With a deceivingly subtle style penned by Stanford in hand, Tim touched base with Eric Thorsen to make the interior a reality. “I liked him from the start when he asked me to send him a copy of the rendering, so he could put it up and just think about it for a while, Tim says. “That’s the guy you want to do your interior!” One man slaved over the interior, but getting the long curves of the Torino’s body back in shape took a minor army in the shape of three shops: GMT Metalworks for the sheetmetal, Dan Fink Metalworks for the mods to make the Boss 429 fit between the fenders, and Lanzini Bodyworks for final paint.

As for the genesis for the whole project—the Boss engine—when Tim first started the build it was before the recent resurgence of boutique power parts, and aftermarket heads weren’t yet available. Pricey vintage ones were few and far between and became a source of expense and delays due to constant cracking during machining. Thankfully, ShotGun Hemi Parts released their revamped new Boss heads, and from there the engine build snowballed as quickly as the rest of the car. Boss engine guru Rick Stanton at Performance Engine Building derailed what he called Tim’s “mild” plans for a 450-550hp 429, or even 494ci Boss. To make good use of heads that flow 475 cfm at .650, Stanton concocted a recipe for 598 inches and a streetable 870 hp. Yes, we said streetable; Stanton intended for it to be driven regularly.

Clearly, things got a little out of hand and the build schedule grew in response as well, but in the end what emerged is perhaps the finest Torino ever built, though much of the details are hidden to the casual observer. Then again, that’s fine with Tim; it’s subtle enough for the Ford purists to appreciate, custom enough for hot rodders to envy, and powerful enough for any gearhead to drool over.

His only complaint? The Torino drives smooth and tight like the Grand Touring muscle car it is, but 870 hp with a torque curve like a tabletop takes some getting used to; it tends to tear the tires loose at pretty much any speed and in any gear. “Well, it is Ferrari red,” Tim says. “Maybe I should take it to Ferrari of Washington, pull up right in front of the showroom next to a new 458 Italia, and ask if someone will show me how to drive it!” Sounds like fun to us, though we’ll bet the Ferrari cognoscenti will be far more intimidated by the bark from the twin tips than Tim ever was.

By The Numbers

1970 Boss Torino GT
Tim Gilbert, 49, • Sterling, VA


Type: 598ci Boss 429
Block: Ford SVO
Rotating assembly: Eagle 4340 forged crank and H-beam rods, J&E 11.95:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: ShotGun Hemi Parts
Camshaft: Isky solid roller; .672 lift, 262/268 duration at .050, 112 LSA
Valvetrain: Crane 1.75 ratio roller rockers
Induction: Holley 1250 Dominator on aluminum Boss 429 NASCAR Spider intake
Oiling: Milodon eight-quart pan with Melling HV pump
Exhaust: custom headers by Rod Sexton with 2-inch primaries, 3-inch pipes with MagnaFlow mufflers
Fuel system: Holley mechanical pump
Ignition: MSD 6AL and Blaster coil with stock distributor
Cooling: Boss 429 NASCAR water pump and radiator, dual electric fans
Output: 869.6 hp at 6,500 rpm, 748.8 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm
Built by: Rick Stanton at Performance Engine Building


Transmission: close-ratio Toploader four-speed with Lakewood scattershield, hydraulic McLeod dual-disc clutch, and billet steel flywheel
Rearend: J&S 9-inch with 31-spline Currie axles, Detroit Locker diff, and 3:50 gears


Front suspension: Total Control Products coilover with 1⅛-inch PST antiroll bar
Rear suspension: stock 429 leaves with KYB shocks, 1-inch PST antiroll bar, and Shelby traction bars
Brakes: Baer 6S six-piston calipers, 14-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotors

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: 19x8 and 20x10 Schott Venom
Tires: 255/35R19 and 285/30R20 Nitto Invo, redline added by Diamondback