Canadian “Cool Cuda” Updates          

Edmonton’s Dean Branham continues to sail in rather uncharted waters within drag racing.  Dean’s awesome turbo-charged Barracuda, “hands down” one of Canada’s all time coolest creations, continues its progression…..

We had the pleasure of connecting with Dean once again during our visit to the IHRA’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam earlier this summer.  Branham, who first debuted his spectacular 1968 Barracuda back in 2004, has over the years evolved it from an 8.50 car to a six-second runner.  For 2011, he has made a number of changes once again as he continues to refine the car which focuses on both Outlaw 10.5 tire and Top Sportsman class racing.

Dean Branham's very unique Barracuda runs in unchartered waters!

“We’ve made some further modifications to our Mopar engine program but the biggest changes for this season are to the car itself,” Branham revealed.  “It has been dropped 3 inches from last year at all four corners. We felt that the lower center of gravity will make the car accelerate better.  Before we had more of a classic Super Stock stance but now our crankshaft alignment is lower.  That’s right where you want to be for a faster race car.”

PS: Thanks Dean!

Branham has also installed new lighter weight Lexan glass, a new dry sump system and a larger and more robust anti-roll bar system (from Ontario-based Bears Performance).

“We acquired some new ARP head bolts for our motor which should allow us to play with more boost too,” Dean continued.  “We would like to run 30 lbs boost this season which potentially will give us more speed.”

To date the car which tips the scales at 2975 lbs has a best run of 6.94 secs at 209+ mph to its credit (with 25 lbs boost).  But Dean expects the car could dip deeper in the sixes at near 215 mph in the not too distant future.

“Our project has been a constant evolution – but that is all part of the fun of doing this,” Dean added.  “We have also worked very hard to keep that factory appearance as much as possible.”

DRC would of course be remiss if we did not mention that Dean’s Barracuda also won the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam’s very prestigious “Best Engineering” Award.

That was a long overdue “first” for Dean’s Barracuda project.

“That was nice recognition especially within a heavy field of cars like that,” he concluded.  “This car is a hand built labor of love from my garage at home.  So that was a nice testament to all my hard work and I thank the IHRA for it.”

Best Engineered at Edmonton — Can you say overdue?

(Bruce Biegler Photos)