For Mike Lookner of Westwood, Massachusetts, experiencing a life of muscle cars and European sports cars was as close as walking into his family's garage on any given day. Ideas for his latest build evolved around melding a mid-'60s Ford with the looks and feel of a European sports car. For help he looked to his brother Andrew, owner of Extreme Machine Unlimited in Walpole, to sort out the engineering, design, and build.
A '66 Ford Fairlane 500XL was found online, which looked decent, so a deal was made and the car was shipped to them from Alabama. What backed out of the trailer left a lot to be desired, however, as the car was a true 30-footer. Not letting this dampen their enthusiasm the car was brought to Extreme Machine to get torn down and have its mechanicals addressed first.
Seeing the chassis was rock solid, Andrew got started by first rebuilding the back of the car by filling a new 9-inch rearend from John's Industries with bulletproof parts, including an Eaton Detroit Truetrac with 3.89:1 gears and Strange Engineering axles. It was suspended in place by Calvert Racing's CalTracs traction bars combined with their matching split monoleaf springs and nine-way adjustable tube shocks for perfect stance and launches. Up front the stock IFS was refreshed and complemented by a VariShock coilover shock conversion with 16-position external adjustment. A visit to Tube Chassis Designz in Hanson tied the rest together with custom subframe connectors and a six-point rollcage. To slow the beast, fluid moves through an SSBC dual master via stainless lines to stock drum brakes out back accented by beefy SSBC 12-1/2-inch slotted rotors and four-piston calipers in front. Nailing the stance, a set of classic 15-inch custom black anodized Radir Tri-Ribb III wheels shod with Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro rubber speak loud and clear.
Mike had Andrew warm up a 514ci Ford Racing crate V-8 by first massaging it to 521 ci. Inside a Ford Racing forged steel crank was linked to matching rods and capped with Ford Racing 10.25:1 pistons. A Cam Research solid roller stick sets the beat while Ford Racing Cobra Jet aluminum heads make plenty of power. A Procomp Electronics dual-quad intake topped with a pair of Holley 650-cfm Ultra HP series carbs comes to life through an MSD ignition and dumps gases through custom 2-1/8-inch headers and 3-inch exhaust with SpinTech mufflers. To lay down the power a TCI Automotive Super Street Fighter C6 trans with a Breakaway 2,600-rpm converter sends the 650 hp rearward through a stock driveshaft.
The car was then brought to Peter Newell at Competition Specialties in Walpole to work his magic in bringing the body back to life. Newell massaged the vintage steel and blocked it to perfection while also adding a Crites Performance Parts fiberglass teardrop hood and Ed Quay aluminum rear spoiler. Once prepped Newell loaded his spray gun and laid down a coating of '11 Porsche gray black vibe. The interior is all business, starting with a pair of Procar seats by SCAT complemented by black loop carpet. Vitals are monitored through Auto Meter gauges while shifts move through a Kilduff Machine shifter and a Grant steering wheel sets the course. The car has already racked up thousands of miles while scorching the asphalt and that's just plain wicked to us.
COMP Performance GroupTech Tips
Be Sure The Distributor Gear Matches Your Cam
Correctly matching your distributor gear to the type of camshaft in your application is one of the most critical steps when building an engine. Both camshaft type and material affect the type of distributor gear you need. Selecting the improper gear can lead to premature gear wear, possible camshaft wear, voiding your camshaft warranty, and ultimately, engine failure. Cast iron and composite gears are suited for hydraulic and solid flat-tappet cams, while melonized steel and composite gears mesh with austempered ductile iron hydraulic and solid roller cams, or those camshafts that have been nitrided. Finally, either bronze or composite distributor gears are your options if your camshaft is a billet steel hydraulic or solid roller.
Clean Your Tank Before Upgrading To EFI
Cleaning your fuel tank before upgrading to an EFI system is crucial to avoiding clogged fuel lines. While carburetors run at 10 psi of pressure, EFI is set at 35-plus psi. The change in pressure, along with the addition of a return line, can stir up deposits in the bottom of the tank and get into the fuel system. This may rob performance or damage the system itself.
Finish The (Chrome) Job
Chrome intakes must be surface finished. Otherwise performance problems may occur.
Calvert Racing adds plenty of attitude to the mix when complemented by a Crites Performanc
Auto Meter gauges keep Mike in the know while a Kilduff shifter moves the power rearward.
Cranked down, the Fairlane is all business with an Ed Quay rear spoiler and Radir Tri-Ribb