Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Project Cars

It's been almost 20 years since I had a muscle car. Things have changed a little in the high performance parts industry since the last time I was on the market for a cam and lifters. Back then you where hot stuff if you had an aluminum intake and Holley 750 carb. Trick parts like aluminum heads, NOS systems, and superchargers were very rare. Very few people spent that kind of money on their car.

Today's high performance parts offerings are a hot rodder's dream come true. Technology has played a big part in the change. With modern manufacturing techniques virtually anything can be mass produced for hot rodding consumption. Aluminum heads, roller cams and hydraulic roller lifters are no longer exclusive to the exotic Italian cars. Stroker kits are now commonly available. Small block displacement has increase to then unheard of proportions. Where a 383 Chevy used to be the hot ticket, 434 small blocks and ever bigger are now roaming the highways. Camel humps, pink rods, and OEM steel cranks are a thing of the past.

Anyhow, I've lucked in to not one, but two project cars. When it rains, it pours as they say. The first is a 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 that was basically stripped down to a rolling chassis. The running gear was pulled for use in a cobra kit car. I picked it up for a song, but what's there is basically in good shape. The other is a bit rougher, but a much more interesting find. I happened upon a 65 Plymouth Satellite sitting literally in a barn. It has some rust problems, the interior is completely shot, and the engine is blown. But, it's an original 361 big block car so it has a ton of potential. It also happens to be the same year and model of the last car I built. This time it's going to get everything I dreamed about as a teenager!

I will be building both cars at the same time, but the 'Stang should come along a lot faster. The interior is in great shape and the paint is workable. It will be replacing my daily driver so it doesn't have to be a show stopper. Since I will need it to be reliable it will be getting a crate engine and the fuel injection will staying. To help with the gas mileage I'll be going with a 6-speed trans and I'll keep the rear end gears streetable. The Satellite on the other hand will be getting the full treatment. Since hemis are outrageously expensive, I'll go with the much more affordable big block with a Six-Pack. This will be no ordinary big block though, it will be a 520 inch stroker under the 3 holley carbs. A tricked out 727 Torqueflight will back the monster stroker and a NOS fogger
are now affordable and virtually a staple in every good build. system will complete the package. That should be enough horsepower to make the sweet baby Jesus cry.