A side-by-side comparison of one of the most iconic Mopar® factory racecars – the 1968 Plymouth Barracuda – and the modern day equivalent – the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak – shows both similarities and dramatic differences. One thing that never changes: the power to get to the finish line first.
Sportsman racer Don Bales has described the drive experience of his former car, the ’68 Barracuda Super Stocker Silver Bullet, as “an intense launch and intense ride, every bone shakes because there’s so much power there.” In this sport, power is the name of the game.
Veteran racer Geoff Turk is another Mopar racer finding success in modern Mopar muscle as his love for both factory cars is obvious.
“I am a blessed and lucky man to have had the opportunity to drive both the ’68 Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock HEMI® engine car and now the 2015 supercharged Drag Pak Dodge Challenger,” Turk said.
“From the driver’s seat, while they both deliver the intense blast of a wheels-up launch and an eight second elapsed time, they do it very differently,” says Turk. “The ’68 clearly feels like the smaller and lighter car, with strong acceleration at the hit and its signature arching wheelie. Down track, the revs climb north of 9,000 rpm and the unmistakable beautiful sound of a Super Stock HEMI engine at full tilt grows as the acceleration falls off.”
While HEMI engine power is a cornerstone of both vehicles, all who drive them can feel a difference between old and new.
“The ’15 car (Drag Pak), feels larger and with its heavier weight and limited 9″ tire and ‘stock’ suspension, it does not launch quite as hard,” Turk said. As the speed climbs down track, the roar of the Gen 3 HEMI engine mixes with the whine of the supercharger, and the grin on your face grows as the car just keeps accelerating to its 168+ mph terminal speed. Very different but both awesome!”