Owner-driver George Poteet and the crew at Rad Rides have a lofty goal: 300+ mph at Bonneville. A mere 180 cubic inches of turbocharged Mopar four-cylinder USAC engine with a V-8 Hemi head bolted to it is at the heart of achieving this Herculean feat. The engine stuffed into this 1969 Plymouth Barracuda is in a class by itself, with one of a kind Moldex crankshaft, Carillo rods, JE pistons, and Jesel valvetrain all being designed and built specifically for the land speed attempt. Racepak is on deck to garner data from driveshaft speed to suspension travel out on the salt.
Wind tunnel testing revealed an initial drag coefficient of .20 - which is better than a Ford GT or Corvette Z06. To get the belly pan up front pulling downforce as it should, the front spoiler was moved up about a half inch to let a bit more air under the car. The rear wing wicker, or Gurney flap, was extended by roughly an equal amount to keep downforce out back in line with the newfound downforce out front. These few changes brought the downforce into desired balance yet only raised the overall drag coefficient to .21.
With a class record of 232 mph for the Blown Fuel Competition Coupe with Class F engine, the crew at Rad Rides is confident the car can make the number. Laptop calculations based on wind tunnel testing reveal they require roughly 500 hp to reach the target speed.
With a goal of 1200 hp targeted by pushing 40 psi through the front mounted single Precision Turbo, the numbers work out to 250 mph at 6500 rpm in fourth gear over from the Gear Vendors overdrive, and a potential for 349 mph at 9000 rpm.
Individual coolers for both the engine and the intercooler will keep temperatures in line. Plumbing for the induction is a single turbo setup with the throttle body running into the engine from where the stock dash used to be. Even with the intake for the watermelon sized turbo directly up front, no loss of aerodynamic slip was recorded in the wind tunnel whether the intake was covered or open. The car will run on a near pure corn concoction of 98% methanol and 2% gasoline. The old dinosaurs were thrown into the corn mix to keep the crew from getting confused with moonshiners.
Owner-driver George Poteet plans on running the car for three years. Two with the current setup, then adding four cylinders across the salt for the third with a V-8 hemi.
For a gallery of over 150 images from the buildup, head on over to Rad Rides.
Rad Rides 1969 Salt Flats Barracuda