessed taillights. The paint is BASF Terracuda Brown and California Gold

When Chip Foose debuts a new car, it rarely receives anything other than praise and adulation. As a matter of fact, the cars that have come out of the Huntington Beach, California-based Foose Design in the last 10 years have become the standard by which the hobby is judged, at least by the world at large. There's a reason he's a household name-and it's not just all the TV shows. Well, Chip has done it again and pulled another ace out of his deck with a muscle car flair. You are looking at Terracuda, a '70 Plymouth Barracuda built for a car collector. Darren Metropoulos is a car guy, but in the I-have-a-'67-Shelby-Cobra-with-2,200-miles-built-out-of-titanium sort of way. Darren is the kind of guy we all wish we could be: the kind who has a ton of dough-enough to have an airplane collection-and the willingness to spend it on cars. Until now he has only bought cars with legitimate history, but with Terracuda, he and Chip are creating history.

The combination of factory-looking undercoated floorpans, body-colored frame members, and a detailed engine and trans (which is a Tremec five-speed) makes the underside as intriguing as the top

The first thing you notice is the paintjob. If you said to someone, "I just saw Foose's new car and it's...brown," they may look at you weird. Brown? Really? Was it a mistake? A move made out of hubris? Nope, it was made because the owner liked a watch. Darren had a new Brietling watch that he loved. In case you don't know, Brietling makes very expensive timepieces that you're not going to find at Wal-Mart. John Travolta does the company's ads, and John Travolta doesn't do ads. Anyway, Darren loved the anodized gold/brown/tan face of this one watch and wanted his Barracuda to be the same colors. He sent Chip the watch and said, "Match it." Working with BASF, Chip started boiling, mixing, and putting precious metals into a beaker and came up with the Terracuda Brown.

As with all high-end builds, this one had its special touches. The front wheels were moved forward 2 inches to stretch the wheelbase and put the wheels exactly where they need to be in the wheel openings, giving the car a faster look-like the body is trying to keep up with the chassis. Moving the wheel location also provided extra clearance to lower the car. Original '70 Barracudas are difficult to lower because the inner wheelwells and the hood hinges will hit the front tire, so Chip's crew had to build new hinges and reengineer the way the hood opened to get the stance as wicked as it is. The problem with reengineering one thing is you have to then fix the thing next to it, and the thing next to that, and then next to that . . . until you end up calling the suicide hotline.

The engine is a stock 392 crate motor, but Chip handmade the valve covers from carbon fiber, and the entire thing has been detailed with Ridler Award-level perfection.

The 6.4L Hemi crate motor also presented a challenge, since it's taller than the 318 that originally came in the car and wouldn't fit under the hood with the crate's stock intake that Chip wanted to retain. A clay model of a scoop was therefore made and turned into steel by Marcel to clear the engine and look right at the same time. Looking at it from the front, the reveal in this amazing piece of metalwork flows from the split in the grille as if it were a wake made by the fish the car is named after. Other body mods are numerous: The custom floor and rear tubs are made out of 14-gauge steel and raised 2 inches, the bumpers and quarter-panels were reshaped, the grille is custom, and the rocker panels have been extended and welded to the Art Morrison frame under the car to make a ridiculously stiff structure that feels like a car of today, not like the '70s stiff-as-licorice unibodies.

Redline Gauge Works redid the gauge faces to match Darren's beloved Brietling watch. The tiller is from Juliano's.

The inside is just as amazing as the outside, with custom interior panels covered in luscious leather. Other than the Cobra seats, the look is very '70s Barracuda but with a definite modern sensibility-just like the rest of the car. A lot of guys will take a car like this and go hog-wild with digital gauges, a tub job, a full-on Pro Touring attitude, and an obvious paintjob in one of the four accepted hot rod colors. A car done that way would be looked at but not studied. It would be cool for its time, but not timeless. Chip and the people he works with and inspires also inspire him to take chances andbuild the next level-to search for something new and different.

To push all the envelopes yet keep this car simultaneously classic and futuristic is a testament to the excellence that is present at Foose Design. The design pays homage to the Barracuda legend, and the Terracuda Brown reminds one of the avocado refrigerators and shag carpet of the '70s, yet the motor and wheels jump the car forward to be the new-millennium muscle car Chip and Darren envisioned. The style heightened, the history honored, and the future looked toward, Terracuda is a milestone. The muscle car bar has been reset.

The Art Morrison framerails mount C5 Vette suspension, and big Baer brakes stop the swimming.

Currie built the 9-inch and Chip hung it with a four-link and coilovers. Also shown are the Magnaflow cans and stainless fuel tank.

Custom interior panels were made out of handformed aluminum and carbon fiber, and everything was swaddled in Ferrari saddle and distressed mocha leather. Yummy. The seats are from Cobra and the belts are from Crow Enterprises. The back seat has been omitted.

The slammed stance is possible thanks to judicious metalwork and the Morrison chassis. The stock mirrors say 1970, while the smoothed and tucked body says 2010. Also check out the hood-the engine was too high in the chassis to fit under the stock hood, so Tim Fitzpatrick clay-modeled a new one and then the famous Marcel handformed a steel scoop based on the clay model. They even replicated the inner hood structure so it looks like a stamped factory piece. Chip wanted the hood to have a cowl-induction look with a hard-core Mopar feel. The driving lights are from PIAA.

The bumpers were smoothed, cut, tucked, and reshaped. The one-piece grille insert is also custom.

It wouldn't be a Chip car if there weren't a million subtle body mods. Look closely at what he did with the driprails to retain functionality, but in a much better look than the car originally had.

The spectacular 19- and 20-inch wheels are appropriately called Fishtails and are so epic that they have been added to the Foose wheel line. The tires are from Pirelli.

Here's the Brietling watch that started it all.

It's a Hemi Barracuda intended to pound the ground or terra firma-Terracuda. Get it? And it has a definite '68 to '70 Dodge vibe


Motor & Transmission By John Kuiper Race Engines.
Suspension & Brakes By Ron Missian Motor Sports.
To See My Build Album Click On Any Of The Below Pics.

Priscilla, Queen Of The Vettes
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