Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2013
Photos By: Justin Cesler

If you're anything like us, you have Summit Racing Equipment on your speed dial list (below the wife or girlfriend though!) and you're on a first-name basis with your UPS driver. Don't let the word "racing" in their company name fool you though. Sure, Summit has hard-core racing parts like slicks, rollbars, and safety equipment, but they also stock a huge inventory of street-performance items like carb and intake kits, and headers. Now, Summit even stocks replacement parts like water pumps, engine mounts, and the like for your daily drivers. As a dealer for many of the big name performance parts companies we know and love (Edelbrock, Ford Racing, Aeromotive, and many more), Summit Racing's catalog and website make upgrading or servicing your car easy with one-stop shopping.

Recently, the folks at Summit embarked on the buildup of a Factory Five Racing (FFR) Mk4 Roadster as a company test mule and display vehicle. Readers surely know Factory Five for its popular Cobra replicas and hot-selling '33 Ford street rod replica, too. Once the Summit Cobra build got underway, it was evident that just dropping an engine into one of these replicas (and frankly, any car project) requires more than just the engine. There are all sorts of ancillary items like ignition and fuel system parts, plumbing fittings, and more that many enthusiasts don't give much thought to until the day of the engine installation. These are the type of things that sends their cohorts/helpers scrambling to the nearest auto parts store hoping they have the right parts on the shelf. Sound familiar?

To come up with a better plan, Summit Racing worked with Factory Five on assembling an engine package that included all of these parts. In a nutshell, Summit did all the scrambling and all you have to do is order a single part number.

We know, you're asking yourself, "what good does this do me and my 1965 Mustang; I'm not building one of those replicas." That is true, but the more we looked at the kit contents, as well as having experience building our own Factory Five Roadster (anyone remember Project Snake Charmer?), we realized that these kit packages could really work for just about anything on four wheels. Sure, you'll still need to purchase headers that'll fit your chassis, but these combos will save a lot of headaches if you're looking for a fresh bullet for your classic Ford.

Back in February, we had the chance to actually drive three Factory Five Roadsters powered by these very engines. The FFR semi-trailer was headed back east after a big test session in Las Vegas for sister magazine Hot Rod, and Dave Smith, President of FFR, asked us if we'd like to get a little time behind the wheel of these three Roadsters to sample these engine packages first hand. What do you think we said? The same thing you would have too—heck yeah! So the FFR semi rolled in on a Friday afternoon and we got to spend the next five days driving the wheels off of these hand-built cars without a single hiccup. Between lunch runs, taking them home for the night, 'round the block blasts with coworkers in tow, and finally a half-dozen or so dyno runs on each car on our in-house DynoJet 248, to say we were impressed would be putting it lightly. All of these engines have their own, vastly different, qualities, but all three were very fun and easy to drive on the street. Check out the offerings in the three engine sections below along with our "behind the wheel" comments and dyno numbers.