Frank H. Cicerale
September 7, 2007
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Any parent can tell you how difficult it is to get a rambunc-tious child to behave. Whether it's popping wheelies with the shopping cart at the grocery store (been there, done that), or just being a happy-go-lucky kid whose only desire is to make as much noise as possible in the name of fun, parents always keep their eyes on their children to keep them out of trouble. The same thing can be said of Brian Zaid, though his governance is over those who happen to pull up next to his '89 Mustang notchback.

Like most projects, Brian's notch progressed to its current state in stages. In a sense, the transformation from stocker to stormer is like raising a child. Brian put money, effort, heart, soul, and lots of time into the Mustang, taking it from the crib, through college, and into the pinnacle of its life. "I owned a Mustang of every body style and decided that I wanted a coupe as well," he says. He finally found the car he was looking for. This '89 coupe had 169,000 miles on the clock when he picked it up. "I bought it used in 1996 from a guy who had bought it for his 16-year-old son," Brian says. "When he got his first insurance quote in, he put the car up for sale. It was absolutely bone-stock when I bought it. The car was in decent shape but had a horrible baby-blue stripe on it. I peeled off the stripe within the first few minutes of owning the car."

The baby blues (pardon the pun) disappeared quickly as Brian embarked on cultivating his newfound child. After equipping the car with a pair of large-displacement pushrod engines-a 357 and a 402, respectively-he stepped up to a 408ci powerplant based off of a '93 Lightning short-block. After a while, though, the desire to step up his kid's education from high-school level to that of an Ivy League college was too hard to ignore. That desire led to a poked and stroked 427ci monster.

Brian enlisted Greg Scott to assemble the powerplant. Knowing that the basic foundation was key to helping the engine live with the planned forced-induction, Greg ordered a Dart block that, once it was in his possession, had its cylinders bored out to 4.125 inches. He then laid a Scat 4-inch stroker crank down in the main web. The long arms of 6.2-inch rods push Probe pistons up and down in the cylinders. Sealing the piston skirts to the cylinder walls is a Childs & Albert ring package, while a Canton oil pan and windage tray contain the lifeblood of the engine.

With a pushrod engine, the power is in the heads, camshaft, and induction. To that end, the final assembly of this small-block Ford started with the TFS-R aluminum cylinder heads that were plunked down. Showcasing 2.08-inch Victory intake valves, 1.60-inch Ferrea exhaust valves, and some CNC work by Total Engine Airflow (Tallmadge, Ohio), the heads flow enough air to support the power adder Brian had in mind. Shaft-mounted Harland Sharp 1.6-ratio rockers open and close their respective valves each time the lobe of the Jay Allen custom-ground roller camshaft tells them to.

Since the heads have the ability to flow large volumes of air, the induction and fuel systems needed to meet the expectations. Supplying the juice is a Weldon 2345 fuel pump. Pushing 45 psi of fuel pressure through a regulator of the same manufacturer, 160-pound injectors make sure enough fuel is introduced into the combustion chamber. It takes air and fuel to make power, so Brian topped the TFS-R heads with an EFI Spyder intake manifold accented with an Accufab 90mm throttle body and DFI speed-density meter.