Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Toyota not so holier than thou?

I sort of take bit of enjoyment when reading articles like this.

Toyota to settle engine sludge class action suit

I think it's mostly because as this giant continues to grow, they are facing many of the quality struggles the Big 3 went through with their growth. More and more of these quality issues have been coming to light, some after years of covering them up. It sort of sends out a wake up call to their owners when all of the sudden they have to fork out the money for new engine. This for a car they were led to believe was of the highest quality on the market.

Go ahead Toyota, you make that run for #1 automaker in the world, it's becoming apparent what it will cost you.

Monday, January 29, 2007

1966 Shelby Cobra goes for $5.5 million at Barrett-Jackson

Until recently, I loved the fact that muscle car prices were skyrocketing. I loved the fact that the Challenger R/T I bought 5 years ago for $7,000 has gone from being worth about $20,000 restored to closer to $40,000 restored. Yet now I find myself caring little about it's value and more about what it's doing to the hobby.

A little over a week ago a car sold at Barrett-Jackson for a record $5.5 million.

Racing legend's Cobra sells for record $5.5 million at auction

I suppose in this case, one could make an exception for the astronomical price. You weren't simply buying a car in this case, you were paying for the fact that Carroll Shelby owned this car. It is the equivalent of buying a guitar played by Jimmi Hendrix. Yet if we look at all the other cars at the auction, many of which weren't even specially optioned cars, the prices are still often in the 6 figure range. Buy a plain jane mopar, drop a hemi in it, create it so it looks like a clone of the real thing, and all of the sudden you too can fetch 6 figure prices.

What this is doing is taking a hobby that was once that of the blue color working man, or the white color guy making a decent living supporting his family, into an area that only the big shots can take part in. It has driven prices of "beaters" to that of what a nice drivers used to go for less than 10 years ago. No longer can most kids in high school afford to buy a driver in even rough shape and restore it as he goes. Combine that with movies like Gone in 60 Seconds and Dukes of Hazzard and they have added fuel to the fire. Try finding a fastback Mustang or 68-70 Charger these days, their prices are through the roof.

Just a few years ago I dreamt about selling my Challenger to get a boat, or possibly a muscle car of different flavor that I'd rather have. I like the styling of my Challenger, but I'd rather have a Cuda, or perhaps a bigger bodied Mopar like a Charger, Roadrunner, or Superbee. Yet now I look at it from a perspective that, if I sell it, I'll never justify buying another. I think I've passed the time period in which I would ever justify owning a true SS or R/T car, as I would never pay the money to buy one. As it is, I own a part of history, a special car, one that not everyone can afford any longer.

If I do keep it, my plan will go forth just as planned. I feel that the muscle car market is heading down the same path of streetrods back in the 50's. Stock, all original is going away, being replaced with modified cars for more power, better handling, and dependability. While I won't cut up my Challenger R/T to install a full 12 point roll cage like my Camaro (not yet anyways), I will modify it in several other areas.

I've already rebuilt the rear half of the car. It's now slammed to the ground sporting an all new suspension built to make the car handle. Bigger rims/low profile tires will be in the works. Nothing insane like the current trend, but perhaps 18's out back and 17's up front. The front will remain stock in design, but components replaced with better equipment, such as tubular control arms to compliment the Koni's already at all four corners. The torsion bars will also be directed at lowering the car and assisting in better handling.

I haven't decided upon the powertrain yet, I may stick with the 383, perhaps fuel inject it, or maybe even go with the new 5.7 hemi for a complete update. The trans will likely get updated from the current 4 speed to a T56, if for nothing else, for the O.D. I've already gutted all the stock electrical and updated to a push-in fuse block. Ignition is also electronic, replacing the points.

The Mopar faithful at shows are...well, the most faithful. They turned their head when I informed them once that I owned a 69 Carmaro, as they have the "Mopar or Nocar" mentality that seperates them from other classics. I really pissed them off when I told them I painted my Camaro Plymouth Prowler Purple! LOL

I'm wondering where the hobby will go from here. Is this simply a passing fad? When these collectors begin to die off, will the cars be placed back into a market in which the high rollers are no longer a part of? I wonder, are there enough old school gearheads rising up through the ranks to replace those who jump ship, or will the fact that they were priced out turn these people to other means such as more modern cars?

Perhaps the one benefit of the current trend in values is that parts that were no longer feasible to manufacture are now available. This makes restoration for those of us with cars much more easy. Instead of buying junk parts to restore we can open a catalog and order up most anything we need, for that, I have no complaints.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Big 3 should create a joint effort commercial

Now that the North American International Auto Show is in my review view mirror, a thought had crossed my mind. With all of the exciting product that the Big 3 have on the way, some of which is already out, how about something that to the best of my knowledge had never been done, all three join together for a commercial. No longer are the Big 3 are fighting one another for market share, they are fighting foreign competition. Now I don't propose that they join together for all of their commercials, but one came to mind, one that would be perhaps a once in a lifetime effort.

The Ford Mustang has been a smash hit. More than any other reason, because it has grasped what Americans have longed for over almost 40 years. It is what made American cars stand out in the crowd, the styling, the power, the performance. With few exceptions, most things I listed had been lost over the years. Styling turned bland, performance was an afterthought once pratically everything went front wheel drive, and the excitement was gone.

With the Challenger and Camaro coming to market over the next few years, I propose a teaming up to film a commercial using these three cars. All three are part of a market, which much like the truck industry, foreign competition really hasn't been able to infiltrate. All three cars should be filmed being pushed to the limit. Show all three racing around a road course, show them racing three wide at a make shift drag strip at a closed down airport, show them doing smokey burnouts, and end it with front grill shot of all three with a statement "Sorry it took so long, American Muscle is back!"

Now I realize that some would gripe about promoting non-fuel efficient cars, but the fact is, they all get relatively decent mileage for what they are. The Camaro is predicted to knock down over 30 mpg when it debuts, so I'd say that qualifies as fairly efficient.

I realize that a commercial of this nature will likely never come about, though I feel that such an effort would send a ripple through the industry, with many people taking notice of just how significant these cars are. How they will put a face back on the companies that build them.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

2007 North American International Auto Show

I have to say that for the Big 3, this is quite possibly the best NAIAS I have ever been to. The cars and concepts were all very well done and top notch. Signs that all three are heading in the right direction were quite apparent. I'm going to post a lot of pictures along with a brief opinion, in most cases. You will notice that the vast majority of the cars will be from the Big 3, as I'm not much of an import fan, though I will throw in a few here and there. Trucks and SUV's will also be lacking, as neither one are of much interest to me either. So let me get started.

Camaro Convertible

One of the biggest attractions of the show, and one of my personal favorites, was the Camaro convertible concept which will go on sale in 2009. Currently packing a 400 hp LS2, independent rear suspension, and estimated to knock down over 30 mpg highway, it's the perfect muscle car. It will compete in the trifecta of power against the Mustang and Challenger. I still plan on making this my next car when it comes out, though I'm undecided on whether or not it will be a convertible.
Ford Airstream

Here we have the Ford Airstream, based upon the silver travel trailers from back in the day. While not nearly as bad as I thought it was gonna be, I was still left scratching my head wondering why you would build a concept based upon a trailer. Though with the popularity of the Honda Element and that Scion cube lookin' thing (which also baffles me), perhaps this could be a hit as well if they were to build it.

Ford MKR

Ford honestly had some really kickass vehicles on display, this one being one of the two in which really stuck out, the Lincoln MKR. This is quite possibly one of the best looking Lincolns I have ever seen. I would change the tail end a bit, as it suffers from that fatass look that the C5 Vette initially suffered from, but aside from that, build it as is. Even the interior looked very rich.

Ford Interceptor

Here is the other Ford concept that really caught my eye, the Interceptor. Where the Lincoln MKR has a sleek style that screams luxury, the Interceptor has the high beltline, bulging fenders, and hump hood that screams American muscle. It has a boldness that makes it look as if it's the bully of the block. Very impressed with this concept, as well as another great looking interior.

Dodge Avenger

This is the Dodge Avenger. Nothing really over the top, yet style an aggressive looking midsize car. The body lines on the blonde aren't too shabby either.

Chrysler Nassau

I really liked this Chrysler Nassau, which is likely to be the direction the next generation 300 will follow. Good looking car. It was hard to tell for sure, but the interior looks rather cheap, espcially for a concept when vehicles often go over the top with details that will never see production.

Plum Crazy

B5 Blue

A couple of Chargers in nostalgic tones. I really dig these cars, especially the 425 hp SRT versions.


The new Sebring by Chrysler is a kickass little ride. I like it better than the Avenger personally. This one has a performance kit I believe. This styling is tons better than the Sebring it replaced and will surely be a good seller.

Mad Max style Viper in flat black

Viper red

600 hp and styling that never gets old, the Viper marches on to yet another rendition.

Corvette Z06

Not to be left out of the party, this Z06 is said to be on track for a power boost to the tune of 650 supercharged ponies. Take that Viper!

Mustang Cobra GT500

Here we have the Ford Mustang Cobra GT500. With retro styling, 500 hp, what more can I say about it? It is worthy to play with the big dogs for sure.

Italian Mustang

Here is an effort to create an Italian Mustang. Ford teamed up with an Italian designer and this is what they came up with. While I like many areas of this vehicle, there were certain things that struck me as cheap. Most notably were the louvar plexiglass 1/4 windows that looked super cheap. I really like the gull wing doors and wonder how long before these will be offered from factory on more cars aside from Italian exotics. This rendition also has one sweet ass on it, though the triangle exhaust and molding look like some cheap aftermarket bolt-on.


Ok, forget everything I've said about hybrids and electric cars, this baby is the tits! I'd drive this thing in a heartbeat, especially if it has at least respectable acceleration.

New Malibu

The new Malibu is a vast improvement over the current design. While not over the top, it has some decent styling to it. More importantly is the interior is pretty sweet. Is it just me or does the rear look a lot like a Volvo?

Now for a few I didn't especially like.

Ford Focus concept

After seeing the very exciting other products Ford had on display, I was very disappointed to see the Focus, as was everybody else judging by how few people surrounded the display during presentations. This is typical Ford bland styling in which I thought they were getting away from. Look at that interior! It looks like something out of the 80's. Apparently they are hoping that their teaming up with Microsoft to offer a bunch of hi-tech goodies will be enough to sway people to buy it. As it is, it looks dated by today's standards and isn't due out for another year or so.


Here we have the Smart car, coming to America soon. Seriously, it won't seem so Smart when one of these things get plastered by an H2 or Escalade and they are scraping the remnants of the passengers off the interior door panels. I can honestly say that I'd feel safer riding a motorcycle, without a helmet, with bald tires, during freezing rain. If you stop by this display check out how far the vehicle lowers when two people get in at once, you're talking a good 1.5-2 inch drop! I still can't get over the thought of one of these babies getting t-boned by just about any other vehicle on the road. It'll be like a pinball game the way it'll bounce off it's surroundings.


Here we have a Toyota concept, apparently they have decided that they no longer want their products to look bland. Unfortunately, they still can't seem to grasp the concept of style. This piece of shit looks like some 16 year olds car who bought every ground effects kit the J.C. Whitney catalog had to offer. Toss in some aftermarket tail lights that were intended for another vehicle, though made to somewhat fit, and you have this pile. Only thing missing was the led lights on the windshield squirters and a couple of nos bottles. I've seen some real hack job kit cars that look better than this.

Their Lexus concept looked a bit better. Yet still, what is up with those gaudy ass J.C. Whitney ground effects again? You don't even see most kids ruining their cars to this extent any more. The whole "My ground effects are bigger than yours" fad seems to have finally died off.

Ok, now that I've thoroughly ripped on a few cars due to their god aweful ground effects, I must admit, I kinda like this one by Chevy. I think maybe perhaps it's because it reminds me of penny poppers. Remember those? They were wind up cars from my childhood in which you'd stick a penny in the back of them and they'd ride a wheelie. Everything about the styling of this car is what I'm typically anti towards, yet this little shittin' thing looks fun! It kind of reminds me of a Ford Focus that has been pumped with some serious horse steriods, and a face put on it that says "Get outta my way or I'll eat you." It's like a mini tank or something. I can't explain it, but I like it.

Saab concept

Ok, it's pouring down rain, you run to the car, to get in you have to open the roof. In turn, your seats and interior get soaked....idiots. Who comes up with this stuff?

Back to some more positive designs.


As far as I'm concerned, Cadillac makes the best of the best. In my opinion, there is no other car line in the world that has as strong of a line up as them. The styling has been restored to the luxury level that it once represented, though got lost for a few decades. The power of the new CTS has been bumped to 300 hp from a 3.6 liter direct injection V6. You either love or hate the styling, there is not in between, and I find it to be very attractive and cutting edge. I talked to one of the builders from the Lansing plant on hand at the show for questions. He and his fellow coworkers are very excited about this and the other Cadillac products they build. He agreed with me, GM has got most of their past troubles figured out and are heading in the right direction. He anticipates demand for the new CTS to require much OT to mean public demand.

Couple of cool GM SUV concepts.

HHR Panel

Panel version of the HHR with two tone paint, very cool!

The following car requires that you listen to the song below, or you won't understand the point I'm trying to make.

Holden Efijy

I saved the best for last. If there was ever a niche vehicle in which GM should build, this is it. This concept was built by GM's Australian division, Holden. After building the SSR, there is no reason why a plan to build this one shouldn't be followed through. There were multiple reasons the SSR failed, most all the same reason the Ford Thunderbird failed. Both were doomed from the get go.

The SSR was a 5,300 lb pig built on an SUV chassis, the Thunderbird a 4,000 pound pig that was suppose to be a 2 seat sports car, 4,000 does not = 2 seat sports car. Both vehicles were launched with engines that when combined with their massive weights, were slow. The weight came into factor in regards to handling as well, neither was exactly nimble. Both were trying to be something they were not, 2 seat, sporty, fast, and fun cars. They became vehicles that truly appealed to nobody.

This Efijy on the other hand, it is what it is, and people would buy it for that fact. This car is a throw back to the old Buicks and Mercurys of the late 40's and early 50's. People would buy this car simply because it succeeds at what it is trying to be, a large, luxuriouss, low rider to go out cruising in. Put a V8 with decent power in it, but don't worry about it's acceleration, as that isn't the point here. Every brand needs it's halo vehicle, a niche, something to draw people into the dealerships. I think that this car would be a perfect fit for the Buick lineup.

We've had a Plymouth Prowler, we still have the Viper, had the SSR, the GTO, and the Sky and Solstice are both set to be profitable at just 20,000 units a year each, so why not make this work? The people surrounding this display ranged from young black teenagers to old white folks in their 70's, both saying the same thing "Damn, that car is awesome." It's a car that appeals to such a wide range, one that causes a lot of buzz. I realize that the reality is this car will likely never see the light of day, which is truly a shame, as it is a part of American car culture that deserves it's time in the light one more time.

That's it, that's a wrap, my 2 cents on the 2007 North American International Auto Show. If I notice anything else during my next visit or two, as I'm sure I will, I'll be sure to relay it here.

For more pictures from the show, click here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Corvette to take on new Viper in horsepower battle for supremacy!

Let the games begin! As the horsepower battles rage on, the latest to enter the fray is Mr Lutz announcing that GM intends to have the Corvette atop the hill once again. With Dodge announcing the Viper being bumped up to 600 hp, a more powerful Vette is needed. It has been speculated for the past few years that a supercharged version of the Z06 is in existance that produces around 650 hp. Throw in the fact that the Z06 is lighter than the Viper and it shouldn't even be a contest. The fact that there will be two cars, from factory, with over 600 hp is like some fantasy that you keep pinching yourself to wake up from. What a shame that the Ford GT is bowing out just when the fun was getting started. Will they bring the Shelby concept from a few years ago to the table to join the fun? We can only hope.

"As you all know, it is not our policy to discuss future product programs. However ... ," he said to laughter from the audience, "it is very important for Corvette to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States."

Lutz acknowledged that "a recent competitor" had surpassed the top-level Corvette's horsepower.

"But the Corvette vehicle line executive will not take that lying down," Lutz said.

GM accepts Dodge Viper Challenge

I just hope that this trend continues. The trend where the big three offer a world class sports car with insane power, on that most of us will never be able to afford. In addition, a more affordable muscle car like the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger. After that, build whatever hybrid, ugly crap you want to satisfy the masses, as it will be of little concern to me.

For much of my life I have wondered what it would have been like to grow up during the 60's when rear wheel drive V8 powered cars ruled the streets. Today, while many of the variants are now in 4 doors, rear wheel is back, as are high horsepower, much more efficient V8's. The three pony cars that changed the world back in the 60's are all back, looking much like their ancestors, but with new skin. Throw in the fact that the aftermarket for the vintage 60's cars is grown to the point that you can now buy a new 1969 Camaro body, perhaps things aren't so bad. In fact, maybe I have it better than I would have in the 1960's. Hell, with E85, we even have fuel that can support the high compressions of engines in the 60's without the lead or $5-$6 a gallon prices of today's race fuels. Yeah, things are a bit alright if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

E85 = Rocket fuel for your hot rod!

A few months ago Car Craft magazine did an article on E85, in which I skimmed over, as I didn't think much of it at the time. Then in a more recent issue, they again used E85 in a blown small block. Again, I at first skimmed over it, until I ran across something that I had not realized, the octane of this new fuel was between 100-105 octane. More often than not the rating is closer to the 105 rating. I had recently pondered catering my big block chevy build up to utilize E85, though it was more along the lines to simply do something different, and to use a fuel that perhaps the cost would remain more stable than gasoline. When you have ride that gets under 10 mpg on the highway, $3+ a gallon for premium gets a bit costly for extended trips. Let's face it though, I'm not building an animal to be fuel efficient, but the advantages of running E85 ran much deeper.

After that article I went online to find additional information, as everything I had read so far seemed as if E85 could change the face of street machines forever. I knew the basics, that you'll need to use around 25-30% more fuel due to the lower btu's from E85, but I was more concerned about the octane advantage to be honest. If in fact the fuel was rated at 105 octane, and it's availability continues to grow as it appears it is, then this would allow much higher compression ratios. I have found anywhere from 13-15-1 cr can be had. In addition, it allows you to run much greater timing advance as well.

You pick up around 10-12 hp per 1 point gain in compression. So if I bumped my compression up from it's current 11-1 cr up to say 14-1, I'd see a gain of a good 30 hp, all while making the engine more efficient by making the combustion hotter thanks to the increased pressure. In addition, E85 being 85% alcohol, will also help to decrease the temperature of your intake charge. While I have yet to discover how much it would lower temperatures, every little bit helps, as it makes the air more dense.

The steps taken to convert to E85 are pretty straight forward on a carburated car. You need to make sure your rubber components are compatible, which most are considering ethonol is much less corrosive than methonol. Then you need to make sure you get your additional 30% of fuel needed, which involves fairly straight forward modifications to your carb. I may contact Demon carburation soon to find out whether or not they make metering blocks already modified for E85 so it would save me from modifying the once set up for gas. I assume they will be readily available, as most all carb companies have made conversions for methonol for many years.

While the current price of E85 is government subsidized by around 50 cents per gallon, at it's $1.85 a gallon current price, you can't beat the bang for the buck, as race fuel on par with it will run you $5-$6 a gallon. I'll continue to update my findings in the near future, as well as my decision to whether E85 is the path I will take. I need to remember to find out how it works with nitrous, as I plan on injecting a 250 hp shot into the mix.

Monday, January 08, 2007

GM, Ford, and Chrysler seem to be back on track

In recent times things didn't look too good for the Big 3 (or 2.5 if you prefer). In fact, the demise for a few of them had become a very realistic scenario. I think the horizon looks very promising, especially after the early news coming out of the press pre-2007 North American International Auto Show.

All three seem to have gone back to what had made them so popular back in the day, their styling. For as hard as the import market tries, they have never came close to touching the best styling the Big 3 have designed over the years. Now that isn't to say that the Big 3 haven't lost their way, as I feel their best designs occured from the 1930's up until around 1972. After that, there were a few designs that I liked, but nothing like it used to be, years which pre-dated my life. The later half of the 1970's were quite possibly some of the worst years ever in my mind. Hardly a car I'd touch from that era, aside from Camaros and Firebirds. The Mustang II, well, how could they honestly even call that pile of ugliness a Mustang? The 1980's saw a few more models trickle out here and there, but for the most part the industry continued down it's path of blandness.

Now, fastward to today. Everything I have seen thus far that the media has reported on from the show has looked very good for the Big 3. GM appears to be leading the pack with the widest array of concepts and new styles. Ford should really shake things up with it's announced joint venture with Microsoft. There is no denying that we live in a multimedia age. If somebody can implement music on demand, text messaging, voice activiation, and so many other cutting edge technologies into a car, people will take a second look at the cars you have to offer.

While I haven't seen much from Chrysler thus far, their Jeep Trailhawk looks pretty sweet. It takes the Jeep styling to a new level. While retaining it's heritage look, the roof appears lower, the front more swept back, a raked windshield, bigger fender flares, more body lines, and all around tougher look.

You can bet I'll be making at least 2 trips to the auto show this year, armed with my camera both times. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and report back on my opinions on what I saw. Don't expect much in regards to imports, as they've never done much for me, but if something catches my eye I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Was being green just a fad?

It seems that hybrid sales are seriously falling off. I figure that the reasons are two fold. First, the most obvious, now that gas prices have dropped back down to a more reasonable price range, people aren't as paranoid about owning a car simply for it's gas mileage. Instead, they are going to buy a car they want. Secondly, like everything new, there is a "gotta have it" phase in which the masses that have demanded a product for years rush out to buy it. After that initial wave, things resort back to a more realistic demand level.

This past September-October, SUV sales grew 12.4%, whilte hybrid sales dropped off 16.2%. People are resorting back to what they really want. I think the horizon will be even less promising for current hybrid owners when it comes time to trade-in or sell their car. You see, batteries have life expectancies, buyers will take this into account, and dealerships accepting trade-ins will surely take this into account. Honestly, even if the current battery prices which range in the $3,000-$5,000 range get down to an anticipated $1,500 or so in the next 7 years, who wants to buy a car that needs $1,500 worth of work as soon as you buy it? Who wants to put $1,500 into a car in order to sell it? Ok, let's say that you simply want to get rid of the car and take it to a junk yard. The junk yard will have to pay to dispose of these very large batteries, that cost will be passed along to the owner junking the car. That $75 tow to the junk yard likely just went up exponentially when you add in "cost to dispose of batteries."

I still view hybrids as a temporary fix, a stepping stone to the next big technology. Perhaps it will be hydrogen fuel cell technology. Though in all honesty, I think the "next big thing" won't be that big in all actuality. I think we will keep on keepin' on with fossil fuels and growth within the E85 sector created from corn. Especially when you consider that the United States is ramping up to tap into an estimated 2 tillion barrels of oil under Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. According to the energy department, this is enough oil to meet our demands by up to 500 years.

World's largest oil reserve

Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico also had a 25 year ban recently lifted, to allow drilling. This area is estimated to hold 1.26 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Congress approves offshore drilling

The fact is, I've been hearing about how we are going to run out of oil for the better part of my 30 year life. I've seen the gas prices climb to insane levels, heard reports that it'll never drop below $3 a gallon, only to see it closer to $2, even dropping below $2 a gallon on occasion. It's a chess match in which we have played for many years with the middle east. As other options open up, whether it be in the form of oil, or perhaps with E85, as our dependeny upon importing oil drops, so should the price fluctuation. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic, but I just don't buy into the doomsday talk in regards to oil.

GM releases 2010 Chevy Camaro convertible photos

Hot off the presses, GM released photos of the the 2010 Chevy Camaro convertible. I've never been much of a fan of a lot of convertibles that have been built, as they often don't look finished off right to me where the top goes down. This one however, I have to say kicks some major ass! I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures when I attend the North American International Autoshow in the new few weeks.

GM releases Chevy Camaro photos

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Prostreet 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura

1978 Fairmont Futura undergoing transformation

Last week I stopped up to a friend's place to check in on how his prostreet 1979 Ford Fairmont Futura was coming along. He picked up the car a few year's ago out of Florida for a rock bottom price of $1,100. His first car was a Fairmont packing a 302 with a 5 speed behind it. He always had a soft spot for them, so when it came time to build a car, he turned back to his roots.

His plans slowly progressed from simply builing a healthy 302 with another 5 speed, to a turbo 302, then back and forth between a big block or a 302. Then, while surfing ebay one night, he ran across an 8-71 blower for sale locally. Though it had been bought many years ago, it had never been installed and ran on an engine. He decided on a set amount of cash he was willing to part with and tried his luck as the bidding wound to a close. In the end, found himself picking up an 8-71 blower, and from there on, his plans seriously changed.

Mocked up engine with blower on top

Almost every part of his project has since been adapted to cater to the engine he is building. The few engine blocks he had accumulated were no longer sufficient, he went with the strongest production block built by Ford, a 4 bolt Super Cobra Jet block. He no longer felt comfortable with a cast 460 crank, so was willing to give up cubic inches in order to go with a 429 forged, steel crank he obtained at a swap meet. The crankshaft was out of 429 propane equipped dump trunks, it was machined so that it would work in a passenger car by Moldex. The compression will be around 7.5-1 with the custom Diamond pistons that set him back a cool $1,000. The bumpstick is a mechanical flat tappet with around .520 lift, while the connecting rods are by Scat and said to be good for 1,400 hp, thought he paid extra for rod bolt upgrades. This engine will likely make as much as 1,000 hp, depending upon the boost he runs. For induction he has a set of dual 725 cfm Demon blower carbs. The cylinder heads are currently aluminum Ford Cobra Jet heads, though he is already pondering upgrading them to a set up Trickflow heads. Those are most of the basics for the engine itself.

Backing the engine is a full competition rollerized TCI C6 he picked up from a guy that had ran sparingly behind a high horsepower Mustang. It has a reverse valvebody and will be shifted by a B&M quarter stick. I think he has yet to order a torque convertor, nor does he have a driveshaft made yet, as the powertrain hasn't been mocked up within the vehicle yet. A beefed up custom Currie 9 inch rear and custom axles for high hp applications, with a Detroit Locker keeping the tires spinning together. The meats are 325-50-R15, which entailed cutting out the wheel wells to make room. The rear suspension is all aftermarket as well, with polyurethane bushings. The car will also have an 8 point roll cage, possibly a 10 point before it's all said and done. I'll try to follow his project more closely in the near future and offer updates as they take place.