Racer Don's Barracuda

This page was last updated: March 10, 2010

I saw a posting on www.forabodiesonly.com where a guy was asking if anyone knew a "Racer Don" from Milwaukee, or knew the history of his car. I replied and told him what little my pea brain can remember. Here are the messages:

Posted by 1hot68 6-24-05:

Milwaukee WI Drag Racers "Racer Don"  

Does anyone around know who "RACER DON" Donald Schlicht was? I purchased his 68 Barracuda drag car from his sister after he passed away. I've had the car about six months but don't know much about it. I do know he purchased the car in 1973 and it has been a drag car for a long time. I also know the engine was built by Mike Marinoff. The quality and detail of the car plus the fact he owned it for so long has me curious about "Racer Don" and the cars past. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

My Reply on 3-12-06:

Well, I just saw this. I hope you're still looking for info... I knew Racer Don.

Racer Don used to race a '55 or '56 Ford with a 312. Then he got the Barracuda.

Racer Don knew my Dad pretty well, and the two of them hung out with a bunch of guys around the 35th and Lincoln area. As I recall, one of the doors had a dent in it, but otherwise the body was fantastic. My dad fixed the dent in the door. I think Don owned the car since the early 70's. It took Don until the mid 80's to get the car together. He was pretty meticulous.

Marinoff is where the machine work was done on the 318. I think Don worked there for a while.

It was a four speed car. Don could always turn good times with four speeds. He blew the gears in the 8-3/4 twice, I think. Then he went to an automatic. He ran in the 11's with the fourspeed. Not sure about the auto.

The last I saw the car, it was red. He was not a small guy, so he had the swing-out bar to get in the cage.

If you ever run that car, send me an email. I would love to see it again. Don was a good guy. My dad might even want to come see it.

EDIT: I just noticed where you live!! Did you travel all that way to buy the car, or did you move out there? I suppose it's worth the trip - it's a pretty sweet car. We probably WON'T be seeing you race the car, but please send me some pics if you can. And NEVER ditch the 318! It may be small but it snorts - and it cost a small fortune to build. Don used to love the look on guys faces when he told them it's a 318.

I received this Email from John on 3-2-06:

I just found your email by going to your website. Nice duster project. Anyway thanks for the reply to my post. My name is John Kruse I'm 36 and I purchased the barracuda site unseen for $6000. Don's sister Jane in Kansas had run an ad online at a site called racecar2000. She didn't know much about the car and neither did her other sister in Milwaukee. Jane said a fellow named Albert had worked on the car but she had no way to get ahold of him. Maybe your dad knows him? I used to be quite the street racer back in the 80's so I had to put this car back on the street. It now has 3" exhaust and personalized plates that say 1HOT68. I added a couple stripes to make it look like the barracuda I owned back in high school. I left the engine alone other than adding a nitrous system and putting a new holley on it. We don't have much for laws here in SD so I get away with driving on the street with the slicks. I'm going to install a set of DOT Mickey Thompsons for this year. I've run it at our 1/8 mile strip. The first time out it would only run in the 8.60 range. Once I tuned for our elevation (3600') and added nitrous it turned a best of 7.18 @ 98 mph through the mufflers. I'll keep the small block but will probably put a stick back in it. The 727 in it isn't very street friendly. It looks like a 8" convertor and will stall around 4000 rpm. Also the reverse pattern is tough to get used to. I sent all the pics I had on my computer, one has my son standing by it, he thinks I should give it to him later. I said maybe much later! Reply or call me (605)430-9279 and let me know what you think. Also if you would ask yor dad if he knows how old the paint is and when was the last time Don raced the car. Looking forward to hearing from you and/or your dad thanks again.....John.

Here are the pictures he sent me - click on an image to see a larger picture.