"THE FIREBALL 500"
This high powered sleek styling performance vehicle was featured in the movie "The Fireball 500" starring Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and Fabian. The vehicle started as a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. One of the outstanding features is the design carried forth in a dual cockpit roadster racing version made from a basic stock Plymouth production car.
The dual cowl cockpits are formed in metal and streamlined into twin curved butarat plastic windshields plus flared headrests formed around each cockpit opening with air foam pads that extend into the back body panel. Four streamer extensions styled with razor edges are molded into one section formed in metal to completely comer the rear seats and original deck lid compartment. Additional taillights in red reflected plastic are installed behind the headrest streamline cavities.
Rear panel treatment enhances extended rear fenders with vertical slimline taillights. These have been extended four inches and are blended into a canted air relieved rolled back body panel. Horizontal extrusions in a decorative ornamental design are installed in the back panel and make removable for inspection throughout the closed rear body panel compartment.
All four wheel well have been radiused with a larger opening to compensate for the 700⁄12.50-13 Firestone tires. These tires have been installed on the Rader spoked racing wheels made of an alloy with a chrome steel rim.
Outside rocker A.I. racing exhausts are made with Reynolds Aluminum extrusions with dual pipes extending on each side from the racing engine. Eight Ram-thrust inlet air tubes extend from openings in the hood for direct air into the carburetion system on the engine.
For power is a 1966 Hemi 426 Plymouth engine that develops up to 425 h.p. An Isky drag racing cam has been used in combination with Jahns high domed racing pistons. A four speed Ansen posi-shift gear box is installed with the combination of 3.55 rear end gears and 13 inch wheels. Dual four throat Ram-thrust manifold and Holley carburetors are used for gas consumption in conjunction with the formula combined with the cam grind, bore clearance, and gear ratio. Dual Dupree chrome dome electric fuel pumps are used to keep steady flowing of gas. This vehicle can do in the vicinity of 160 m.p.h. in a quarter mile drag strip.
Safety flush pull down door handles were installed to match the contour of the door panels. The steering wheel is deep dished measuring 13 inches to fit the smaller cockpit. Rectangular headlights imported from France are inserted in the grille cavity with brushed aluminum extrusions installed in the openings.
To complete the external and high lustrous finish are forty coats of hand rubbed lacquer called Fireheat which consists of multi color blends in white pearl of essence, faded into gold Murano, blended throughout in reflective gold leaf, carried through into Kandy Tangerine, then blended into translucent Kandy red and finished off in burgundy. It took four men and six days of spraying to blend these multi colors from white fireball heat into soothing burgundy.