For as long as he can remember, 30-year-old Tom Aspinall has had a fascination with American cars, especially those from the late Sixties and early Seventies. “Even my Hot Wheels collection was full of Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, Roadrunners and Challengers, to name but a few,” Tom smiles. “I was totally obsessed by them.” Plenty of variety for sure, but there was one American car in particular that always stood out above the rest for Tom and that was the Plymouth Barracuda.
“I’ve always been drawn to the ’70-’74 Chrysler E-body, there’s something about its low and wide stance I can’t get enough of,” Tom explains. “The ’70 Barracuda was – and probably still is – the coolest-looking thing I’ve ever seen.” Residing in the North West of the UK, Tom was unlikely to witness ’70 Barracudas burbling past his house on a daily basis. He first stumbled across an example in a book about old Detroit iron he received as a Christmas present when he was 10.
“Although it’s similar to the Challenger, which I also love, it’s the slightly sharper lines, the shorter wheelbase and single front headlamps of the Barracuda that seem to give it the edge for me... I’ve wanted one for a long, long time!” Tom laughs.
A natural stepping stone towards muscle car ownership has for many years been to go out and buy a Capri, and that’s exactly what Tom did. This wasn’t any ordinary Capri, being a 2.8 Injection and it also arrived wearing highly attractive deep blue metallic paint, normally found on Eighties Toyotas. I added a few tasteful mods, including period spoilers, deep-dish 15-inch RS four-spoke wheels and I managed to get the stance bang on,” Tom smiles. “I’d enjoyed the whole experience of Capri ownership, but after a few years I was itching to step up to a big-block American V8 muscle car.”
While many of us would prefer to avoid remembering the first lockdown in spring 2020, for others the fine weather and time away from work had its plus points. We’d say Tom remembers April 2020 fondly, as that was the month he finally decided to take the plunge and buy himself an E-body Chrysler. “Trawling through the classifieds for muscle cars had been a daily hobby of mine for years, then just after the first lockdown began, I stumbled on an ad for this ’70 Limelight green Plymouth Barracuda with a 383 V8,” Tom explains. “It was the right year, right colour and right engine – and the ad appeared at just the right time!” The only major dilemma was Tom needed to either sell, or part exchange, his beloved Capri to fund the balance of the Plymouth. “I knew I couldn’t realistically keep both cars, but luckily my mum stepped in to buy my Capri,” Tom tells us. “She wasn’t just buying it to help me out, she genuinely didn’t want to see the car go as she’d shared a Capri with my dad when they were young, and it seems they’d grown attached to it.”
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