People always seem to want just a little bit more. If two aspirin are good, three must work better; the guy with a five-speed tranny longs for a six-speed. It's just the way we're wired-more is better, and too much is rarely enough. In the case of Greg Vesely's '64 Fairlane, the choice to go with two turbos over one was a no-brainer. According to builder Brian Duffee, "A few years ago, guys would run two turbos to cut down on the lag time; however, turbo technology has helped make this less of an issue. I still feel two turbos are a bit more efficient, compared to one larger single unit, but a lot of it is about upping the car's coolness factor."
Nonetheless, before you can use any mill, you need a ride to stuff it into. Forty years ago, Greg's older brother, Curt, had a '64 Fairlane parked in the driveway. Greg spent his formative years drooling over this ride, and the desire to have one of his own was burned into his brain. Fast-forward four decades, and Greg finally found the cash and time to get one. A relatively rust free two-door post car was located in sunny California, purchased, and trailered back to sunnier Mesa, Arizona.
Like most of us, Greg works for a living, and didn't have the time or specialized skills to make his dream a reality. So Curt turned him on to Brian Duffee of Duffee Motorsports in Glendale, Arizona. Brian tells PHR, "When Greg contracted us to build a '64 Fairlane that he had recently purchased, I was excited for several reasons. First and foremost he wanted big power. OK, now he had my attention. Then he stated that the car must appear stock with vintage wheels, column shift, and a bench seat. My head was bursting with ideas as we discussed the project over lunch, and we came up with a plan." With the car in the shop and a plan of attack in hand, work started on the 43-year-old ride.
The Fairlane was stripped and acid dipped to reveal bare metal. The exterior of the car needed to keep its old-school vintage feel, but the chassis, suspension, and driveline were going to be updated to modern standards. The old rear frame was ditched, and new 2x3-inch framerails were grafted into place, from the front subframe to the rear bumper. This greatly strengthened the chassis and allowed for suitably large rollers to reside within the rear quarters. Since Greg didn't want to clutter the interior with a 'cage, a custom K-frame was incorporated to further stiffen the chassis. Jeremy Measeles of Duffee Motorsports came up with the one-off front suspension, and did most of the fabrication work on the Fairlane. "For the front suspension, we decided on '95 Mustang spindles, with D&D coilover springs and Tokico struts," Jeremy says. "Not having an upper control arm would allow more room for packaging the two turbos. We started with the wheel and tire in a desirable position, and fabricated the suspension from there. We also routed 1.75-inch tubing through the firewall and cowl areas to absorb forces from the front suspension." In the rear of the car, Jeremy fabricated a three-link suspension around a shortened Currie 9-inch rear. He also eliminated the need for a Panhard rod by making the upper link in a Y-design for lateral control. This meant there would be ample room for the planned 3-inch exhaust. Hey, turbos need plenty of room to exhale.
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
'64 Fairlane 500Greg Vesely, 54 * Mesa, AZColor: Wimbledon WhiteRear-wheel horsepower: 581 hp at 5,500 rpm and 543 ft-lb at 5,500 rpm (91 octane)Weight: 3,300 pounds
|Type: ||351 Windsor |
|Block: ||Dart Windsor iron block, 374 ci |
|Compression ratio: ||8.5:1 |
|Bore: ||4.125-inch |
|Stroke: ||3.50-inch |
|Oiling: ||Canton pan |
|Rotating assembly: ||Scat forged crank, |
| ||Scat H-beam rods, |
| ||Ross forged pistons |
|Cylinder heads: ||Air Flow Research |
| ||205 aluminum heads |
|Camshaft: ||Cam Motion hydraulic roller |
| ||(.557/.541-inch lift, |
| ||228/225-degrees duration |
| ||at .050-inch, 115 LSA) |
|Valvetrain: ||Pro Power pushrods and rockers |
|Induction: ||Trick Flow Specialties box |
|Fuel pump: ||Aeromotive fuel system |
|Power-adder: ||twin 59mm Garrett turbos |
| ||with Turbonetics wastegates |
| ||and air-to-air intercooler |
|Ignition: ||MSD digital 7 with HVCII coil |
|Exhaust: ||custom headers and exhaust |
|Built by: ||Duffee Motorsports, Glendale, AZ |
|Transmission: ||’96 Ford AOD-E |
| ||with Baumann controller |
|Converter: ||2,800-stall by Precision Industries |
|Shifter: ||stock column shifter with custom linkage |
|Rear axle: ||Currie 9-inch, Richmond 3.70 gears, |
| ||Daytona pinion support, |
| ||Traction-Lock posi |
|Steering: ||Mustang rack with power assist |
|Front suspension: ||custom, |
| ||using ’95 Mustang spindles |
| ||and Tokico coilover shocks |
|Rear suspension: ||custom three-link |
| ||with QA1 coilover shocks |
|Brakes: ||front Baer 13-inch rotors |
| ||with two-piston calipers; |
| ||rear Baer 12-inch disc |
|Front sway bar: ||splined tubular Nextel Cup-style |
| ||from Speedway Engineering |
|WHEELS & TIRES |
|Wheels: ||Halibrand Kidney Bean, |
| ||15x11, rear; 17x8, front |
|Tires: ||325/50R15 Mickey Thompson ET |
| ||Street Radials rear, |
| ||245/45R17 g-Force TAs, front |
"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."- Brian Duffee