The year was 1974, and a young kid from New York City was putting the finishing touches on a 351 Cleveland engine. The small-block Ford powerplant was designed for action in Pro Stock and Comp Eliminator in NHRA, IHRA, and AHRA drag racing. The move was a big one for Scott Shafiroff, then a full-time drag racer who was making a name for himself in the Chevy ranks.
Our sister publication, Car...
Our sister publication, Car Craft, featured Scott Shafiroff’s Comp Eliminator dragster and Mustang II Pro Stock car back in the day. An SSRE 351 Cleveland powered the cars and he collected a few wins, several runner-up finishes, a couple of records, and a divisional title.
"I saw the writing on the wall. No matter what the rules makers did, the Cleveland engine still outran everything, so I made the switch to it," says Shafiroff. For the next two years, he worked the Cleveland bullet for all it was worth by racing all across the country. He'd swap the engine from his Pro Stock car to the dragster depending on the sanctioning body and category he entered. Shafiroff had his fair share of success by garnering two national event wins, three runner-up accolades, too-many-to-count top qualifiers, and a divisional championship. The crafty racer from NYC also had two national records credited to his name. In 1976, he decided to park his race cars and concentrate on his engine building business--Scott Shafiroff Race Engines (SSRE).
After Shafiroff's days in Pro Stock and Comp Eliminator, he started providing winning and record-setting Top Sportsman and Pro Modified powerplants to many top-name racers. After securing a stranglehold in that market during the '80s, he expanded his business into the pump gas market when the Ultra Street brand was born.
"Ultra Street is an engine line that produces a lot of horsepower, but can still run on pump gas, be extremely reliable, and enjoyable to drive," he says. Today, more than 40 years later, Shafiroff still enjoys the lure of horsepower and his business is as busy as ever. His expansion back into the Blue Oval marketplace is due to increasing demand from customers. His response to that demand was the unveiling of three new combinations, all 427ci small-block Ford engines, and each is in the popular Ultra Street lineup.
Shafiroff and his team targeted three horsepower levels that, based on experience, cover a broad-range of desires. All three engines not only share the famous 427 moniker, but each was designed to run on pump gas and be fully street-capable without compromises.
The first 427ci, nicknamed Extended Cruise, comes in at 525 hp, and according to Shafiroff, is the perfect engine for the guy who wants a 427ci for long-range cruising with an automatic that has a tight converter and numerically low gears--not to say a manual transmission can't back this bullet. Its 9.7:1 compression ratio makes this perfect for 91-octane fuel. It also has a dual-plane intake manifold for smoothness and fuel economy.
The next step is the Classic, and it features the same durability and reliability as Extended Cruise, but with some more punch thanks to bigger cylinder heads, camshaft, single-plane intake manifold, and more compression. The Classic cranks out an advertised 565 hp.
The final Ford offering right now is the Hot Hydraulic Roller, better known as HHR. "The HHR makes 615 hp and is perfect for the person who wants the most horsepower for his street car, but still wants to run on pump gas," comments Shafiroff. The HHR has an extremely aggressive sounding camshaft but doesn't compromise the capability of the engine package. It's meant to be run hard all day on the street and still shine on the racetrack.
This month, we got an inside look at the Classic crate engine, which is quickly proving to be a popular choice amongst the Ford crowd. Shafiroff targeted 565 hp with this package and the engine we followed cranked out 566 hp. One of the nice features of SSRE engines is that every engine is dyno-tested before being shipped off to its new owner. It's done to verify that the engine makes the appropriate power, is broken-in properly, the carburetor is adjusted correctly, and final valve adjustments are made. Also standard is a two-year warranty on all combinations.
1 A Dart SHP block is standard...
1 A Dart SHP block is standard in all three SSRE 427ci small-block Ford engines. It features priority-main oiling, thick webbing for durability, and was designed for stroker engines. This block is painted Ford blue, but SSRE offers an assortment of colors.
2 The Classic features a...
2 The Classic features a mild hydraulic roller camshaft with a smooth idle, while the HHR has a rowdy cam profile. Both are fully street-worthy, making these engines excellent for street and strip action. We’d love to give you the cam specs, but they’re proprietary pieces, and you’ll have to call SSRE if you want one.
3 An Eagle 4340 steel crankshaft...
3 An Eagle 4340 steel crankshaft features a 4.00-inch stroke, and when combined with the 4.125-inch bore, creates 427ci.