Films: American Muscle, Built to Handle

American Muscle, Built to Handle

Mr. Bob Gough’s family moved to France for a few years when he was thirteen years-old and thus he grew up idolizing European sports cars and looking down on American muscle. That was until he discovered the 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S. The ‘Cuda Formula S was upgraded in-house by Plymouth with suspension and brakes that allow it to keep up with European sports cars in the twisties (that is, all but the tightest twisties). He purchased this car over twenty-three years ago and has gradually upgraded it. Bob replaced the transmission with a Tremec 5-speed and now runs a 340 cubic inch V8, rather than the original 273 ci engine. He’s also replaced the original 14″ wheels with custom 15″ steelies.

And the only suspension mod that Bob has made is replacing the original shocks with nitrogen shocks that vastly improve the handling. The Plymouth handles so well in fact, that he frequently surprises sports car owners on drives. And once the curves straighten out, its ample torque allows it to “leave Porsches behind.” You do need to exercise caution entering corners though, because the Forumla S is prone to rear wheel lock-up—so early braking is a must! Even though Bob pushes the ‘Cuda, it’s actually docile to drive, “but who drives a car like that?”

If you’d like to see more American Muscle videos, check out this Mustang.

Special thanks to Petrolicious reader Jesse for bringing Mr. Gough’s car to our attention. Check out his blog, “Just a Car Guy,” here.

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14 Comments on "American Muscle, Built to Handle"

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Todd Cox
Todd Cox
Very interesting video. To a point, Bob and I walked similar paths. My father was very into Euro roadsters and likewise passed the love of those small, lightweight, great handling cars on to me. Because of that, I also scoffed at American cars which you sort of point in the direction you want to go instead of really driving them. As luck would have it, I wound up repainting one of these back in 1981 while my father was stationed in Hawaii. I remember not thinking very much of it at the time, but now wishing I’d have paid more… Read more »
Bob Gough
Bob Gough
I’d like to send a thank you to all those viewers who commented on the vid of my Barracuda. You’ve made my day! And to a few of you in particular: to “Malicious SRT”, yep, the Green Brick is a legend. To Theodore Vasilopoulos, move to the USA! Lots of cars like this here! To “F Stick”, the 340 powered the ‘Cuda to a 13.6 sec et @ 106 mph at Carlsbad Raceway (RIP). I have the time slip. The math says approx 400 hp. And if I offended “TheBigJakeIII”, I did not make myself clear. I too love Porsches,… Read more »
Keith Knight
Keith Knight
Hi Bob, Looks like selling my 911 and seeing your video might be the catalyst to getting back into a Barracuda. I sold my 69 convertible after 14 years of ownership and 350000 miles on the clock as my newborn son came into the world. I bought my zero option 1969 in 1975 for $300 with a worn out slant 6 and a 3 on the tree that sounded like it was filled with gravel. It had one thing going for it that i had not found in other car in the north east, no rust. The car was move… Read more »
Bob Gough
Bob Gough
I’d like to send a thank you to all those viewers who commented on the vid of my Barracuda. You’ve made my day! And to a few of you in particular: to “Malicious SRT”, yep, the Green Brick is a legend. To Theodore Vasilopoulos, move to the USA! Lots of cars like this here! To “F Stick”, the 340 powered the ‘Cuda to a 13.6 sec et @ 106 mph at Carlsbad Raceway (RIP). I have the time slip. The math says approx 400 hp. And if I offended “TheBigJakeIII”, I did not make myself clear. I too love Porsches,… Read more »
Aaron McKenzie
Aaron McKenzie

Thanks, Bob.

As I’ve said before, these short films are extra-special for those of us at Petrolicious because we have the memories of making them. Spending days with owners like Bob and cars like his ‘Cuda are one of the perks of working for this outfit!

And here, by the way, is an advert that Plymouth ran featuring Scott Harvey, his family, and his 1966 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S T/A. More pics of Harvey’s rally Barracuda can be found here: http://goo.gl/RA8QEs

Praveen Dhawan
Praveen Dhawan

Really cool video

Mac Guice
Mac Guice

Amazing video as always, it’d be great if you guys could make some desktop wallpapers of this beautiful car

Eric Ewert
Eric Ewert

Got on to the petrolicious homepage and seeing the side shot of this car at the top of the page had a massive impact to say the least… My dad has a 1968 barracuda 340 formula S, was same colour as the one pictured here, also a fast back. The car was his first car and I grew up with very fond memories of riding around in the passengers seat in the summers. Sadly it has not been on the road for 5 years due to it being restored, I miss it. Thank you very much for this video.

Yoav Gilad
Yoav Gilad

Hey Eric,

I can only imagine the impact…At least, if it’s being restored, you’ll soon be able to enjoy it again. Good luck!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Always thought this generation of the Barracuda was one of the best looking of the muscle/ pony cars. Love the sensitive mods and the V8 rumble. Cool car and top owner.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle
What a great video! The car is a stunning piece of good ole American Muscle. The Formula S package was around on the first and second gen Barracudas. It came with a more powerful engine and with some suspension mods that really helped the car handle better then people would think it could. There was a Barracuda S that won the Shell 4000 rally not bad for a muscle car. I remember Car and Driver did a test between Mustang, Barracuda S, and a Corvair. They said the Barracuda was a great compromise between the two. The Barracuda was almost… Read more »
Aaron McKenzie
Aaron McKenzie

As it happens, it was Chrysler engineer Scott Harvey – for whom Bob Gough navigated several La Carrera Panamericana races – who won that Shell 4000. Rumor has it that the ‘S’ in “Formula S” stood for Scott, who had suggested and designed many of the modifications that improved this car’s handling.

Future Doc
Future Doc

Petrolicious does American iron right. Yes, I like my imports more, but I ways come away nodding to the American vintage after each one of these videos.

Denis Markus
Denis Markus

Very cool and beautiful car. I did not know about the handling capability. Bob has done a beautiful job on this car in so many ways.

Thanks,
Denis

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