Packing A Hemi: 1968 Plymouth Barracuda

While the massive hood-scope immediately warns that this Barracuda isn’t stock, it isn’t until you lift open the hood that you realize this isn’t your run of the mill Mopar. We’ve seen plenty of this era of Barracuda packing 383s and 440s, but it isn’t every day that you find one with a Hemi in it! That’s right, this Plymouth is packing a 392 Hemi and if that isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, it’s paired to a 4 speed. You find this beast here on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona with an opening price of $17k.

The seller states that this car was previously owned by a Donald Lee Petty, but clarifies that they aren’t related to Richard Petty. Even if they were, it doesn’t seem like that would have any impact on the car’s value. We did a little searching to see what we could find on a Donald Petty, but didn’t have luck finding any kind of racing connects. Perhaps one of you know more about this individual. It seems likely they were into drag racing with a Mopar like this parked in their barn.

Here’s the 392 V8, which would have been built between 1957 and 1958. While it isn’t as desirable as a 426, it’s still an impressive engine that has long been popular with drag racers. In stock trim, these engines were rated anywhere from 325 all the way up to 390 horsepower. This one looks to be equipped with the dual carb setup found in the ’57-’58 Chrysler 300D and was rated at an impressive 375 horsepower. No wonder racers loved to drop these engines in their cars!

It’s going to need a ton of work, but it looks to be solid and rust free. Plus the seller has a number of spare parts for it that come with. The starting bid of $17k seem steep for a ’68 Barracuda, but the Hemi is really what your buying here. If the car has documented racing heritage, it would definitely make this more interesting though. Hopefully, one of you knows more about Donald Lee Petty and this Barracuda!


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  1. Steve R

    Overpriced. I’d rather have a 340.

    Steve R

    • Billy

      I’d rather have a 225. Be pretty sweet with that 4 speed.

  2. JimmyJ

    I used to love the fastbacks but now I think the coups are way cooler.
    I’m with Steve give me a formula S 340 4 speed all day long!

  3. Dick Johnson

    I’ve always wondered if a HEMI was worth the price of admission. Now that the parts for these lumps are better sourced, my stash has become easier to build.

    And yes, the first firing makes it worth it.

  4. Troy s

    At first glance I thought it was the real deal Hurst built 426 hemi cuda super stock, but no, it has that older engine in it which is still cool. Probably pretty quick but nothing like those killer ’68 hemi race ‘cudas. For an all out drag car this might be okay to fix up but the price is a bit steep. On the street for show or just cruisin’ around I agree with the above comments about the 340 or a worked 360. Guy up there who wants a 225 doesn’t get this kind of car at all.

    • Steve R

      Quality, competitive, turn key race cars can be bought for less than this seller is asking. This car doesn’t make financial sense for that purpose.

      Steve R

    • Billy

      What don’t I get? Good millage, dependable, quiet, and a lot less likely to get you a ticket from your local friendly law enforcement agency. Cruising a quiet country road taking it all in and hearing your nice little mill purr has its merits too.

      Like 1
  5. Gaspumpchas

    would love to drive this beast! Not sure its worth the 17 large with a non stock Hee-my moter. Sleeper but a 70 340 with 10.5:1 compression would motivate it nicely. Brute strength with the 2 fours. Wonder if it will sell??

    • Billy

      As implied above, you would like to drive this for only a short while, then you would quickly tire of it. One can only do so many burnouts, unless you are 7 years old. The noise and crummy handling would get on your nerves. Transportation is what these cars were for, and in base stock form, they did it very well indeed. Now, I have driven many a performance car, and they are a hoot, but IMHO they have too many compromises for long term use. I like to take my weekend cars out for long drives in the country, to get ice cream with the wife, to go on vacation. What we have here would not accomplish any of these well.

      • Johnny Cuda

        I’m with Billy on this one. 1968 Barracuda 318 2 barrel.

        Like 2
      • Tony C. Australia

        I tend to agree with you Billy, I just bought a 2006 Chrysler 300C Hemi as a daily driver/country cruiser and it scares the crap out of me. Every time I pull up I worry whether I’m going to smoke the tires when the lights go green, with the ‘fly by wire’ throttle it’s got no ‘feel’ to the pedal, touch it just slightly and you’ve left the crowd back at the lights wondering what the hell you’re in such a rush for. I guess I’ll get used to it, the fuel economy is great and this thing is 348 cu.ins, probably because it’s only using 4 pots most of the time, until you stick your foot in it that is, then look out, it turns into an animal. Don’t even consider turning off the traction control, it’ll kill someone, probably me!

      • Bobby

        One thing about it … can’t kill those old 225

      • Jimbosidecar

        Unless you need to get home quick before the ice cream melts ;-)

  6. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    yep….it’s been around the sale block for awhile now…..

  7. Brian Fusilier

    I had a 68 convertible 318 electric top loved that car such a great cruiser I would much rather have a cruiser than some hot rot I can’t afford to drive here in so cal

    Like 1
  8. 86 Vette Convertible

    It’s a drag car, I get that and it’s not my cup of tea the way set up. On the comment of whether a Hemi is worth it, IMO it depends on the use and size of the Hemi. My first Hemi encounter was a 55 Dodge pickup with a 56 (I think) Desoto Firedome Hemi in it. IIRC that was 331 ci, it hadn’t run in years and I got it running and it was a blast. For the engine size and being in a pickup no less, it was surprisingly spirited in it’s acceleration and handling. Just enough oomph to put a smile on your face yet not so much weight it wallowed in the turns, and it didn’t drink fuel like you owned Shell Oil Company. Put something like that Hemi into that Barracuda and it would be a blast to drive IMO.

    My 2 cents.

    Like 1
  9. Tim morris

    I own a 68′ fb , have been building it for a long time, a 408 magnum , 4sp, atomic fi, and suspension steering upgrades. This car is allot of fun with a powerful small block, handles great as well. It could use a overdrive though. They are plenty of aftermarket goodies to improve these cars in many ways.

  10. Rock On Member

    Josh you may need a “scope “ to see around this hood, I believe that it is equipped with a scoop!

  11. Tom Member

    I am a GM guy but this car done will look really cool on the street, no doubt. I drive 1.5 miles to my shop, this would be a nice way to get to and from everyday!!

    I prefer the fastback over a trunk model in just about every car ever built. It is a matter of preference.

    I also prefer the hard top body style to just about every convertible made, I think the hard top lines make the car, go convertible and you lose the lines in many cases, not all, but most. again, my opinion.

  12. Mattyou63

    I’m with Billy…(most people want huge power) thats ok to me.. but i would love to have an older car thats clean and moderate power for cruising …say a 69 Malibu convertable with a 325hp ish 327 for driving..I’d be happier than a hog in slop

  13. james burton

    I don’t understand the power brakes and power steering if this is a drag car. nice to drive and stop but not a drag car setup. I love it though. had one of these hemis in a 64 ford truck it was a tire smoker but kept braking driveshaft’s.


    Come on, are you all so old you would not want to have a car to have fun with. 392 twin 4’s not an everyday driver, stomp on go pedal, put a smile on your face.

    • Billy

      I think what us geezers are saying is that we require a car to do basic car stuff. I get in a car to go somewhere, not to drive aimlessly about, though not saying that going in a certain car is not cooler than another. One can still appreciate the attributes of a basic engine car. When I am in an old car, much of what I love is nostalgia. Get behind the wheel and I am 17 again. The look and feel of that car does it for me, I don’t need the sound or rush of a performance engine to do that. When you stomp on the pedal, sure it is exhilarating, but how many times can you do that before you are bored? Maybe as a pure drag car for the races, this is fine, but most of us have only so much money and the few collector cars we have, need to do multiple things well. I also agree with an early poster above who suggested a 340, not a bad compromise, though I am more of a 225 or 318 guy myself. Now, do not get me wrong, I have had performance cars when I was younger, and enjoyed them (when they were not in the shop…they busted a lot) so maybe I just got it out of my system or maybe I am at a time in my dwindling years that slowing down to smell the roses is appealing. No one here is going to belittle anyone elses take on things automotive, there is room for all opinions. Some of us just want to express how we feel, and what our experiences have been.

  15. TBall

    After reading the listing, my brain said – “car flipper using all “stops” and name dropping to sell a early stage build for nearly complete price.”. Okay, so you bought it from someone named Petty – proven not related so why promote? You say campaigner “Hemi” car like it means something – engine is at least 10 years older than car. State what it is, some local joe built a neat strip car with an older, not stock, engine and price it accordingly. Please don’t insult potential buyers with words “Petty” and “Hemi” when they have absolutely nothing to do with the value of this vehicle. I own a ’68 Mustang fastback with a Windsor small block in it. There are companies out there that produce Boss Nine like hemi heads for this motor at an attractive price. That doesn’t mean I would put those heads on the car and use it as a promotion for selling at a premium because the engine is “a hemi”. Please.

  16. Troy s

    Only problem I have is very very few comments were about this actual car itself and what it could be capable of doing with this old set up in actual drag racing. ‘Cause that’s what it is, either a racer or something trying awful hard to look like one, and that makes it interesting. Heck, everyone needs something dependable to drive for everyday stuff like work or running errands, but this ‘cuda isn’t one of those, not by a long shot.

    • Billy

      Nothing wrong with a track car, nothing at all, just not practical for the street. There is a reason that the standard engines were standard, they were the best over all compromises for power, usability, dependability, and comfort. Of course this would not be your daily driver, but for me, if it were mine it would have a more sedate drive line for over all use on the weekends, but thats just me. We all make these choices for ourselves, and our ability to do so is one of the things that makes this country great.

  17. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    It’s been for sale before…..did anyone understand my early post…’s been for sale before……even on the mopar site’s………!


    I’M 60 and if I could afford a car like this to play with, I would love it. It is not an everday type of car. It’s not supposed to be. I agree way too much money. Maybe I’m still a kid at heart!

  19. Mike

    Make a Highwaymen ‘Cuda out of it!

  20. John

    Don Petty is alive and doing well in Phoenix.

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