For the next year or so in a nondescript shop in Sunland, California, Tony Loguzzo and his son, Tyler, did just that. An automotive specialist for the Hollywood film industry, Loguzzo has built more than his share of unique vehicles for a variety of movies. This job would be no different. The end product, however, would need to last much longer than the average movie production, and its final resting place would not be a Hollywood back lot, but Dax’s own garage.

Loguzzo’s first task was removing the original 462 MEL (Mercury Edsel Lincoln) engine and replacing it with a lovely Lima lump from the Blue Oval people. A now-discontinued Ford Racing 521ci big-block crate motor (M-6007-521FT) found its way beneath the Lincoln’s long hood. Filled with the best internal bits from Ford Racing, several potent mods were added to augment the 385’s performance up to the 700hp level. A Mass-Flo fuel management system and Mallory ignition work in conjunction with an Aeromotive A-1000 fuel pump to ensure the engine is well fed through the Mass-Flo’s 1,000-cfm throttle body and Edelbrock Victor intake. The engine is flanked by a pair of custom-fabricated 2-inch primary headers that exit into our favorite Flowmaster 44 mufflers. The engine subsequently spun the dyno drum to 650 rear-wheel horsepower after passing through a Ford C6 transmission with a Gear Vendors overdrive and a 9-inch rear with 3.77 gears.

The chassis received considerable attention, you know, in case Dax decides to launch the Lincoln across a canyon. Loguzzo crafted his own custom frame stiffeners (all Lincolns during the period were unibody construction), providing a marked improvement over the rather flexible stock frame. The front suspension has been significantly modified by Loguzzo and uses KYB adjustable shocks with a Speedway Engineering 1.25-inch sway bar. The rear suspension relies on a single custom leaf spring modified to work with QA1 adjustable coilovers and a custom-fabricated sway bar. Delrin bushings were used wherever possible, as this car would likely see daily use on top of extreme stunt driving.

Elsewhere on the chassis, the front spindles were modified to accept Wilwood brakes comprised of 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers. The rear brake system relies on dual sets of Wilwood four-piston calipers—one linked to the main service brake and the other to a rally style stunt pedal mounted to the left of the main brake pedal. It allows Dax far more chassis control than the average Lincoln for precision stunt driving, and the extra pedal can even be seen briefly in some of the movie scenes. Rolling stock consists of 20x10 American Eagle wheels shod with Hankook Ventus AS rubber (255/45R20 in front and 275/40R20 out back).

“I started working at Sports Fab at age 15,” Dax says, referring to the Detroit-area specialty shop famous for building some of GM’s most high-profile performance concepts. In the era that immediately predated the Internet and GM’s Performance Division, outfits like Sports Fab built the cars that many of us magazine guys longingly reported on, but could only lust after. Dax worked on, and drove many of them on a regular basis. “I’d ride my moped there … all winter long … this is in Michigan mind you. We got to work on the Snake Skinner ZR1 and the big-block Impala SS. And because all the magazines would send just one photographer, that meant I got to drive this stuff. You know, when you’re 15, an experience like this stays with you forever.”

Dax’s Motor City roots also have a very important Hollywood connection—car movies. And while all young gearheads develop an indelible bond to their favorite hot rod flicks, very few of us get to make our own—let alone one of the best ever produced. “My two favorite car movies are Smokey & The Bandit and Bullitt,” Dax says. “I like Bullitt because McQueen did most of his driving, and I love Smokey because it combines comedy and car chases. So I made a movie where I got to do all those things. So I did 100 percent of the driving in Hit & Run, which is cool, because we didn’t make the movie with the studio. We found money and I got to do all that driving. If Universal or Paramount did the movie, they never would’ve let me do it.”

Only time will tell if decades from now today’s teens will build Hit & Run clones, or if fans will line up to have a 60-year-old Dax Shepard sign the dashboard of their ’67 Lincoln. Right now, we’re just glad car and crew have survived the photo shoot without the cops showing up!

By The Numbers

1967 Lincoln Continental
Dax Shepard, 37, Sunland, CA

Engine
Type: Lima 385-series Ford big-block
Displacement: 521 ci
Block: factory, ’08 vintage
Bore & stroke: 4.390 x 3.62 inches
Compression ratio: 10:1
Rotating assembly: Scat nodular iron crankshaft, Eagle H-beam rods, Probe forged pistons
Cylinder heads: Super Cobra Jet, 72cc chambers
Camshaft: Ford Racing (M-6250-A514) solid-roller, .640-inch lift, 254/258 degrees duration at .050 lift
Valvetrain: solid roller lifters, overhead valves, 2.20-/1.76-inch valves
Intake manifold: Edelbrock Victor, single-plane
Induction: Mass-Flo fuel injection with 1,000-cfm throttle body
Exhaust: custom 2-inch primary long-tube headers with Flowmaster mufflers
Oiling: Melling high-volume oil pump
Ignition: Mallory, MSD wires
Cooling: stock SVO
Built by: Ford Racing/Loguzzo Motorsports

Driveline
Transmission: C6 with Gear Vendors overdrive, B&M torque converter
Rearend: Ford 9-inch with 3.77 gears

Chassis
Frame: stock unibody with custom fabricated subframe connectors
Front suspension: factory A-arms, KYB shocks, Speedway Engineering 1.25-inch sway bar
Rear suspension: custom leaf spring, QA1 adjustable coilovers, custom sway bar
Steering: stock Lincoln Continental
Front brakes: Wilwood 6-piston calipers with 14-inch Wilwood rotors
Rear brakes: dual Wilwood 4-piston calipers with 12-inch Wilwood rotors

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: American Eagle 20x10, front; 20x10, rear
Tires: Hankook Ventus AS; 255/45R20, front; 275/40R20, rear