Striking Green
Mopar Muscle|March 2020
CAMPBELL AUTO RESTORATION COMBINES CLASSIC E-BODY STYLE WITH THE CAPABILITIES OF A 1970S GRAND TOURING COUPE. JASON JOHNSON’S 1972 BARRACUDA WAS BUILT TO GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE FINEST EXOTICS OF ITS ERA.
Richard Truesdell

When you are a contributor to a magazine like Mopar Muscle, events like the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) are where you go prospecting for feature-worthy cars. The 2019 edition of the GNRS was no exception. While there were probably a dozen or more great feature possibilities, two stood out.

One was a 1966 Dodge Polara station wagon built by the crew at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido, California. The other was this 1972 Plymouth Barracuda built by the artisans at Campbell Auto Restoration (CAR) in Campbell, California. Our colleagues at Hot Rod magazine beat us on the Dodge grocery-getter, but that was a blessing in disguise because less than 50 feet away was the bold green Barracuda featured here. Having traveled down from the Bay Area to Pomona, we knew that we had come across a very special car, one that speaks directly to the readers of Mopar Muscle.

The first thing that struck us as we approached the car was that something looked a bit different. With no classic E-body nearby for reference, it was hard to put our finger on it. We soon struck up a conversation with Kevin Long, one member of the team that built the car. We took some snapshots of the car, all the while thinking that there was a lot going on with it, from bumper to bumper. The snapshots were used in our 2019 GNRS coverage the week after the show and in our July issue. It didn’t take too long for Mopar Muscle Editor Bob Mehlhoff to give me the green light for a full feature.

This was made easier with Kevin’s cooperation. He explained in Pomona that the car was still a work in progress but it would be finished in time for the Good Guys Del Mar Show in April. Phone calls went back and forth between Kevin, Bob, and me. Bob decided that the car warranted a full photo session in the TEN Studio near LAX. In attendance, there would not only be Kevin but the car’s owner, Jason Johnson, who traveled from the East Coast for the shoot and the car’s featured display at Del Mar the following day.

Jason, whose father founded the Copart auto recycling empire, explained that the build of the Bare-Ah-Cuda spanned 10 years. He has owned many interesting cars over the years, starting with his first car, a 1981 Isuzu P’up pickup, but his first Mopar, and quite a significant one at that, was a Plum Crazy 1970 Challenger R/T 440 Six Pack, a car that he still owns in unrestored condition. Other significant Mopars include original B-Body Hemi cars, E-Body Hemi cars, 440 Six Pack Challengers, a 100-point ’Cuda clone convertible, several Mopar customs, Mopar resto-mods, pre-1975 Mopar trucks, and several significant Ford and GM classics along with several European exotics.

“It was always my favorite,” says Jason. “The car was born the same year as me. But when I acquired it was nothing more than an empty shell.”

Kevin picks up the story from when the car arrived at CAR. “The project was started in 2010, at which point the car came to us with the intent of having us do mainly the body and paint, as the Barracuda was already built out as a more traditional modified Mopar. It already had received a new K-member front suspension, four-bar rear end, and a fuel-injected, supercharged, iron-block 426 Hemi.”

But after the initial work was done, there was a change of plans. Kevin continues, “After Jason saw the type and the build quality CAR had to offer, he decided to change direction with the car and go more toward a Pro Touring style, as he already had a modified Challenger built out like the way the Barracuda came to us. From this point, the car was disassembled and parts inspected and evaluated, and a basic plan for the build was set forward. The starting plan was to reuse the 426 Hemi with improved suspension and braking, all attached to the factory unibody with improved fit, form, and function.”

As the project moved forward Jason decided that he would like to push the form and function of the Barracuda to the next level. This is the point when the project took a big change in direction, with CAR measuring out a new Art Morrison chassis to which they fitted Detroit Speed X-Gen front and rear suspension.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

OLIVIA HUMILIATED BY HER EX!

Sneak Attack? Some in the audience April 26 thought the delivery was part of Olivia's act.

1 min read
Star
May 16, 2022

GASBAG DIESEĽS TOXIC CLOUD!

Furious director makes fast exit from villain Vin

2 mins read
Globe
May 23, 2022

Brothers in Arms

For brothers Jason and Rick smith, sibling rivalry isn't a petty squabble-it's an all-out war in a high-intensity sport. But the pair have found a way to leave the fight in the crossfit box and build an unbreakable bond.

10+ mins read
Men's Health South Africa
May June 2022

A BURNT TASTE

How did Starbucks, once а shining beacon of progressive business practices, torch its reservoir of goodwill?

10+ mins read
Fast Company
Summer 2022

BARBRA STREISAND: What I've Learned at 80

THE PERFORMER OPENS UP ABOUT FAME, FAMILY & THE PERKS OF GROWING OLDER

1 min read
Closer US
May 09, 2022

The Lion of Le Mans

The new Peugeot 9X8 hypercar is set to make endurance-racing history at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

5 mins read
Maxim
May - June 2022

The Truth About Carries's Marriage

Jealousy and work are putting pressure on Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher's relationship

4 mins read
Life & Style US
May 02, 2022

Jason CRUSHING ON KATE

It's only been two months since Jason Momoa announced his split from Lisa Bonet, but the Aquaman actor, 42, has set his sights on Kate Beckinsale, spills a source.

1 min read
Star
April 18, 2022

The Confidence of SCALE

Leave low-key glamour behind. The new fashion is hot, haute, and HUGE.

4 mins read
Town & Country
April 2022

Channing & Zoë READY FOR MARRIAGE

If he proposed right this minute, she would say yes.

1 min read
Life & Style US
April 04, 2022