Fishing for more! … the story of a Gen 3 HEMI Barracuda


Not your ordinary Barracuda!

Not your ordinary Barracuda!

 When Joe O’Cone the Third (Joe Jr)  bought his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda out of a garage with no doors and a dirt floor for $300 in Manville, NJ USA, he had no idea that the future would see his car as a prime example of retro-fitting a Generation 3 (3G) HEMI power plant into an old school A Body Chrysler.


 But first……………

Lets go back to 1994 when he first bought the car; The car needed everything, floor pans, quarters, fenders, grill, rocker panels, etc and that was just the beginning!  The interior was a shambles!!

 In fact – when he and his father (Joe Snr) stopped to check a loose strap bringing it home, 20 to 30 mice scampered out of the car and went running in every direction!!!


No mice to be seen!

No mice to be seen!

The Fish was originally a 318, bench seat, column shift, 904 trans, and 7 ¼ rear car – pretty standard as they come, but then the two Joes set about restoring the car and painted it the same colour as Joe Snr’s first ever mopar – plum crazy purple.  It made its first show in 1999, making it a 5 year restoration.

The car originally had a built 360 with a six pack running a best of 12.97@105.5mph. That motor got worn out and it was replaced with a 348 stroker (318 with a 360 crank).

 Joe Jr got impatient and sold the 348 to his father where it breathes life into a 1967 Coronet convertible.  Meanwhile Joe Jr set about installing his first 5.7L 3G HEMI in 2007.


 Power plant –

Providing motivation to the wheels is a G3 5.7 Hemi running custom Ross slugs (to provide adequate piston to valve clearance) , a 6.1 SRT  forged crank and CNC ported 5.7 heads with outsize valves. 

 The valves get to go to the dance through a Comp cam and aftermarket valve springs (See sidebar for specs) .  A custom 8 quart oil pan ensures the motor survives above 7000 rpm (Anyone contemplating pushing a 3G Hemi past 7000 rpm needs to take note of this important mod! – Ed.)

Induction –

 The motor gets fed through twin Edelbrock Thunder AVS 500 cfm carbs currently sitting on a sitting on an Edelbrock Dual Plane Dual Quad intake and supplied by an Aeromotive 1000 pump.

The Edelbrock dual plane dual quad intake is the reason Joe Jr needs to run the Hemi scoop –(Again, hood clearance is one of the “nasties” you have to plan for with a carb inducted G3 – Ed.).

 Topping the assembly off is a G2 Hemi air cleaner.

Air cleaner (2)

Yep, its a G3 HEMI – Note the Indy aftermarket valve covers which allow you to hide the coil packs under the intake and the MSD 6013 controller in the top left guard

Ignition –

The fire in the hole is lit through an MSD 6013 spark controller and factory coil packs. 

The MSD 6013 is an inexpensive way of controlling both spark and timing and affords some cool benefits such as a two stage launch control, rev limiter, laptop programmable timing curve and even an idle “smoother” for those running mega duration cams who need a streetable idle.

Drivetrain –

This bad fish runs a tried and tested old school drive line – 727 transmission with a 8” ATI 4500 converter which Joe footbrakes it off the line.

 The pounds get to the pavement through a trusty Chrysler 8&3/4” differential housing, carrying either a Detroit locker hemisphere with a rear end ratio of 4.10:1 or a 4.56 or 4.88 spool.  This gearing ensures Joe takes advantage of the high winding nature of the 5.7 G3, crossing the tape between 6500 and 7500 rpm.  Moser 30 spline axles complete the picture at the rear.

Yeah..its a HEMI!

Yeah..its a HEMI!

Suspension/Wheels –

Naturally traction is a consideration with around 500 HP going to the rear end, so Joe runs Caltrack bars and also Calvert 90/10 front shocks with stock Slant 6 torsion bars.

 Centerline auto drags at the front and Convo Pro rears complete the look and show that this is one fish that doesn’t run with the school.

Engine size: 5.7L 345cid

Engine: type: 3G Hemi

Pistons: Ross Custom, Crank: 6.1L Steel crank, Pan: Modified Milodon pan to 8 quarts

Head type and valve size: Early >2009 5.7L heads, CNC ported,

Cam duration at 50:    Intake: 243  Exhaust: 257,

Cam brand: Comp Cams Hydraulic Roller

Timing gear: Manley Double roller timing chain

Intake Manifold type: Edelbrock Dual Quad

Carburetor: 500cfm Edelbrock AVS X 2

Fuel Pump size and type: Aeromotive 1000

Compression ratio: 11-1                    Fuel Octane level: 93

  So far Joes car has run a best of 11.54 @ 116.1 mph changing somewhere between 6500 @ 7500 rpm depending on his rear gear set up – and this is in a 3800lb car with driver!

Now you get it! ….You see Joe Jr is only a Jr by name!   

Showing off the convos...

Showing off the convos…

 The Future –

Not much in the way of expense has been spared in this project, and Joe Jr is still not finished with plans to upgrade the induction – Joe is currently installing what he believes is the first carburetted cross ram on a 3G Hemi.

Hogan Hemi intake manifold


Joe plans on running his Hogan fabricated cross ram intake with dual 650 Holley’s replacing the current Edelbrock induction.  And, there will be a stroker motor in the near future with plans on running low 10s on pump gas!

Custom air cleaner assemblies – Pie tins anyone?


Can’t wait to see the finished product, which Joe hopes will be on display at this years Chryslers at Carlisle.

New intake

EFI? What’s EFI????

 It’s gotta HEMI –

Joe Jr and Joe Snr may not have intended to blaze a trail on the road to creating a unique  retro modified Barracuda, but Joe’s car proves that the carb induction of a “new school” motor is not always as crazy as it sounds.  
For those of us that like the throaty roar of a pair of carbs at WOT, or for those of us that neither want the cost of aftermarket EFI or prefer the “old school” look – Joe’s Barracuda is testimony  to what can be achieved and his individualism and also his attention to detail.





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