Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 1, 2001

Step By Step

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P65990_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX Front_Driver_Side
Dan’s 8.30/173 performance at St. Louis NMRA served notice that he intends to be taken seriously.
P65991_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX Engine
This FRPP 351 block displaces 398 inches thanks to a Moldex crank, Bill Miller aluminum rods, and 9:1 Ross pistons. The 0.800-inch-lift/290-degree-duration Comp Cams camshaft works the air through an Edelbrock Super Victor intake and then a set of Edelbrock Victor heads (2.125-inch titanium intake valves and 1.625-inch exhaust valves, 360-cfm intake/260-cfm exhaust at 0.700-inch lift). Of course, the big noise came from the Vortech Z-Trim (yes, they are out of letters!) making 20 psi through a custom Spearco cowl-mounted intercooler. Wayne Young performed the magic with a Speed-Pro fuel-injection system controlling 160 lb/hr injectors and a Weldon pump and regulator. Gary Cook at Performance Fabrication in Roseville, Michigan, welded together the full-length stepped headers that lead to Flowmaster mufflers. The ignition system is all MSD.
P65992_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX TrunkP65993_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX Front_Passenger_Side
The foundation of this ’92 LX sedan was handled by noted chassis guru Keith Engling of Skinny Kid Race Cars. The multipoint, chrome-moly cage provides a solid framework for the suspension. In the back, there is a 9-inch Ford with 35-spline Strange axles and spool holding 4.10 gears. The ladder-bar suspension is all custom Skinny Kid stuff, featuring AFCO shocks and springs. The front suspension is Skinny Kid’s custom K-member, A-arms, and caster-plate setup with Koni springs and coilover struts. Weld Alumastar rims hold 15x4.5 M/T skinnies and 28x10.5 M/T slicks. The car works, with typical 60-foot times in the 1.32-second range. The HO Fibertrends hood and SKRC wing accentuate the lines of the muscular LX sedan.
P65994_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX Interior
As one would expect, the cockpit of this Outlaw is all business. From here, Dan controls the blown small-block Ford by shifting his two-speed Powerglide trans (1.72 First gear). Lots of converter testing with Marty Chance of Neal Chance Torque Converters has resulted in a 10-incher stalling at 6,100-6,200 rpm. Dan’s transmission assembly came courtesy of Joel’s on Joy (Detroit, Michigan).
P65995_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_LX Front_View
Dan’s right-hand man is Rick “Billy” Irvan (left). Together with Livernois Motorsports, these guys have built one of the meanest Mustangs in Outlaw. They finished eighth in points for 2000, and Dan is looking to hit every race next year in hopes of a national championship. With aspirations of 7.90s at more than 175 mph, this will be one of the teams to watch in 2001.

You run across quite a few people who claim to be from a “Ford family” when you are in this business. But Dan Millen may have the best family lineage we’ve found. The pedigree begins with Dan’s grandfather, who at one time was second only to Ford for the most land owned and people employed in the city of Dearborn, Michigan. Some of his business interests were aimed squarely at supporting vehicle production for the big Blue Oval. The family involvement continues with Norma Wallis, Dan’s mom, who is the chief executive officer of Livernois Vehicle Development [(313) 278-7877], a prototype and vehicle development shop located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

If you haven't put two and two together yet, let's just say being within a stone's throw of Ford Motor Company certainly hasn't hurt business over the years. Twenty-four-year-old Dan goes to college full-time while working part-time at Livernois Motorsports, the newly established high-performance end of the family business. The machines and tooling came about when the family bought out Stu Evan's Motorsports. And what better way to promote a developing speed shop sporting big-time connections than to go heads-up drag racing in a Super Street Outlaw car at NMRA?

Don't let Dan's youth fool you, however--this cat has been around the scene for a while. Remember that nasty, maroon, '85 True Street GT that used to terrorize the competition? That was Dan's first shot at the gold cup. With a similar 398-inch motor sporting Trick Flow heads and an NOS plate system, his street car went a best of 8.83 e.t. at more than 155 mph while winning the True Street championship in 1997. In 2000 he was back in the meanest class of them all packing a Vortech-stuffed small-block Ford that just oozes potential--try more than 173 mph in the quarter on only his first year out of the barn!

Dan isn't resting on his laurels, as the future for this little white notch includes the construction of a new motor as well as lots of testing before the race season begins on March 3-4 in Orlando, Florida. Livernois Motorsports has already assembled a short-stroke Windsor of 357 ci for next year. On top of his list is an exhaustive testing regiment with torque converters. "The converter was stuffed [in the car] in the last minute [to make the Bowling Green NMRA World Finals]," Dan says. "It was lying around the Skinny Kid shop--intended for a totally different application. The converter started out real tight, which provided consistent e.t., but after trying a different stator it ended up too loose and simply blew the tires off the car. I feel this car will have more potential when Marty [Chance] and myself do some real testing and get a converter built specifically for this application from the start." Of his strategy for the 2001 season Dan says, "In the months off, we will be testing and hope to eventually get the car in the 7.90 range--where we simply must be."

Of course, with more air in the motor courtesy of a new turbo, seven-second passes are where Dan--as well as most of the top NMRA SSO racers--wants to be next year. Whether they can make seven-second passes regularly will be an exciting development to watch in the upcoming season.

Horse Sense: Dan's 398-inch small-block is a bona fide 1,300-horse monster assembled at Livernois Motorsport under the guidance of '99 IHRA Pro Stock Champion Chris Holbrook, who is the acting in-house manager.