A Lion's Roar

Meet Richard Baratha of Port Orange, Florida who resides in the Spruce Creek Fly-In Community with his wife Sandy and pet Schnauzers Max and Summer. This is their 1956 Bel Air 2 door sedan (post). Rich is no stranger to beautiful cars, having owned many various hot rods in the past. Other collections include vintage guitars, boats, various aircraft. He also plays the drums and loves salt water sport fishing too!

Rich’s ‘56 Chevy was a three year build by Smoky Hill Restorations of Granbury Texas. Originally built for Skip Rollins of Alabama, he acquired the car about 6 months ago. It’s powered by a 502 Ramjet crate motor (700hp), Tremec TK600 5-speed, heavy duty Baer 6 piston brakes and custom ECM program. Everything under this car was powder coated and is beautifully detailed. It features “Boom Tube” NASCAR mufflers, NASCAR Truck style trailing arms with Qa1 Coil-overs, a Billet aluminum drive shaft and Heidts narrowed control arms. The interior consists of Lexus SC430 power buckets, sculpted rear seat, Rolls Royce wool carpeting, power windows, Vintage A/C, Classic instruments and an AM/FM/CD Sat stereo system. Finished in 2013, it won Budnick’s Wheels Cool Ride Award (October ‘13), a Best in Show (June 2014) and gets a thumbs up everywhere it goes. The color is a PPG three stage paint called Lions Mane Gold.

Richard believes in giving back to others. As a past president of the Spruce Creek Hanger Association he helped put together car cruise-ins which donated money to the local Children’s Recreation Center, given his time to the Daytona Cubs Breast Cancer awareness efforts. The most satisfying element of the car hobby he says is meeting the various people, hearing and telling stories as well as sharing and helping others. He is quick to lend a helping hand, letting his friends use his hanger for various car repairs as well as having a regular Wed evening cookout and movie night in his “Man Cave” hanger area.

Rich has collected cars for 23 years, owning various Corvette’s including a ZR1, and ZO6. In addition he has owned several street rods: a 1940 Pro-street Chevy, a 32 Ford highboy, a 32 street roadster, and a 31 Ford 2-door sedan. This ‘56 most certainly fits right in with his collection. While it probably won’t be his last, it certainly screams almost as loudly as the “LIONS R-O-A-R” it makes when he fires it up!

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