By Jennifer Shaffer
Showing off for the camera.
This Willy’s was originally built by Clayton’s Custom Cars for Gary Smith as a yellow show stopper. After its purchase by John Rosatti, the coup was disassembled for repainting using PPG Automotive Finishes black and dressed out with Harliquin flames. The custom interior is done up in spice and black leather, with air brushed details by Augi’s Artworks. It rolls on Budnik Gasser series polished aluminum wheels; 17×7 on the fronts and 17×15 on the rears. Stopping is done through polished Baer 2-piston brakes and controlled through a polished front and rear coil over suspension system.
A blower hat protruding through the hood is just a tease of what’s underneath; a Keith Black, polished aluminum, 667ci Hemi V8, sporting a Sonny Bryant crankshaft, custom ground cam from CompCams, Childs & Albert rods connected to Ross 7.5 compression pistons. Sitting atop the block are polished Indy 16 spark plug, 16 injector cylinder heads…. I did mention that blower hat right? It’s bolted to the top of a polished BDS 10/71 system. The entire assembly is feed pump gas through a BDS fuel system and helped along by nitrous when it needs just that little extra kick. Behind the massive power house is a PTC TH400 transmission and 3500 stall.
1941, Black Willy's Coupe - Interior
The drive train is finished off with a CCC fabricated Ford 9” rear, 3.55 gears, and true track differential.
The car was chosen by Budnik Wheels as September 2008’s “Cool Ride of the Month.”
Just in case you missed it in the notes, this is a converted top fuel motor tucked inside a nearly sinister looking 1941 Willy’s coup. I feel only slightly bad for the poor guy with the mini van two pumps over at the gas station.
The world was given a chance to get one more generation of Barracuda back in 1975, but due to 3 main factors it didn’t reach production line: high insurance charges, government’s criticism against muscle cars and industry’s turn from performance to research [emission].
There were several proposals made for the new generation fish design in E-body style, but Chrysler wasn’t interested because there was no place for high performance cars in their plans. There was some work being done at Plymouth Advanced Studio – they were working on the next Barracuda. Chrysler had 4 years for new model preparation and no one working on this project expected that the E-body Barracuda will not see the sunlight. It is interesting, that there were 2 designs involved in the next Barracuda’s creation. One was made by designers Shunsuke Matsurra [aka, Matty] and Don Hood, while the other was built by the team of John Sampson and John Herlitz. These teams studied each other’s projects, discussed, but worked separately. Herlitz and Sampson made their Cuda look fluid while Matsurra made it more muscular. After claying 4 different models teams ended up with 2 units. And the final proposal was actually the blend of both team designs.
The other problem was that Chrysler’s management was made of financial executives and they no longer listened for car enthusiasts. Chrysler also get some critics for being short-minded during 1968 when they had good sales but did not invest money in development. Some say, it was a mistake to make Barracuda smaller than Challenger, because it ment new body panels to be fabricated. Leaving the same panels would have saved millions that could have been invested in future development.