Greg wants to drive the Fairlane, and that means being able to stop quickly when needed. Up front, they felt that a Baer GT+ system would get the job done, but a 13-inch rotor requires a 17-inch front wheel for clearance. In the rear, Baer's Sport+ kit was installed so that they could run smaller 15-inch wheels with a taller sidewall tire. At first, they were a bit concerned about running larger wheels in the front, but, as Brian tells us, "We took a risk on wheel sizing by going with a 17-inch in the front (to clear the brakes), and a 15-inch in the rear (to accept the drag radials). We tried the 17s on the rear, but these older cars look like roller skates with larger diameter wheels and short sidewalls. We think the 15s give the car a stronger, more aggressive look." A Ford Ranger gave up its power assist unit and master cylinder, making for a great pedal feel. Greg also wanted to build the Fairlane using as many Ford parts as possible. No "GM this" or "Mopar that." So Brian and Jeremy kept that goal in mind when coming up with the steering system. A Fox Mustang steering rack is fed by a '95 Mustang pump, which almost makes up for the guys who shove LS1s into Mustangs.
With the chassis fabbed, it was time to motivate the Fairlane. Brian floated the idea of a 351-based twin-turbo by Greg, who quickly gave him the green light. Brian says, "The criteria for the engine were to use strong components to handle twin turbos, and to make it streetable. The starting point was a Dart 351 Windsor block with a 4.125-inch bore and forged internals. We retained the stock stroke of 3.50 inch so piston height was not compromised, and cubes aren't an issue when you have two turbos doing the work." Thanks to the air-to-air intercooler, the Ford can run 15 pounds of boost on 91 octane, and if you can stay out of the throttle, it still manages decent mileage. Unfortunately, they had practice building the turbo-fed mill. In 2005, the shop was broken into and thieves pilfered the block, rotating assembly, heads, and turbos. Insurance paid for the parts, but it couldn't cover lost time. Still, the engine was finished and crafted into the car. At first glance, it's hard to spot the low-slung turbos and related hardware. Jeremy even managed to hide the typical "rat's nest" of tubing commonly associated with twin turbos, and the intercooler is nestled away out of sight. This is Arizona, and that means triple-digit temperatures. Air conditioning isn't an option-it's a requirement. And even though they said it was in there, we could barely find it, which is in keeping with their goal to reduce clutter wherever possible. The trans cooler and accompanying electric fan are tucked away inside the driver-side fender, and the A/C condenser is sequestered within the Mark VIII electric-fan-cooled aluminum enclosure.
Turning our attention inside, the interior is old-school cool, and classically stock. The bench seat was retained (as was the big Fairlane steering wheel), and covered in period- correct vinyl and cloth. When you sit down, you almost forget you're in a modified car-at least until you turn the key and fire it up. A boost controller hides in the ashtray, and an Alpine head unit and JL amp provide resonance to the speakers. This car has road trip written all over it, which is exactly what Greg has planned. We think the first trek should be with his brother, Curt-it seems only fitting, considering he set the build in motion 40 years ago.
"Just squeeze the throttle down and the frustrations fade. The converter flairs, the trans downshifts into Second, and your body compresses into original-style seats. The chassis works so well, you say, 'look ma, no hands!'" - Brian Duffee