What Are You Working On: Brian Loewes’ 1968 Plymouth Barracuda

1200-4 - CopyBrian Loewes of Seattle, Washington, is working on a notch-back 1968 Barracuda. There is something slightly unconventional about this build that makes it more than worth a second look. How many of you have seen a ’68 Cuda running a supercharged 225 cubic-inch slant-six with a four barrel Demon carburetor? We never have.

“I’ve always wanted a notch back ‘68 cuda,” Loewes explained. First he found a blue one in Wenatchee, Washington, only a couple hours away, but it was too rusted out and he deemed it non-restorable. “So I kept looking,” he told us.

A couple months later, he saw this one pop up on Craigslist. It had the 225 cubic-inch slant-six and a four speed manual transmission. “It had a price higher than I thought about spending,” he said. “But the last line of the listing said: will trade for crotch rocket.” At the time, Loewes owned a 2002 Ducati bike that was gathering dust in his garage. He replied to the ad with no text, just a photo of the bike. He got a quick response from the seller and a week later the deal was done.

After getting the car, he started the process of acquiring parts. He hit Craigslist hard and kept missing by a phone call. In his search he found a 383 cubic-inch engine and jumped on it. It was complete from carb to pan and even included a bellhousing. He was told it was a runner. “Maybe ten years ago,” Loewes explained. “It had water in a cylinder and needed a full rebuild.”

The guy he bought the car from was part owner of a machine shop, so Loewes gave him a call and they talked pricing. “I got scared,” Loewes detailed. “I want to do a lot of suspension work and a full rebuild on the motor was going to be too much money.” He thought about how much better a slant-six supercharged car would handle than a front-heavy big-block car. The previous owner had also mentioned having a supercharger, so the two worked out a deal and Loewes gave up the motor in exchange for the blower.

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“My ultimate plan for the car is to have something that goes fast and can drive on long trips,” Loewes told us. “Goes fast, good on gas, and can carve up the turns!” Although he has the bracket in place, the pulleys still need to be setup for the charger to work. There are a lot more plans in store for this car than just a supercharger. Loewes has already picked up a small list of parts and is working on getting things cleaned up and installed in the car.

Loewes has already purchased, refurbished, and installed a set of lower control arms and a sway bar — both of which he purchased cheap at a swap meet. He also has a new 8-¾ inch rearend with 3.55:1 gears, formula S eight-leaf springs, and a Wilwood front disc brake kit and 2.5” rear drums. “The formula S leaf springs have the same amount of cushion for ride, but are designed to roll less around corners,” Loewes said. “The Wilwood brake system and new rear drums only have 1,000 miles on them.” He got the entire brake kit for only $300.

“It’s going to be about $1200 to get the new axle and brakes,” Loewes explained. It’s got the hefty price tag because he is going to replace the upper control arms as well, but wants to go with tubular equipment for better handling. As with any project, it all costs money. On the list of things to do is getting the pulleys lined out to work with the supercharger, an ignition retarder, and solid floats for the carb.

What do you think of Loewes’ supercharging his slant-six? Would you follow in his footsteps or go with the old adage: “There is no replacement for displacement.” Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email and yours could be the next project featured in “What Are You Working On?”.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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