Jim Smart
November 1, 2002

September 11, 2001 shook our nation to its knees. It also prompted us to action. Nine-Eleven gave us renewed respect and appreciation for those who serve us 24/7 both here and abroad. Police and firefighters are the ever-constant force in our free society. They are here to protect and serve no matter how rough it gets out there in the streets. Nowhere was this proven more than in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on 9/11. The real heroes went to work, sacrificed their lives, and persevered to the point of bloody fingers and utter exhaustion until clean-up efforts were complete. We owe these people for their commitment and sacrifice.

Steve Welton, Jim Murphy, and Jay Blackburn all share a commitment to the top cops who serve all of us. These gentlemen are so committed to real heroism that they conceived this point-and-shoot ’64 Falcon hardtop drag car as a symbol of the greatness around us. Sponsored by the Whittier Police Department in Whittier, California, just outside of Los Angeles, this Top Cop Falcon is a rolling showcase designed to excite the drag racer and hero in all of us. Kids love it. Grown-ups go wild.

When Steve spins the starter and ignites the 110-octane racing fuel, this monster-mash 502ci fat-block stroker comes alive with the fury of a bronco getting a bee sting, smoking up the staging lanes, creating zero visibility, emerging from the dust and fuss. At the Irwindale dragstrip, the Falcon cleans up an eighth-mile track in short order. This is the 385-series Lincoln big-block first introduced in 1968 as a 429ci luxury-car powerplant. In stock form, this is a mild-mannered engine bent on smoothness and crisp low-end torque.

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When you take a 460ci big-block, top it with Cobra Jet heads, induct it with a Holley Dominator, cam it with a radical bumpstick, and infuse displacement into the equation, you come up with more than 700 hp at 6,500 rpm. Call it nothing like Dad's old Lincoln sedan. Pro Machine of Placentia, California, gets credit for the results shown here. They did all of the machine work, fitting the 502 with Ross pistons, a Ford crankshaft, a DOVE-A block, and an aggressive mechanical camshaft with roller tappets. It was a dyno pull to remember. Daniel Tao built the C6 slushbox while Currie Enterprises pruned up the 9-inch rearend with 4.56:1 gears on a spool. Underneath the powerful 502 is a Mustang II front end. Mustang II disc brakes provide lightweight, affordable stopping power. Art Morrison underpinnings keep the beastie focused.

Steve, Jim, and Jay have one objective with their Falcon drag car: To make us all aware of what law enforcement and rescue personnel do for us every day, and to have a terrific time getting the message across.