Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 - Sucker Punched
Jayson Seibert's '66 Fairlane Dropped Us To Our Knees
Take a good look at the menacing Fairlane gracing these pages, and you'll begin to understand why it took our breath away like a punch in the gut. Beauty and brawn come together in a way we just don't see every day, though to be fair, we're suckers for the '66/'67 Fairlane hardtop. Why? Maybe it's the lean and clean lines, the rare and legendary 427 models, the period NHRA and NASCAR stockers, or youthful experiences riding shotgun in pal Bryan Weeks' stroker 390 '66 XL. Dunno, but whatever the reason, the sentiment is shared by many a Ford fanatic
As owner of this super-sanitary Fairlane 500, Jayson Seibert clearly falls into the fanatic camp, transforming a one-owner family machine into a real mover and shaker. Some readers may be surprised to see such a hardcore drag car in the pages of what is primarily a street-oriented magazine, but when it looks and runs like this one, we'll gladly stretch our publishing envelope a wee bit. No doubt what really made the grade for Mustang and Fords is the fact that the '66 is devoid of the typical contingency stickers which adorn most competitive quarter-milers. Seibert's 'Lane has no such distractions, just a gorgeous, plain vanilla wrapper which reinforces the purity of the original design. Mix in a huge dose of attitude courtesy of the monstrous rear Goodyears and ground-scraping stance, and the result is a fast classic-Ford we find ourselves drooling over.
Seibert's car is far more than just a pretty face, it's a truly strong runner that typically competes in Super Pro or Super Gas classes. At the time of our photo shoot, the 428ci engine was powering the '66 to mid-10-second e.t.'s, but in the intervening duration, a number of changes had brought forth a best pass of 9.82 at 136 mph. The bottom end of the big FE sports a .030 overbore, a prepped factory crank, Eagle rods, and Wiseco pistons. Massaged 390 iron cylinder heads were in place when we tripped our shutter, but they have since been replaced by John Haskel-prepared aluminum Edelbrocks and a 14:1 squeeze. A big Lunati roller cam pops the valves high and long with help from Dove roller rockers and associated valvetrain bits, while the focal point on top is a single-plane Offenhauser intake and Barry Grant 1050-cfm carb.
One look at the engine bay reveals one of the benefits of the Alston tube frame chassis assembled by Craig Phorne at Brand X Race Cars. The 428 sits a full 10 inches aft of the original location, helping move weight towards the all-important rear rubber, in this case, gigantic 33/16-15 slicks on Bogart rims. A four-link rear suspension and Progressive Metalcraft wheelie bars also contribute mightily to the low, straight launches, enabling a best 60-foot performance of 1.32 seconds.
While Seibert farmed out the actual chassis construction, he supplied the know-how and muscle for much of the rest. A paint and bodyman by trade, Seibert obviously put his experience to good use when it came time to lay down the classic Wimbledon White urethane enamel. PPG goods come in the form of a basecoat/clearcoat double team and look terrific draping a combination of factory metal and Crites fiberglass. The latter consists of the hood, front fenders, and a trunk lid with an aluminum wing from Competition Engineering.
Seibert also performed the tin work throughout the car, though responsibility for engine assembly falls to his dad, Gene. Dave Bliss performed the all-important machine work, while Willie Strange put together the trans-braked and Torrington-bearing-equipped C6. Other drivetrain mainstays consist of a 5,200-rpm Continental converter and a 4.56 geared 9-inch with a Strange aluminum carrier, spool, and Moser 31-spline axles.
At press time, we learned Seibert's Fairlane is undergoing a cubic inch infusion which he hopes will propel man and machine into the 8-second zone on the motor alone. Our nostalgic hearts say stay with the FE, but our minds understand Seibert's switch to a 385-series big-block stroked and poked to some 560 cubes. Once revamped, what surely qualifies as one of the best-looking Fairlane drag cars in the nation will also be one of the fastest, and we can't wait to see it strut its stuff.