Geoff Stunkard
May 1, 2004

The first thing you see when you look under the hood of this '64 Fairlane is a pair of custom-built chrome airboxes. Then, upon closer examination, you recognize the shape of superchargers mounted near each side of the engine, connected together via a drivebelt. Wait a minute, is that really four Holley four-barrels on top of that FE engine? No way!

Yes, way. Long-time Ford enthusiast Jim Marston decided that this, the latest in a string of worked Dearborn derivatives, would take a page from the past, blend it with a little up-to-date technology, and then simply let it speak for itself.

The body, which had been in the process of receiving a big-block transfusion when its previous owner let it go, was cleaned up via some serious tin massaging and fiberglass replacement parts from Crites Restoration in Ohio; artisan Paul Vigue gets the credit for that. Paul also sprayed the body with PPG Black urethane paint. Larry Blanchett helped with the reconstruction of the 1:1 scale kit and also did the plumbing under the hood.

Inside, the factory-type interior is upholstered in red vinyl with a Cheetah shifter jutting from the floor and a long string of Auto Meter gauges. Underneath are a set of period-correct American Racing wheels with Michelin rubber up front and BFGoodrich meat out back.Competition Engineering provided the front struts, as well as the ladder-bar rearend layout.

"When I started this project," admits the 43-year-old businessman from Fairfield, Maine, "a lot of guys told me there was no way this would work. The idea was to create a car that represented the '60s AFX stuff and build from there."

What Jim did take from the past, came from the special double-Paxton-blown Shelby Cobra that Carroll had built in 1967.

"Those carburetors associated with the Paxtons were blow-through types," says Jim. "If those small-blocks used one four-barrel, why not two for mine?"

Why not, indeed. While doing the research, Jim hooked up with Jim Baker, a Pennsylvania resident, who had also done the blow-through carbs on the Shelby/Paxton 350s back in the day. A set of four mechanical Holleys got the full treatment: milled airhoms, gutted float systems, hogged-out air and fuel bleeds to handle the required fuel pressure, and some special Baker magic that even Marston couldn't figure out. Bottom line result-they worked as soon as they were bolted onto the modified Holman-Moody intake.

"We didn't even have to jet them, they were so good. We put them up on the engine dyno, and they did everything they needed to right out of the box."

The rest of the engine, which was built by Steve Benner, was set up for the supercharged environment. This included an 0-ringed 427 block stuffed with Wisco 8.5:1 pistons, a massaged crank, and Oliver rods. Valve timing duties are done via an Ultradyne roller cam with .700-plus lift, pulling atomized fuel from a set of '68-vintage {{{GT}}}-40 tunnel-port heads after the twin 9-psi Powerdyne centrifugal blowers push air through the carbs. Standard T-bolt headers send the exhaust through the mufflers and out the tips, which are mounted in front of the rear tires.

Opening the trunk reveals additional insurance-two bottles of nitrous (that's pronounced NOS to you younger fellers), as well as an RCI fuel cell, and trunk-mounted Motorcraft batteries that help power the engine's hot Mallory/MSD 7AL ignition outfit.

The 800-horse motor is backed by a TCI 8-inch, 4,000-rpm converter and a JPT-modified C-4 that feeds power back to a 9-inch Ford rear with 4.56 gears. Notice we didn't say "narrowed" rear. Jim wanted to make sure the car looked its age; that means no tubs and a pair of 10-inch street tires that turn into asphalt crayons when the accelerator hits the floor. It also means there are no quarter-mile numbers yet for the machine, though it does get its share of cruise action during Maine's summer nights.