Pete Epple Technical Editor
September 1, 2009

From time to time we've featured some funky Foxes in MM&FF. Fact is, we love more than just Mustangs, and to us, there aren't many late-model Fords more funky than the Fairmont.

While not as glamorous as the Mustang, the first Fox works very well for drag racing. The Ford Fairmont, which was released in 1978, benefits from its basic (lightweight) unibody construction and simple suspension. This one even has factory aluminum bumpers.

Kurt Borton and his dad, Gene, started Mid Coast Performance (MCP) in St. Charles, Missouri, and the team specializes in everything from race-car fabrication to dyno tuning. Kurt picked up this '82 Fairmont off of eBay in 2007. With just over 13,000 miles on the odometer, he had the perfect base for his project. "I bought the car to street race it," Kurt tells us. It has "patina." It's not fancy-just functional. In fact, it's the clapped-out look that attracted us to the Almond Assassin.

The father and son team were looking for something that would make reliable power and be a little different. Soon after, a Three-Valve 4.6L mill from an '07 Mustang GT took up residence between the framerails, and Kurt had a new daily driver. "We had an '05 shop car with some bolt-ons and spray. It went low 11s and I was impressed with the power and dependability, so I built one for this car."

Three hundred and twenty-five inches of modular muscle sit under the hood. A custom MCP intake manifold sits on top of the bullet and gives plenty of clearance for the stock hood.

With a five-speed automatic transmission and a small shot of giggle gas, Kurt and his Fairmont blasted down the quarter-mile well into the 10-second range, and it still got 30 mpg driving to and from the track. Although this combination worked well, the stock powerplant checked out and Kurt needed a new bullet to power his grocery-getter.

Wanting a street-legal race car, Kurt and Gene knew the Fairmont needed lots of power. With this in mind, they set out to build the new heart for the project. "When we build an engine, we go all out," Kurt tells us.

He started with a modular Boss block from FRPP and added loads of forged goodies to strengthen the new mill. With the block prepped, the crew at MCP filled the bores with Diamond pistons and Oliver rods before installing the Kellogg crankshaft that would set it all into motion. The 3.700-inch bore combined with the 3.750-inch stroke brings the mod-mill's displacement to a healthy 325 cubes. Livernois Motorsports was then given the nod, and a set of its Stage 3 CNC-ported Three-Valve cylinder heads were bolted onto the short-block, giving the engine a boost-friendly 9.4:1 compression ratio. Custom Comp camshafts were slipped in and degreed before the cam covers were laid on. An MCP custom intake manifold finished off the build.

Bogart wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber sit in all four corners and help keep the Fairmont glued to the track and street.

Exhaust gases exit though a set of MCP custom headers, an x-style mid-pipe, and Borla XR1 mufflers. To add some extra grunt, Kurt bolted on a ProCharger F1R centrifugal supercharger to force-feed air into the hungry mill. The snail pushes 24 pounds of boost through the custom intake, helping this bullet lay down an earth-shaking 796 rwhp.

This kind of power requires serious strength behind it to get things moving. A 4,600-stall JW Performance torque converter bolts to the flexplate and transfers power to the JW Performance Powerglide. The gearbox spins a carbon-fiber driveshaft connected to the 9-inch rearend, which uses a 4.11 gear and 40-spline axles to spin the wheels.

Kurt knew that with this much power the suspension would need a little work to stand up to the hard launches and abuse on the street. QA1 coilovers and Custom MCP A-arms keep the front wheels in line and assist with weight transfer, while Steeda upper control arms and MCP lowers with QA1 coilovers keep the rear end planted under hard acceleration. Bogart wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber sit in all four corners, keeping the quarter-mile killer glued to the track at all times.

The interior of the Fairmont was kept simple with one thing in mind-safety. A custom rollcage from MCP wraps the driver, and a six-point racing harness holds Kurt securely in the Sparco race seat.

It's not everyday you see a 796hp Fairmont, and the fact that it sports a ProCharged Three-Valve definitely adds to the cool factor. Looks can be deceiving-if you're not careful, you may get taken out by the Almond Assassin.