Need 65 Barracuda info ** Updated **

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. jeryst

    jeryst Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone. I'm going to look at a 65 Barracuda in a few days, and I was hoping that a few early A-body experts can help me out. The car is supposed to be pretty original with 38k miles. I saw some pictures of the car and engine, and it looks pretty good. They used it last year to go to car cruises, so it has been driven recently. The guy told me they have replaced the floors, and went through the entire brake system from front to back.

    Here are the issues I'd like to address:

    1. It has a 273 and automatic, and the owner says it's a Formula S, but it has a 2-barrel, and the Formula S came with a 4-barrel. I know that the carb could have been replaced because a lot of people did that in the 70's when the gas prices went through the roof, so how can I tell if it really is a Formula S or not?

    2. What structural problems should I look for? Are there any places on the frame that are problem areas that I should specifically look for?

    3. Are there any pieces that are super rare, or almost impossible to find? The car is supposed to be complete, but sometimes people will keep or sell off a super rare piece before selling the whole car. Also, I plan on doing whatever restoration is required, and I dont want to find out that one piece is made out of Unobtainium and costs more than the whole car, if I manage to find one.

    4. Is there anything else I should look out for?

    Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can offer. By the way, he is asking $5k for the car, so feel free to comment on that as well.
     
  2. cosgig

    cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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    A real Formula S car would have a front sway bar, the heavier duty .870 torsion bars, 14x5.5" rims, 4 bbl carb, the black wrinkle valve covers, HD leaf springs! You can tell by looking at the intake bolts whether the motor is a 65, they should have a 1/2" head and 5/16" threads! If a 9/16" socket fits correctly on the bolts, it is a 66 or later motor! No way to tell just by looking at it whether it is actually a Commando motor or not! The fender tag will have the numbers "32" under the ab letters to signify a Formula S car!

    As for rare parts??? Not really rare, but the drivers side fresh air vent box under the dash always has a rusted out hinge on the bottoms of the door, the rear window trim is usually always pitted! Rare is the rear window defrost option, disc brakes, which were a late 65 option, the dash mounted tach and bezel to the left of the steering wheel, power brakes, Commando exhaust with resonator!

    The single biggest area of rust concern would be up under the dash where the fresh air box mounts to on the drivers side, and the heater mounts to on the passenger side! The bell flange holds water from the cowl, rusts the bottoms of the flange, drips water on the floor, rusts the lower door hinges on the heater and vent box, and it's not an easy fix! There's not a lot of aftermarket support, but parts are out there, but the cowl is a pretty big fix!!

    Hope this helps some!! Geof
     
  3. 66fyssh

    66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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    Cosgig covered everything very well. I would say 5K for a clean, complete 65 Barracuda is a good price.
     
  4. chryslerfat

    chryslerfat Well-Known Member

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    65 is 312 code for Formula S see here

    http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.org/ml-osterling65fendertag.html
     
  5. cosgig

    cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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  6. pishta

    pishta I know I'm right....

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    A 2 under the C is the "S" option. Thats all you need to look at. the 3 and 1 will be there with a 273-4 regardless of the model. Also the tach above your left knee is worth about $400 if you ever have to replace it. Look for rust also at the lower corners of the front glass, itll look like a blister under the paint. Also the "S" got a front sway bar (look for the tabs on the lower control arms if there is no sway bar attached) and an additional leaf in the back, although I cant remember how many are under there off hand. Dual point "Prestolite" iron distributor, finned valve covers and a Carter AFB. should have a plain round small looking air cleaner, no snorkle. Stamped AL headlight bezels are hard to find straight and expensive to replace. Warm LA is the best motor for it, B/RB is just too much..been there, done that.
     
  7. jeryst

    jeryst Well-Known Member

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    Long story, but I actually met the owner and he showed me a couple of pictures he had on his phone.
    But he actually lives a couple hours away from me.

    I do remember that the motor had black valve covers and a funny looking silver air cleaner.
    Also has 2 rectangular exhaust tips that either come through the lower pan, or are right underneath it.
     
  8. cosgig

    cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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    2 rectangular exhaust tips indicate that the entire exhaust system has been replaced with duals!! Early A cars only came with single exhaust, no matter the performance level!!!
     
  9. krazykuda

    krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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    65 models had a single reservoir master cylinder. It's good to upgrade to the 67 and later dual reservoir master cylinder for safety. If one line gets a hole in it, then the other system will work with the dual reservoir system. If a line gets a hole in it with the single reservoir master cylinder, it will take out all the brakes...

    On the 2 bbl issue - most people go from 2 bbl to 4 bbl, not reverse. If it has a 2 bbl, check carefully to make sure it is an actual Formula S...

    If it's an original commando engine, the commando valve covers will have the larger hole on both sides. The driver's side gets the large hole for the breather in the valve cover. The passenger side will also have a similar "pipe" coming out of the passenger side valve cover which will take the "stove pipe" style PCV valve.

    The passenger side valve cover should have three small tabs for the wiring harness for 65. The 66 had the stove pipe PCV, but two small tabs for the wiring harness with a larger bracket for the wiring harness.

    67 commando valve covers came with the newer style PCV which has a large hole, not a stove pipe on the passenger valve cover and the two small tabs and large bracket in the middle for the wiring harness...


    65 Commando covers. Notice the large stove pipe in the middle of the right valve cover and the three small tabs for the wiring harness:

    View attachment 66 Cmndo A02 B.jpg

    A shot of the pass side 65:

    View attachment 66 Cmndo rt B.jpg

    Here's the 67 Commando valve covers. Notice no stove pipe in the middle, it takes the big grommet and then the smaller PCV. Also notice the large bracket in the middle for the wiring harness:

    View attachment 67 Cmndo A01 B.jpg

    The shot of the pass side 67:

    View attachment 67 Cmndo rt B.jpg

    The 66 Commandos will have the large stove pipe in the middle and the large bracket for the wiring harness...
     
  10. barbee6043

    barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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    I always have to wonder when people state the car "only has 38,000 mi" on it and the speedo turns over at 100,000, exactly where does this theory always come from. yes people can and do replace pedals, so not a good test.
    having all correct or original crab, dist, coil, etc etc would give a clue only.

    condition is what matters, mostly, and if looking for a correct car, then all the parts that mentioned above are there and correct for that model.
     
  11. jeryst

    jeryst Well-Known Member

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    When gas jumped drastically, gas stations ran dry, and rationing was put into effect, people did everything they could to get better mileage. I had a Cuda at the time, and replaced the 4bbl with a 2 bbl for that exact reason.

    Does anyone know the difference in leaf spring count that was mentioned?

    I wondered about the exhaust because I havent seen exhaust tips on pics of other 65's that I have been looking at. I remember him saying that the exhaust system had been redone, and that it was loud and sounded good, so they must have added the duals.

    Thank you so much for all of the information.
     
  12. clifcuda65

    clifcuda65 Old Mopar Geezer

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    Just a note on the 4 bbl for the 1965 273 Commando... The little Carter AFB had "smaller" primaries then the 2 bbl... There fore, if you could keep your foot out of it... you would not consume that extra "costly" fuel! Or, if you have an uncontrollable foot, there is a way to easily disable the secondaries... It would cost more $$$ in time & parts to change over to a two barrel then you would ever save on fuel costs. Just saying!

    As for the exhaust... ALL Commando cars and Formula "S" cars had a square ish cut out in the rear valance under the bumper on the driver's side for the exposed resonator exhaust tip...

    So be SURE to look for the "2" under the "C" on the fender tag as pishta has said !!!!
     

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  13. cosgig

    cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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    Stock V8 Barracuda has 4 leafs on the passenger side, Formula S has 5! At least in 66 it does!!
     
  14. 66fs

    66fs FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Were automatic rear springs different from 4 speed? I highly doubt anyone would go from 4 barrel to 2 barrel. 273's were known for being fast and getting great mpg. Factory tach is a good telltale if original Formula S. A good clean solid early Barracuda is worth the asking price. Great advice given previously above.
     
  15. jeryst

    jeryst Well-Known Member

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    How about numbers? Are there any stampings on the body that should match the VIN or fender tag? How can you tell if it's a rebody? Did they stamp the radiator support back then?

    Also, did the tach only come with the Formula S?
     
  16. cosgig

    cosgig MoBro Inc. FABO Gold Member

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    You could order any of the formula S options seperate, so yes, the tach could be in a non formula S car! As for the body numbers, there are none to correspond to the motor or trans, VIN or any other number other than the SO number!!
     
  17. jeryst

    jeryst Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I went to look at the car. First of all, I dont think it;s a Formula S. The owner is basing that information on a code on the title that says 2S, and he interpreted that to mean that it was a Formula S. It probably stands for 2-door, or something like that.

    History of the car, is that it sat in a garage in Oregon since 1978. The owner passed away, and the current owner bought it from the original owners son. He has all of the paperwork that came with the car, including original paperwork from when it was bought.

    The body seems to be very nice, with no noticeable body work, although it looks like it was originally blue, then repainted red. Some of the brightwork is ok, some of it is pitted. The floors and trunk had rust holes, so the current owner fiberglassed everything without replacing any metal. Did a very good job, but still bandaided instead of being fixed. Gas tank was replaced with a fuel cell in the trunk.

    Everything works, (Including the heater!), and the car runs and drives well. Auto transmission works fine, and the car has a line-lock in it. As I mentioned previously, the entire break system was redone, and a whole new dual exhaust setup was installed. Sounds really good. Doesnt smoke. Interior is fair. The front seats are from another car, but the back seat and door panels are original. He has the original bucket seats but they are in pretty rough shape. He also has the original wheels and hubcaps. No carpet or headliner. I dont think the steering wheel is original, but dont know that for sure.

    Here's what makes me feel it is not a Formula S. No C2 code on the fender tag. No tach. 2 barrel instead of 4 barrel. The passenger valve cover looks like it is a 66 or 67. Cant tell because there is something covering it and I didnt want to take it off. However, it does have a Commando V8 emblem on the front fender, AB codes are 31, so it did come with a 4 barrel, a front sway bar, and 5 leaf springs on the passenger side.

    Here are some pictures. Once again, comments and opinions are encouraged.
     

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  18. pishta

    pishta I know I'm right....

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    Not bad, the sway bar is there. Ditch those disco seats! Steering wheel is tastefully close but not stock. Exhaust doesnt look bad like that either but they never had duals. Looks like a later engine. The small intake bolts would tell you if it was a 65 head. Intake can be changed to a 4bbl easy enough. headlight bezels look OK.....strange black belted paint, but the red doesnt look bad in the emblem pic...whats he asking?
     
  19. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    Also, look for a dual-point distributor. I don't think anyone would change that out for gas mileage purposes. From the engine pic, it looks like they've fitted a Commando air cleaner top to a 2 bbl (6cyl) base, to fit the 2bbl carb.

    Pass side v/c is '66....clue: stovepipe and large bracket.

    Check on the front of the block, drivers side, just below the head for model year code of engine. "A273" will be '65 model year, "B" is '66, and so on.....
     
  20. 66340SEDAN

    66340SEDAN FABO Member #3649 FABO Gold Member

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    Also, look at the trunk divider panel, is there a curved cut-out area? If so, then the car came with the wider rims....this notched out area was for the wider spare tire.....here is a pic from my dads 66....not the best but you get an idea, the fiberboard also has the cutout
     

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  21. Tadams

    Tadams Tadams

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    Car looks great for the price, whether a S or not. I would jump on that one in a hurry
     
  22. 66fyssh

    66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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    X2. I would pay 5K for one in that condition if I were in the market for one.
     
  23. clifcuda65

    clifcuda65 Old Mopar Geezer

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    X3.... Go for it!!!! You will regret it if you don't !!! Just saying...
     
  24. Tadams

    Tadams Tadams

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    I have more than the price for mine, and it is in the garage at home not even close to being a driver. I would buy it in a hurry
     
  25. salinasjoel

    salinasjoel Learning Daily

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    If its a commando motor there definitely would be a 4 barrel, odd someone would swap the intake and carb. either way looks clean and if you can drive it home well worth the money. What size is the rear? Late 65 commandos started to come with the 8 3/4... also you can get the formula s suspension without the formula s. I have a 68 barracuda factory 318 with the HD suspension package which has all the formula s goodies.
     
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