The Passing Show

35-year restoration project ‘labour of love’ for Mississauga man

Norris McDonald
Written by Norris McDonald

We’ve all heard, or read about, people who restore old cars as a hobby. In fact, Toronto Star Wheels used to publish a popular feature called Eye Candy, in which people who’d either purchased an already-restored car, or taken a few years to polish up a clunker, got to show them off in the paper

The ones who bought their classic automobiles missed out on a lot: the challenge, the frustration, the expense and the time required to take on such a project but also the fun of acquiring something that had seen better days and not only bring it back to life but also make it sparkle.

And they would admit to working in their spare time for five or ten years to do a car. I want to introduce you today to a neighbour of mine in Mississauga who’s taken – wait for it – 35 years to bring a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda fastback back to its former, brand-new, glory. That’s three-and-a-half decades.

His name is Todd Murray and the car he’s nuts about is a 2- door passenger car that was based on the Plymouth Valiant but had Barracuda-specific sheet metal styling and its own range of models including convertibles as well as the fastback.

He bought it the year he turned 18 – 1985 – and finished it literally the other day. It’s licensed and insured and raring to go. He planned to spend the summer this year going to mid-week cruises/car shows and the weekends at car shows in towns all over Ontario but the coronavirus crisis has more-or-less put a damper on that.

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