The early 70s was a golden age for American muscle cars and competition was fierce. Manufacturers were doing anything they could to set their cars apart and that even extended to the number of paint colours on offer. Ford had 15 while Chevy would sell you a Camaro in one of 18 shades. Plymouth, in a great display of one-upmanship, came out swinging with 25 available colours for the 1970 Barracuda. Quite proud of this, the company included a rendering of the car painted with all 25 hues in their Rapid Transit System performance catalogue.
The Seed is Planted
This was the car that Tim Wellborn of Wellborn Muscle Car Museum would see as a car-mad 12-year-old and rediscover decades later sorting through old brochures. Now in a position to own such a car, he decided to find out if Plymouth had ever built a multicoloured Barracuda like the one he had seen all those years ago. It turned out they hadn’t, and neither had anybody else. Yet.
Finding ‘The’ Car
The 1970 Barracuda that Tim and his wife Pam found in a New Orleans warehouse had been sitting for around 20 years but was in near-perfect numbers-matching condition. It was so well preserved that they considered leaving it be and finding a less pristine car to build from, but decided to go ahead as long as the modifications could be reversed if the need arose.
Building an Icon
The Wellborns took the car to The Bomb Factory in New Orleans for restoration. It had a protective white wrap applied to the passenger side while the driver’s side would stay painted in the Ivy Green that the car wore the day it left the factory. All 25 shades were applied to the wrap with specially formulated paint and the brochure car’s wheelie bar, zoomie headers, roll cage, and drag slicks were installed as well. –
The result is one hell of a showpiece. Mismatched wheels and tires on the passenger and driver’s sides probably make for a fairly… interesting drive but that’s not what this car’s about. It’s about making the 12-year-old in all of us go “Wow!” and I’d say it does that job extremely well.
James Walker is a freelance writer with a passion for four-wheeled things and twisty roads.