Eric English
December 1, 2009
Photos By: Randy Lorentzen

That bit about Widmann driving the car extensively is no joke, the owner going so far as to have Strope install chrome-moly child-seat anchors so his 2-year-old daughter can safely enjoy the ride. Should the engine be a bit too raucous, an elaborate Planet Audio stereo can easily overcome the noise. Should the heat make things uncomfortable, cranking the Vintage Air A/C will bring interior temps back in line. In short, this is a completely functional street machine that pretty well does it all-and with an identity all its own. Which brings us back to our earlier query of why it hasn't been done before? In part, we attribute it to the lack of excitement absent of a hard-core factory performance model-the same malady that afflicts all other makes and models of the same era, not to mention minimal parts availability. You could also call it a "lack of vision," "stuck in a rut," or "inability to think outside the box." Whatever the case may be, we suspect this particular effort will be inspirational to those who've ever been tempted to deviate from the norm. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in making it happen!

The Details
Dan Widmann's '72 Gran Torino

Engine
Ford Racing 514 crate engine (M-6007-D514RT)
10.25:1 compression ratio
4.30-inch cast stroker crank
Eagle H-beam connecting rods
Forged pistons
FRPP Aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads, 2.20/1.76-inch
stainless valves
Blue Thunder dual quad intake
Dual Edelbrock four-barrel carbs
FRPP solid roller camshaft, 0.640-inch lift, 254/258 degrees duration at 0.050
MSD billet distributor
Custom serpentine accessory belt drive

Exhaust
Custom stainless headers by Dan Fink
Spin Tech mufflers
3-inch oval exhaust tubing

Transmission
Close-ratio Top Loader four-speed
Gear Vendors overdrive
Hydraulically operated Centerforce clutch

Rearend
9-inch by Randy's Ring and Pinion
Strange aluminum case
3.70 gears
Detroit Locker
31-spline Currie axles

Suspension
Front: Custom adjustable QA1 coilovers, modified control arms, Fatman Fabrications 3-inch drop spindles, ADDCO swaybar
Rear: Red Zone Race Fabrication-installed Art Morrison four-link, swaybar, and adjustable QA1 coilovers

Brakes
Front: Wilwood 14-inch slotted and drilled discs, six-piston calipers
Rear: Wilwood 14-inch slotted and drilled discs, four-piston calipers

Wheels
Front: Custom Bonspeed "Big Block," 18x8
Rear: Custom Bonspeed "Big Block," 20x12

Tires
Front: Pirelli P-Zero Rosso, P245/45ZR18
Rear: Pirelli P-Zero Rosso, P335/30ZR20

Interior
Eric Thorsen Custom Upholstery recovered Glide Engineering bucket seats in GT40 inspired gray leather, suede headliner, Just Dashes recovered panels, Redline Gauge Works reconfigured gauges, Planet Audio stereo and speakers, Vintage Air A/C

Exterior
Gold Coast Custom, Inc. modified front and rear bumpers (the front being tucked closer to the body, and bumper bolts eliminated; the rear was cut in the middle, narrowed, tucked in at each end, and contoured to reflect the coved accent line above the rear wheels), PPG Lexus Blue base/clear