Tom Wilson
June 1, 2002

Horse Sense:
If you've been anywhere in the real Mexico-by that we mean away from Cancun and other tourist fleeces-then you know Mexicans are seriously into a good time and don't waste life on bureaucratic nonsense. We can only imagine the high jinks this engine is going to get itself into.

Blower here, stroker there, it's all sort of the same after awhile. Occasionally something different pops up, such as a 347 running on alcohol-in Mexico. The call on this one came from Probe Racing Components in Torrance, California. The company was sort of building, freshening, and upgrading the unusual small-block all at the same time, and calculating its alcohol fuel ought to be good for something unique. We figured a gander over Probe's shoulders would be worth it.

Engines such as this are always good for a story anyway. The tale here is the Mexican owner, Caesar Castro, lives in Hermosillo, Sonora, and enjoys participating in local contests of automotive machismo. The rumor is these events take place on barricaded public streets, which we can easily understand given the liquidity of petty local regulations in La Republica. But having not spoken directly with Señor Castro, we're not precisely sure exactly what sort of contests these are. Clearly they require plenty of noise and torque, as Caesar's other engine is a 572-inch 460 stroker-both the big-block and the 347 small-block we're looking at here doing duty in the same '72 Mustang. Given the voracious alcohol consumption of these powerplants, we surmise mano-a-mano drag racing not too far out of town is the duel in question, but you never know.

We can also safely postulate Señor Castro is no small fry. In a place where many citizens are happy the busses continue to operate, he has somewhere approaching $20,000 in this engine, which ought to guide you in your desires to replicate it.

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