There is no denying the cool factor in owning and racing a Plymouth Barracuda, and Nick Reiter is wholeheartedly and unabashedly embracing every moment of it. Reiter, of Warminster, Pennsylvania, purchased his ’68 F/SA Barracuda from two-time Stock Eliminator national event winner Chuck Beach and debuted the car at the season-opening NHRA Gatornationals. The road to that debut was a bit of an adventure.
“I came down for [the first division race of 2021] with a ’79 Dodge Charger R/T, and I broke that at Orlando,” explained Reiter, a longtime Division 1 racer who claimed his first NHRA win at the 1989 divisional at New England Dragway. “My buddy Jim Bailey said, ‘I think Chuck Beach has the car for sale,’ and one thing led to another. I called him up.”
Reiter went on to say that Ohio-native Beach had retired and moved to Florida, which meant the car was not only available, but also nearby. The two discussed price and after a couple of reschedulings due to weather, they met up at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida for a test-and-tune.
“He said the car would go 1.25 under the index; it’s a real good car, worth every dollar,” stated Reiter. “We tested the car, it went 1.20 under, and I gave him the money.”
As an out-of-state customer, though, acquiring the big money to purchase such a fine vehicle proved to be a bit trickier than Reiter anticipated (“Who would think? It’s your own money,” he laughed). But with a lot of patience and persistence, he closed the deal and took ownership of the ‘Cuda.
“A lot of things had to fall into line for this to happen,” said Reiter. “The car had to be in Florida, I had to be able to get the money. But everything worked out, and I thought, ‘What could be better than this?’ ”
Reiter turned 73 on March 4, 2021, and considers the proven racecar to be the first birthday present he’s ever bought for himself. As an added bonus, his wife, Edie, loves it. This makes sense as she was primed to appreciate muscle cars. Reiter started as a Ford guy but has been loyal to the Mopar brand for fifty years.
“I bought original – ordered from the factory – a 1971 Dodge Charger R/T 446,” he said. “It’s been a racecar since 1973 and a Stock Eliminator car since 1976, and I still have that car.”
The better story, he went on to say, is how he came to own that car. In 1971, his father – then 60 years old – had always wanted a muscle car. One day, the younger Reiter talked him into going to Northeast Dodge in Philadelphia and road testing a Super Bee. They left the dealership after the test drive, and a few days later, Reiter asked his father if it was going to be fast enough for him.
“He said, order me the 440-horsepower motor, the R/T,” he recalled. “So, we changed it from the Super Bee to the R/T, and within one month, I had put 4,000 miles on his car. I knew I had to order one, too. It’s Citron Yellow, and there’s not much brighter than that.
“I’ve had a lot of fun,” he concluded. “You can’t make this stuff up; you have to live it.”
Here’s a cool story on Reiter’s Citron Yellow Dodge Charger R/T: https://dragracingedge.com/featured-news/philadelphia-flyer/