Modified Mustangs & Fords
The Three Fords - Men In Black… Fords
Three pavement pounders with nostalgic styling, and modern horsepower
'63 Ford 300 R-CodeDelane Foster owns this '63 Ford 300 and explained the story behind his find.
"I went to a car show at National Trails in Ohio, and I saw a Ford 300 Q-code 406 car. I tried to buy the car, but he wouldn't sell it. I said to my brother that if I ever came across a car like that again, I was going to buy it. We went to Winchester, Virginia, to a parts guy we know, and out of the blue, he tells us that he knows of a '63 Ford 300 with a 427 in it, all original. The car itself was originally sold to a former professor at the University of Tennessee, and then purchased by a collector who passed it on to the broker who eventually sold it to me. It took me 30 years to find an R-code, and six years to fix it."
When Ford introduced the midyear '63¢ Fastback style, the simpler 300 post car was unfortunately discontinued. Delane has been told that his 300 R-code car is one of nine built, with the number of remaining examples unknown.
The engine is an FE 427 center oiler rated at 425 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Its hungry cylinders are fed by two four-barrel carburetors on a low riser intake manifold. The engine is largely original, as is the Borg Warner T-10 four-speed transmission.
Not to be outdone by his family members, Delane made a couple upgrades to the car, including a slightly hotter than stock Crane Cam, a three-angle valve job for the heads, and an MSD distributor and 6AL box. Well known Ford carb guru, the late Mike Ulrey, rebuilt the 550-cfm Holley carburetors.
Doug Abshire at Big K's Towing Service and Body Shop (Inwood, West Virginia) painted all three cars, and judging by the quality of his work, Doug is the man for bodywork and paint. Black is tough enough to get right, but doing three of them?
The factory Light Gold interior features N.O.S. Ford seat covers that Delane located in Oregon to retain the OEM look. To give it a bit of a "Day Two" flavor, Delane decided to add a Sun tach and gauges, plus a Hurst shifter. Delane has the restored shifter at home, but the Hurst shifter is far superior to the factory unit.
Because the car is an R-code, Ford installed the 9-inch station wagon rear with 3.50 gears, 28-spline axles, and heavy-duty brakes and bearings. R-code cars also received six-leaf springs instead of the standard five-leaf rear springs, and the factory 3-inch-wide drum brakes feature vented backing plates for cooling.
So were Delane, Carroll, and Kenny wanting to purposely create a trio of big-inch black Ford post cars? Delane explains, "We weren't setting up anything, it's just that we all have the same tastes. We wouldn't have anything but post cars. That's just our heritage. The post cars help avoid body flex since they have extra support. For that reason, they are the better choice for high-performance applications. And they just look cool." Though all of the cars are beautiful, the real beauty of this story is the shared experiences and lifelong memories produced by building some of the best high-performance Fords on the planet. These guys and these cars are what the hobby is all about.