Modified Mustangs & Fords
Jeff Goodwin's 1966 Ford Falcon - Falcon Crest
With A 475hp Mustang Motor And An Array Of Other Modern Mechanicals, This Revamped '66 Ford Falcon Has Few Things In Common With The Soap Opera Of The Same Name
Those of the right vintage will remember the '80s soap opera Falcon Crest. Set in a California Vineyard, it involved actors like Jane Wyman and Lorenzo Lamas strutting around with big hair and having dramatic discussions about harrowing internal family conflicts and various power struggles. In other words, it was quite a sleeper.
Jeff Goodwin's '66 Falcon on the other hand is quite the opposite. With its Sapphire Blue paintjob and Canary Yellow scallops, it's definitely no sleeper. And while there are power struggles involved here, they're mostly between the driveshaft and the Ford 9-inch rearend, or the '89 Mustang motor and the Tremec TKO five-speed transmission.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Jeff didn't just buy this Futura sport coupe and hand it to a shop to do all the work in a couple of months. He built it himself over an extended period of time. Jeff has been a true Blue Oval man since day one, and has been interested in this car in particular for more than a decade. At the time, he was working in a salvage yard.
"I had a friend in high school who bought the car and drove it for six months," said Jeff. "Then, he sold it to my brother in 1993 for $700. My brother drove it for about two years in its original shape." After a while, Jeff's brother sold it to their father, and it sat on the side of the house for about three years. But before it could languish into obscurity, Jeff came to the rescue.
"I bought it from my dad and started working on it a little bit at a time," recalled Jeff. "For the most part, I just drove it and saved up money to put into it, but working at a salvage yard definitely helped."
Like a conniving villain from an old Flash Gordon movie, Goodwin plotted the resurrection of the tiring Falcon, rubbing his hands together with glee as he envisioned the power and dominance that would rein over Denver's racetracks.
"One of the best times I had was when some friends and I took the car to Phoenix. We trailered it to a drag race and drove it all over town and raced it all weekend." But getting the car race-ready didn't happen overnight.
"When I got the car, it had about 75,000 original miles," Jeff noted. "It was in decent shape and there wasn't a lot of rust, except for a little in the panels."
The first thing he did when he got the car was to get a set of wheels and tires on it. The 16x7 American Racing Torq-Thrust II rims wrapped with Kelly Springfield Road Huggers up front and 16x8 rims with Goodyear Eagles out back get the torque to the tarmac when the time arrives. They also nestle right up into the fenders.
That perfect tuck under the fenders was achieved by modifying the stock front suspension, and by adding a set of spindles from a Granada. This somewhat obscure Ford also contributed a proportioning valve and a set of front disc brakes.
At this point, Jeff had become fairly skilled at paint and bodywork. In fact, he earns his keep today as an auto painter. He got rid of the small amount of rust and laid down some primer/sealer before getting to work on the meat and potatoes of this matter: the installation of the Mustang 306ci engine.
Not only is it a more modern unit, but the '89 Mustang engine has also been bored 0.030 over and built to take abuse with Speed Pro pistons, Trick Flow aluminum cylinder heads, and roller rockers from the same company.
An amalgam of other trick bits can be found throughout the motor such as Clevite bearings and Speed Pro rings, as well as a Ford E303 camshaft. The rearend has been fortified as well, with a Ford 9-inch housing, a pair of 31-spline axles, 3.89 gears, and a limited-slip differential. It has to be stout to handle the extra power provided by the Powerdyne blower. Oh, and if you're wondering what that gorgeous hunk of aluminum is on top of the motor, that would be the customized Saleen/Vortech intake manifold.
"The fuel injection conversion gave me the most difficulty," recalled Jeff. "Just wiring it up and getting everything to work right took a while. I adapted a Mustang wiring harness, but later used a Ford Racing harness made for street rods after I did the paint and body."
About this time, Jeff was employed as a painter at Alameda Auto. The company painted the car PPG Sapphire Blue, and then threw on the scallops and a fiberglass hood of questionable origin in for good measure. The rest of the body is stock, for the most part. And that's how we like it.
It was after the paint that Jeff tidied up the interior with a LeCarra steering wheel, a pair of gray bucket seats from an '03 Mustang, and tweed door panels that Jeff built himself. Of course, at this point he finally got the supercharger bolted on, and though he hasn't dynoed it, Jeff estimates about 475 hp at 6 psi of boost corrected for altitude. One can count on about a 10-percent loss in the mile-high height of the Colorado Rockies. But Jeff and his boys do make trips to sea level in case anyone gets any wise ideas.
The dreary soap Falcon Crest ran for nine laconic years in the '80s. Jeff Goodwin's Falcon Futura sports coupe has been running since the mid '60s, and will continue for another 20 or so with its new lease on life. And to think, the latter gives Jeff (and us) hours of automotive pleasure while the former gave us a bunch of crappy reruns.
Jeff Goodwin's '66 Ford Falcon
- 306ci, stock '89 block, 10:1 compression ratio
- 4.030-inch bore
- 3.00-inch stroke
- Speed Pro pistons
- Stock connecting rods
- Trick Flow aluminum cylinder heads, 2.02-inch intake valves, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
- Trick Flow roller rockers
- Ford Racing E303 hydraulic roller camshaft
- Saleen/Vortech EFI intake manifold
- Powerdyne BD-11A supercharger, 6 psi of boost
- BBK 70mm throttle body and EGR spacer
- MSD 6AL ignition box and Blaster coil
- '89 Mustang computer
- Tremec TKO five-speed manual
- McLeod clutch and flywheel
- Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
- Ford 9-Inch
- Traction-Lok differential
- 3.89 gears
- 31-spline axles
- Custom driveshaft
- Modified BBK 1 5/8-inch short-tube headers
- Custom 2 1/2-inch exhaust
- Flowmaster mufflers
- Front: Modified stock springs, Monroe shocks, Granada power assist steering
- Rear: Stock leaf springs, Monroe shocks
- Front: Granada disc
- Rear: Stock drum
- Front: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 16x7
- Rear: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 16x8
- Front: Kelly Springfield Road Huggers P225/50R16
- Rear: Goodyear Eagle P255/50R16
- AutoMeter gauges, Pioneer head unit, Kenwood 6-inch front speakers, Kenwood 6x9 rear speakers, LeCarra steering wheel, '03 Ford Mustang seats, Auto Custom Carpets gray carpet, trunk-mounted 15-gallon fuel cell and battery
- Fiberglass hood (make unknown), PPG Sapphire blue with Canary Yellow scallops, H4 headlights