A lot of time, money went into restoring classic car

Staff writer

Bruce Skiles of Marion wishes he had pictures of what his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda looked like when he first bought it.

“I found this car up in Ironwood, Mich., and when I got it, it was totally rusted out,” Skiles said. “It’s like a brand new car now.”

Skiles has always liked the body style of Barracudas. It is his favorite car.

“This’ll be my fourth or fifth Barracuda, my first convertible,” he said.

Skiles has owned his current model for 15 years now, but it took 10 years just to rebuild it.

He credited Marion resident Darrell Spencer for helping with the mechanical restoration. Peggy Chappelle of Florence helped restore the interior. Winfield native Mike Steiner assisted with the body restoration, and Jesse and Ron Heberling of Overbrook lent a hand with the reassembly.

“It was just a lot of fun,” he said. “I met a lot of good people researching it, and made good friends with a number of people that helped me restore it.”

The car was completely torn apart, and then rebuilt using junkyard parts.

Skiles said he had to pay $500 more than current value for a passenger-side mirror because new parts for his model were not available until about five years ago.

“In the last five years or so, they’ve come out with a lot of parts that you can buy new to help restore your car,” he said. “That’s helped a lot.”

Since finishing the restoration process, Skiles said he was able to travel to Nebraska with other Dodge, Chrysler, and Plymouth fans, attending car shows.

“They only made 600 Barracuda convertibles in 1970,” he said. “Out of those 600, there’s probably only a couple hundred left because they were junked and whatever, so it is kind of a rare car.”

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