I've been wrestling with myself for months to really define a goal for my car. I thought I was onto something by going for a 500 horsepower stroker for the big car, but at the same time I wanted to maintain some kind of fuel efficiency. Not that I feel the need to make the car practical for anyone's definition other than my own, but it seems to me that if it's going to get 11 mpg it should pretty much run like a holy terror. In my quest for efficient horsepower (without power adders) I've explored all kinds of engine families, gearing, and everything about the drivetrain to plan out and build a complete package. I think I have some things fairly well researched and can probably build a hard running street machine capable of 15 or so MPG on the highway. That vision has also led to visions of rolling burnouts and drag racing. Exciting stuff! But as I look more and more into the drag racing aspect, and as I look at the experiences of my modular mustang driving friend, I can see I'm headed for some huge traction problems in the Galaxie with street tires. If I'm going to do any good at all on the strip I'll need some tires for the track at least, and I'll want to beef up the rear end and all kinds of stuff. Not to mention I'll be facing the possibility of breaking something whenever I take the car to the track. The more I look into it, the more I get a sinking feeling that putting 500 horses under the hood isn't going to be all that satisfying.
Now, one of the things brought up numerous times in such discussions has been looks. But to be honest the FE looks to me no better or worse than pretty much any other typical motor on the engine stand. Cammers and Boss 9's of course aren't your typical muscle car fare. Yet looks are important to me and part of the reason I don't want a power adder is because I think it would look wrong in my car. Same goes for fuel injection and that may be why I haven't been more motivated to install the stuff I've collected. Then while messing around with possible stroker parts combos and dreaming of blowing the tires off while going 60 on the highway etc, it hit me. It should look sharp and it should look RIGHT. For what I've been considering spending on making it fast, I could not only make it run nice, and reasonably stout, but also make it look awesome. I spent a lot of time and effort working on the ride height and the right wheel and tire combo for just the right attitude, why shouldn't it be the same under the hood? And I'm not talking about a gutless chromed out thing, but a bitchin' looking motor with nice bit of chop to the idle and the ability to fry my TA Radials when I feel the need. Also going for looks vs. horsepower puts a whole lot less strain on that 15 MPG goal. Going to be a hell of a lot easier with 400 HP than with 500 no doubt.
Some stuff I'm throwing together for the new concept are a tri-power setup, probably from HP Trends, and these Ansen valve covers.
One thing I DO think is cool about the FE look is that table top look when the valve cover tops form a single plane on the top of the motor. Kind of weird but kind of cool. And distinctive. I never noticed another motor with that look so I want to accentuate it. Another thing I'd like to do, but I don't know if it's possible, would be to mount the air conditioning compressor down low. I could make the bracket to mount the pump but I don't know if there may be a gravity problem for the system or whet ever. Any of you guys ever screw around with such a thing? If I can get that pump down low (sorry it ain't going away, I love my AC) I could mount the coil on the front of the head and lay the plug wires out nice and neat. With that done and a little tidying up of some misc wires, some cleaning and a little paint I think it would look badass and appropriate for the car.
I might be able to put 500 horses to use once in a great while but awesome looks will be there ALL the time. Not to mention it would be nice to get 300 miles on a tank of gas. I like to go out of town sometimes and I don't have to pee yet every time 200 miles comes up, y'know?