Dale Amy
February 23, 2011
Photos By: Birdseye Photography

Underhood, don't be misled by that 289 Hi-Po decal. Ron's original humble plans of a 302 somehow morphed into a 408-inch Windsor, which has stones enough to propel the 2,300-pound package to quarter-mile times of just 12.70 seconds at 112 mph (not that the dragstrip was Bonnell's primary focus). Ron built it himself, even fabricating the big Windsor's long-tube headers, but just look at the fabulous engine bay that he surrounded it with-this guy has many skill sets.

The cockpit, too, demonstrates his multi-trade handiwork. It's race car functional without being Spartan, since the fearsome Falcon also sees some street duty. From the hand-fabbed door panels to the Autotecnica steering wheel, Ron's workmanship and design sense make us wish he lived next door so we could scam him into helping with our own projects. We particularly like his handcrafted switchbox (with guarded toggles) between the APC buckets, and the way he's plumbed the brake lines to the proportioning valve and the fire-suppression lines alongside the tranny tunnel. And check out the gas gauge on the rear bulkhead. All in all, a great interior with a degree of detailing that is even echoed inside the trunk.

How has his predatory plan of road-course supremacy worked out?

"In the end," says Ron, "I've been really pleased with how it has performed on the track. Other drivers have said it's not right seeing a '60 Falcon go by. That's not supposed to happen."

So there you have it. From being dragged out of the weeds to being able to blow the competition into them...

The Details
Ron Bonnell's '60 Falcon two-door sedan

Engine

  • 351W-based 408ci
  • Eagle steel crank
  • Eagle forged H-beam connecting rods
  • Eagle forged aluminum pistons
  • 10.4:1 compression ratio
  • Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam, 236/240-degree duration at 0.050-inch, 0.555/0.576-inch lift
  • AFR aluminum cylinder heads, 2.02/1.60-inch valves, port matched
  • Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake
  • Demon 750-cfm carburetor

Transmission

  • Four-speed Top Loader
  • Centerforce clutch and flywheel
  • Hurst shifter
  • Lakewood steel bellhousing

Rearend

  • Narrowed T-bird 9-inch, with 3.50 gears
  • Auburn differential
  • 31-spline axles

Exhaust

  • Owner-fabricated headers, 1 5/8-inch primaries 3-inch exhaust
  • Flowmaster mufflers

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Suspension

  • Front: C4 Corvette, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, Pro-shock coilovers
  • Rear: Mustang 4 1/2-leaf springs, Koni shocks, custom traction bars

Brakes

  • Front: C4 Corvette 12-inch discs drilled for Ford bolt pattern, two-piston calipers
  • Rear: C4 Corvette 12-inch discs drilled for Ford bolt pattern, single-piston calipers

Wheels

  • Front: Ford Racing Performance Parts Bullitt-style, 17x8
  • Rear: Ford Racing Performance Parts Bullitt-style, 17x8

Tires

  • Front: Nitto NT450, P255/50R17
  • Rear: Nitto NT450, P275/50R17

Interior

  • Custom interior by owner, APC race seats, Peak five-point belts, Stewart-Warner gauges, onboard fire suppresion, eight-point rollbar by Tim Baker

Exterior

  • Body restoration by owner, fiberglass hood and trunk lid, Atlantic Blue paint by Colors Precision Paint & Body

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