The barns of the world are filled with widowed project cars, forced into hiding once their owners—or the wives of their owners—got fed up.
This billboard-tailed Barracuda might have joined those barn-bound machines on several occasions, but it found the right owner, and, even more critically, the right owner’s wife.
“I almost sold it off a couple of times,” said Mark Hall, builder and owner of this 1972 Plymouth Barracuda. “I was the one who got frustrated with having it sitting around unfinished.”
“But I knew how much it meant to him,” adds his wife, Jen Hall. “And I stopped him from selling it.”
Growing up, Mark Hall and his brother Don loved cars, but their family didn’t have a lot of money, so they learned the fine art of trading labor.
“We’d do washing, waxing, polishing, detailing–anything just to hang out in garages and get our hands on some cool cars,” Mark Hall said.
Over the years, he honed his mechanical skills helping friends with projects, as well as building up a 1970 Dodge Challenger of his own. He had dreamed of owning a Pro Street Barracuda, but he felt like it was a car way out of the league of a humble school maintenance worker like himself. He even took a pocket full of cash to a Super Chevy Show in search of that perfect project, but left with his pockets still full.
Finally, he found a promising ad on the internet: a tubbed ’72 Barracuda with a 340, a broken grille, no bumper, and gritty paint. The ad had expired eight months ago, but the owner still had the car, and he was so happy to finally find a buyer he threw in the seized-up supercharger that once topped the 340 (it turned out the supercharger was an easy fix, and Hall was able to sell it later for a tidy sum that went right back into the car).
Building Hall’s dream Barracuda would take 12 years, during which he traded labor with friends, or took on side construction jobs to earn money for parts.
“I couldn’t have done it without friends like Brent Holste, Jeff Duncan, Andy Fenwick, Rod Milligan, and Jeff Bankemper. But my brother Don was the biggest help of all,” he said.
In addition to being a gearhead, Don Hall is also a bit of a hoarder.
“When I got the Barracuda, Don remembered that he happened to have a Hemi just sitting around,” Mark Hall said. “He just gave it to me. What a great brother!”
After an initial build-up rounded off a camshaft, Hall took the Hemi to Kammer & Kammer Enterprises in Dayton, OH to have it machined and properly set up. It now features a .030 overbore, ported and polished Mopar Performance heads, a BDS 6-71 supercharger, a Holley 750 Supercharger carb, an MSD ignition, TTI ceramic-coated headers, and much more.
Finally, after more than a decade in “body shop jail,” Mark began to test the waters in the Barracuda in late 2012.
Its debut show would be the Cincinnati Cavalcade of Customs in early 2013, so Mark tried to keep those 650 horses on a tight rein. However, while out on a test drive, he couldn’t resist a little fun leaving a stop light, and managed to tear up the rear end. Mark got the Barracuda back into shape just in time for the Cavalcade and took home a second place trophy!
For Mark, though, there was an even brighter highlight at the show.
“There was a kid there for his birthday, and he got the biggest thrill just sitting in my car. It really made me feel like all the hard work was worth it,” he said.
With its supercharged roar and bold billboard graphics, the Barracuda attracts friendly attention wherever Mark drives it.
“Sometimes, when I drive it to work, we end up with a bunch of people standing around in our parking lot,” he said. “I’ve also taken calls from friends who say they’ve heard me drive by, and I was like half a mile away.
“I’ve been thinking about adding a wheelie bar and a Pro Stock wing, but I’m not sure I can handle the extra attention, especially from the police.”
After a quick glance at Jen Hall, he adds, “or my wife.”
Frame: Stock, with frame connectors
Front Suspension: Competition Engineering 3-way adjustable drag shocks
Rear Suspension: Coil-over with ladder bars
Rear Axle: Moser Engineering axles, 8.75-inch rear end, Motive Gear 4.56 ring and pinion
Brakes: Master Power brake kits, front and rear
Wheels and Tires: Billet Specialties Street Lites (18-inch front, 20-inch rear), with Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires (P225/45R18 front, P245/40R20 rear)
Body: 1972 Plymouth Barracuda
Custom Features: Wheel tubs
Body Work By: Mark Hall and Jeff Duncan
Paint: DuPont Hot Hues Purple Rhapsody with charcoal billboard stripe and orange pinstripe outlines
Paint By: Jeff Duncan
Pinstriping: Bill Roell
Engine and Transmission
Engine: Hemi 426, overbored .030-inch
Cylinder Heads: Mopar Performance heads, ported and polished, with stainless steel valves and seats, and brass guides
Machining by: Kammer & Kammer Enterprises
Valvetrain: COMP Cams Blower roller camshaft, lifters, springs, and retainers; Mopar Performance chromoly pushrods and factory rocker arms
Induction: BDS 6-71 supercharger and intake manifold, Holley 750 Supercharger carburetor, K&N air filter
Reciprocating Assembly: Factory steel crank, Eagle H-beam connecting rods, Arias pistons, Sealed Power piston rings, Federal Mogul bearings
Ignition and Electrical: MSD 7AL ignition controller;MSD Pro Billet distributor, Pro Power HVC coil, and8.5mm Super Conductor wires; Powermaster starter,Tuff Stuff 100 amp alternator
Exhaust: TTI ceramic-coated headers, Flowmaster 50 series Delta Flow mufflers
Other Items: Holley Black electric fuel pump, fuel cell, Mopar Performance lightweight aluminum water pump, Summit aluminum radiator, ARP fasteners,Summit stainless hoses
Transmission: Stock Torqueflite 727 built by Rich Milton
Shifter: Hurst Quarter Stick
Upholstery: Black, gray, purple, and orange tweed
Upholstery By: Scott Taylor at Taylor’s Upholstery
Dashboard: Stock, with custom stainless steel badge
Gauges: Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges
Other: Chromoly roll bar, Alpine stereo system
My wife Jen, my daughter Jordan, and my sons Tyler and Ryan; my brother Don; and my friends Brent Holste, Jeff Duncan, Rod Milligan, Andy Fenwick, and Jeff Bankemper
Photography: Studio Martone
Art Direction: Barbara Williamson-Dungey