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Bruce Kerslake's 1965 Barracuda

I first heard about the upcoming auction of Charles Keyís huge Mopar collection last winter. I had viewed the collection about 20 years before when my main interest was Chrysler product cars of the Ď30ís, Ď40ís and Ď50ís, but had heard very little in the interim years about the collection that at one time had over 400 cars stored inside and out in the high desert of Brothers Oregon. The auction was scheduled for May 8th and 9th 2014, with the cars and parts auctioning the first day. I talked a friend into going with me to the preview on May 7th and we decided to stay over for the auction.

The day of the auction dawned cloudy and cool. My friend bought the first car that came up for auction- a very nice 1967 Plymouth Fury VIP 2 door hardtop. The seventh car, a 1965 Barracuda, with the Commando 273 V8, Torqueflite and power brakes was the first car I was seriously interested in. Surprisingly I was the high bidder on the car. By this time the weather had deteriorated into a cold rain. Since we had both bought cars and had not bought any parts or literature, we left the auction after the next 20 cars were sold, made our payment and headed home to figure out how to get the cars home.

The Ď65 Barracuda was a very straight, rust free car that appeared at first glance to be painted with grey primer. Closer examination showed this to be highly oxidized original silver metallic, a Barracuda exclusive color. The interior was black vinyl with tears in the bucket seats and a sagging headliner separated at the seams. The dash was pretty nice, back seat and door panels decent and all the engine dress up items intact and nice. The odometer showed 91,000 miles. The bias ply tires were aged cracked and the left front flat. The next week end I got a friend with a one-ton truck and trailer to take me down to Brothers to pick up the car. We arrived at the collection to find it was 34 degrees and blowing snow. We replaced the flat tire, loaded the car, and unloaded into my carport 4 hours later.

After replacing the fuel pump, gas tank, fuel sending unit and spark plugs I got the engine running. Rebuilding the AFB carburetor, brakes, power brake booster and replacing the muffler has resulted in a great running, driving car. The big money went into the body and paint. I merely wanted a decent driver-quality paint job, but I ended up with a much nicer paint job than I had hoped for. It is the original silver metallic with ruby factory paint stripes with a clear coat over all. I also had the front bucket seats reupholstered as original and the headliner replaced. I still need to do some repainting in the interior and detailing under the hood. Eventually I may replace carpet and get better bumpers for the car. I havenít figured out why I donít have power to the radio yet, either, but not much to listen to on AM anyway. The Barracuda so far has been to Beaches PIR Cruise in, on a Cascade/Pacific Plymouth Club tour to Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helens, and a WPC potluck. The engine and transmission seem to be in excellent condition


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