In contrast to the inside, sorting out the body was cake. The only sheetmetal repair necessary was a small spot of rust on the roof. After shaving all the trim pieces and spraying the Torino in a new coat of metallic blue off of a BMW M3, the exterior was complete. Shifting his focus to the powertrain, Brian was well aware that this wouldn't be the Torino's last rebuild. As such, he kept things simple by retaining the stock crank and rods, dingle ball honing the cylinder bores, and popping in a new set of rings, bearings, and Speed-Pro 9.5:1 pistons. Up top, lightly ported Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, a Performer dual-plane intake manifold, and a Barry Grant 750-cfm carburetor feed the short-block. The 460 is managed by a COMP 233/241-at-.050 hydraulic roller cam. Spent fumes exit through Hooker 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers, and dual Flowmaster mufflers. Although the combination has yet to be dyno'd, Brian estimates output to be in the 550-600hp range. So far, the factory C6 transmission that came with the Torino has held up just fine, which receives torque loads from a TCI 2,500-stall converter. It's backed by a stock 9-inch rearend that's been beefed up with 31-spline Moser axles, a Detroit Truetrac differential, and 3.55:1 gears.

In order to keep costs down, the suspension and brakes are pretty much stock. Nevertheless, Brian is well aware of the benefits of increasing the Torino's shoe size, and he upgraded the rolling stock with a set of 18-inch Bonspeed Wild Thang wheels wrapped in gooey Nitto rubber. Like any hot rodder, stock will only suffice for so long, and Brian has a long list of future plans that he hopes will soon materialize. "If finances allow, I will be giving Roxanne a serious power boost. I'm throwing around the idea of building a 545ci stroker with Kaase P-51 heads, or putting a blower or nitrous on the current motor," he says. "Of course, I also want to put on a real exhaust system in place of the tiny 2.25-inch pipes that came with the car, and upgrade the brakes as well. So far, I have less than $20,000 in her, so while she's definitely a budget build, I'm still very proud of how she's turned out so far."

And there he goes again, talking about his Torino like it's a girl named Roxanne. So just where, oh where, does that name-and the tradition of naming his cars-come from? "I have a crazy cousin who had a GTO back in the day, and he was always talking to his car. He'd beg it not to overheat at stoplights, and encourage it to give it all she had when he put the hammer down," he says. "Everyone thought it was hilarious, and gave him a hard time about it. That kind of stuck with me, and now I name all of my cars. I really don't know where the name Roxanne came from, but my kids thought it was a good name for the Torino." For a car that's so big, so underappreciated, so non-mainstream, and so shunned by the average enthusiast, we'd have to agree. Like a wise British rock band once said, there's nothing wrong with lusting after forbidden fruit named Roxanne.

By The Numbers
Brian Zoeller, 39 • Indianapolis, IN

ENGINE
Type: Ford 460 big-block
Block: factory standard-bore Ford
Oiling: Melling pump, Moroso 7-quart pan
Rotating assembly: stock crank and rods; Speed-Pro 9.5:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: Edelbrock Performer aluminum castings with 2.19/1.76-inch stainless steel valves and 74cc chambers
Camshaft: custom COMP 233/241-at-.050 hydraulic roller; 550/.550-inch lift, 112-degree LSA
Valvetrain: COMP Cams lifters, pushrods, and rockers
Induction: Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, Barry Grant 750-cfm Demon carburetor
Ignition: stock
Fuel system: Holley Mechanical pump, stock lines
Exhaust: Hooker 1⅞-inch long-tube headers, dual 2.25-inch Flowmaster mufflers
Cooling: stock radiator and mechanical fan; Edelbrock water pump
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: Ford C6 auto, TCI 2,500-stall converter
Rear axle: factory 9-inch rearend, 31-spline Moser axles, 3.55:1 gears, Detroit Truetrac differential
CHASSIS
Front suspension: rebuilt stock
Rear suspension: rebuilt stock
Brakes: stock discs, front; stock drums, rear
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: Bonspeed Wild Thang 18x9.5, front; 18x11, rear
Tires: Nitto 275/35R18, front; 295/45R18, rear