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'53 Lincoln Capri
Uncle's Gift
It all started when Larry Warpula's father purchased a '58 Ford Fairlane back in the early '60s. Growing up around his family's Ford cars in the '50s really made an impression with Larry, and proved to remain his favorite for decades to come. The '53 Lincoln Capri you see here was purchased by Larry's uncle from a little old lady in Minneapolis. He drove it until he finally agreed to sell it to Larry in 1981 for $50. Obviously uninterested in making a profit on the car, his uncle just wanted to make sure the '53 would go to someone near and dear.

Larry drove it for a couple years, and then it went into hibernation until 2009. By then it was badly rusted. The floors, fenders, and quarter-panels all needed work. His cousins made a habit of playing on the roof back when it was still his uncle's, so even that needed work. Reproduction panels aren't popped out every week like those of a first-gen Camaro, and originals are a rare find, so Larry had to fabricate all the missing pieces himself. Along with the body rebuilding, he completely rewired the car and installed custom carpet from a bulk roll.

The idea was to build a cruiser that looked good and was powerful enough to run 13-flat at the dragstrip. It took Larry a month of night-and-day thrashing to wake the '53 Capri up from its 20-year nap. Since its last day as a nonop, he hasn't had a single problem, and even broke out with an e.t. almost half a second faster than he was hoping for!

Larry Warpula, 56 • Hibbing, MN
Quarter-mile performance: 12.59 at 107.6 mph
Type: Holman Automotive 428 FE Ford
Oiling: Melling HV pump
Rotating assembly: KB hypereutectic pistons, stock 428 crank and rods
Cylinder heads: home-ported '58 Ford 352, stainless CJ valves
Camshaft: Clay Smith 292 solid flat tappet
Valvetrain: Harland Sharp roller-tip rockers
Induction: 850-cfm Holley double-pumper, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake
Ignition: Ford Duraspark distributor, Summit ignition box
Cooling: aluminum '56 Ford radiator, purchased off eBay
Fuel system: Carter electric pump and 3/8-inch fuel line
Exhaust: 17/8-inch primary headers, X-pipe, Summit glasspack mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
Transmission/shifter: homebuilt C6, deep B&M aluminum pan, 3,000-stall Edge converter, B&M Pro Stick shifter
Rear axle: '58 Ford 9-inch with 31-spline Moser axles, 3.50 gears, Power Trax locker
Front suspension: '77 T-bird spindles
Rear suspension: factory '53 leaf spring with homemade traction bars and Rancho shocks
Brakes: '77 T-bird discs front, Jeep discs rear
Body: rocker panels made by Mike's Heating and Sheet Metal, all other panels made and installed by owner
Paint: sprayed by Richard Stenglein
Wheels: 18-inch '07 Dodge Charger
Tires: 225/60R18 Mastercraft touring, 275/45R18 Bridgestone