Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
August 1, 2013

Since Modified Mustangs & Fords magazine hasn't had a great deal of drag racing tech in the book in recent times, we've decided to tag along on the buildup of a '67 Ford Fairlane that just recently underwent a restoration at Gillis Performance Restorations in Port Richey, Florida. In this article, we plan to install a lightweight fuel cell, a battery relocation kit, and an externally-mounted battery cutoff switch.

The Fairlane is being transformed into an NHRA Super Stock contender that should also fit the ranks of the NMCA's Nostalgia Super Stock. Gillis Performance Restorations is also heading up the build on our Pro Touring '66 Mustang fastback project, Colt of Personality project, and company owner Rusty Gillis' background in drag racing is the fuel behind the Super Stock Fairlane build. With the body restored and a newly finished eye-searing SPI Red paint on the car, we can start with the mechanicals.

Dedicated drag cars don't need a stock-sized fuel tank for anything other than ballast, and by going to a smaller, aftermarket fuel cell, we reduce the amount of combustible material in the car, while allowing us to move additional ballast (if needed) in the form of steel weights to more effective areas of the car.

Once you've decided on using a fuel cell, there are a number of choices to consider, including construction material (plastic, aluminum, steel) and capacity. A dedicated bracket car may want a bigger tank, as you often have to run back to back with no time for refueling. Cars that regularly hit the pits after each run can use a smaller capacity fuel cell. Power adder cars may benefit from a larger tank size as the fuel demands are greater—big, multi-port nitrous systems often utilize a dedicated fuel system, so two small tanks may be a better choice than one large one.

Weight transfer is extremely important in drag racing, as it puts more weight on the rear tires, which improves traction. To aid in the weight transfer process, most racers relocate the battery to the trunk, and oftentimes mount them directly over the passenger-side rear tire. We'll be relocating the battery in the Fairlane as well, and at the same time, we will be installing an external battery cutoff switch to comply with NHRA regulations. Check with your local sanctioning body to find out what their requirements are before you go cutting and drilling, however.

Installations will differ from car to car and owner to owner, but this article will provide a general idea of how and where to mount this equipment. Planning where you want everything to end up will likely take up more time than the actual installation. Take a look and see what we did. For those interested, we plan to bring you more updates on this Fairlane as the build continues.

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