Posts Tagged ‘street fords’

NATURE’S FURY: David McGinniss’ 428ci 1969 Mercury Cyclone

22 May

David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury Cyclone


Meet one of Ford’s rarer motorsport-influenced models, the NASCAR-homologation Mercury Cyclone
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David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury CycloneBy the mid-1960s the popularity of stock car racing was booming, leading to what many would call the sport’s golden age late in the decade with cars like the Ford Galaxies, Richard Petty’s Plymouth, Ford Torinos and Mercury Cyclones, much like the example featured here that belongs to David McGinniss. Indeed, NASCAR was largely dominated by Ford in the mid to late 1960s – a time when the race cars still had to be close derivatives of road-going models (homologated) like our dearly missed Touring Car series here in Australia up until the early 1990s.

Back then, racing was fierce, exciting and supremely dangerous. Vehicles one or lost not just on driver ability, but also on the inherent qualities of the vehicles themselves. OE manufacturers were still living by the ethos of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ and as a result, designed and built their cars to go fast.

Introduced in 1968, this iteration of the Mercury Cyclone came in various trim styles, including no fewer than 10 different engine combinations in the two years of production, when steel and oil were both still cheap. However, David’s example is a rare beast. This is a legit Cyclone CJ: one of only 3261 built, which is a piddling little number considering the volumes in which Ford used to build cars.David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury Cyclone

‘CJ’ stands for Cobra Jet, referring to the great lump of iron wedged between the sturdy chassis rails of the Cyclone. Measuring 428 cubic inches, it’s no small engine and came with an advertised output of 335bhp back in the year of its release. Besides the 429ci Boss that the NASCAR versions of the Cyclone were running in competition, there was nothing bigger or more powerful in the Ford line up than this bruiser.

Earlier in the model’s history, a few different variations on the body style existed, like convertibles and non-fastback coupes that were all known as Cyclones. Interestingly, by 1969 this was no longer the case, with non-fastback shapes known as Montegos and Comets, with the fastbacks – the same as David’s here – called Cyclones.

David originally purchased the Cyclone way back in November 1989 in original condition. Indeed, as it sits today most of the vehicle is true to factory specification including the interior, wheels, brakes, diff’ and C6 auto’. It’s still a matching-numbers 428ci, however David did rebuild the engine around 15 years ago, keeping pretty close to the original parts list save for a Mondello steel crank, better bearings and rings as well as the 735cfm Holley on top.

“It’s been an amazing car,” David says. “15 years on and it still drives fantastically.”

David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury CycloneNot afraid to make proper use of such a rare Ford, David piloted the Cyclone through the twists and turns of the Targa Tasmania on a number of occasions in the mid to late 1990s. The car performed well in its class, earning a second place in its class in 1996 and 1998. Considering the car’s weight, the weight over the nose and the archaic brakes and the fact he could steer it through the course is even more impressive. Take that Eric Bana!

While David says that owning the car has been a wonderful experience, he does admit it hasn’t always been a total walk in the park. “Finding spare parts for it has probably been one of the hardest parts of the rebuild and keeping it going,” David says. “That, and trying to convince people it isn’t a Torino!”

Sadly the glory days of truly exciting homologation motorsport have passed (not discounting the excellent racing the smaller and privateer classes do), so it’s nice to know there are still beautiful mechanical reminders of those times around to remind us. With dedicated and capable owners like David McGinniss there to keep these cubically endowed beasts on the road, we’ll hopefully have them around to enjoy for many more years to come.

Who knows, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see an end to the current NASCAR and V8 Supercar boredom and return to some touring car excitement again on day. Imagine what the manufacturers could come up with then!

Owner: David McGinniss
Vehicle: 1969 Mercury Cyclone
Paint: Dulux Barlot red
Styling: Factory
Engine: 428ci Cobra Jet
Engine Mods: Mondello steel crank, stock rods and pistons (10.5:1-comp’), Pro Seal file-back rings, Clevite bearings, 735cfm Holley carb’, alloy catch can
Power: 410fwhp (305kW), 440lb.ft, 13.49sec ET
Exhaust: Custom 4-into-1 headers (2in primaries), twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust, twin mufflers
Gearbox: C6 auto
Diff: 3.55:1 final drive, LSD
Suspension: Bilstein front and rear shocks, 19mm front sway bar, variable-ratio steering rack
Brakes: Factory
Wheels/Tyres: Factory
Interior: Factory
Tunes: Factory
Build Time: 5 years
Bucks: $38,000
Who’s Responsible: Coasteer Automotive, Brenton Chere for the paint

EXTREME ELEANOR: 666hp, 427ci and Gassed Ford 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

07 May

Wasyl's 'Eleanor'-Inspired Fastback Mustang


What do you get when one man sets out to build the best Mustang in the country? This one, obviously…
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Wasyl's 'Eleanor'-Inspired Fastback MustangIt’s not often you hear of someone jumping into the world of modified cars at the very deepest of deep ends. We’re talking zero to sixty in an instant here. Two years ago, Wasyl decided he wanted to build a Mustang, and while his initial intention wasn’t to build ‘the best’ of anything, for anyone who got to see this 1967 Fastback up close at the 2013 MotorEx can attest, that’s certainly what happened. Incredibly, it’s his first custom car.

Built over a short two-year period between Melbourne and Wasyl’s home town of Sydney, this lucky Mustang has been the subject of more than 9000 hours of intensive labour and incredible detail. From its flawlessly smooth fibreglass nose to its bespoke steel rear valance, nary a square centimetre was left untouched in the process of turning the donor car into what it is today.

“It was actually a very clean car to start with,” Wasyl says. “But we ended up tearing it right down to its core anyway. Every panel is new, including the rear quarters.”

Besides meaning that the car would have brand new, baby-arse smooth panels once finished, getting physical access to the innards of the car made it easier when it was decided early on to make those razor-sharp side vents functional, acting as ducting for the rear brakes. Up front, it also made it easier to create the gorgeous symmetry the engine bay displays today, with super smooth panels surrounding the 427ci, nitrous-fed monster bolted to the custom chassis rails.Wasyl's 'Eleanor'-Inspired Fastback Mustang

Wasyl says the big-cube powerhouse started as a Ford Racing crate motor, purchased on advice he was given that suggested it would make things easier – and cheaper. However, by the time the car was complete the only thing left of the original crate engine was the block!

With the 427 now far more stout than before thanks to parts from the Scat and ARP catalogues, it was decided to add some nitrous (you can’t have a Mustang inspired by Eleanor without gas, can you?). Wasyl says he can’t wait to activate the nitrous switch on the dash and feel the push in the back from the 200hp direct-port system plumbed into the Edelbrock Super Victor manifold.

This combo is backed by a bullet-proof drive train consisting of a Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed ‘box and braced sheet metal 9in held in place by a 4-link rear and reinforced mounting points all ’round. One thing this car will never have any trouble with is structural integrity. Both the chassis and floor pans boast additional stiffening and the engine bay hides up to three layers of steel, particularly around the strut towers. While Wasyl and his builder Goren was at it, the rear end was minitubbed to the rails to accommodate those massive 18x13in billet rims and 335-wide Pirellis.

Wasyl's 'Eleanor'-Inspired Fastback MustangInside, that same Shelby GT500/Eleanor hybrid style continues, and Wasyl is keen to point out that this was never meant to be a straight Eleanor clone. “Direction on this project changed a million times,” he says. “Small items of the build were constantly changing, but the core design stayed the same.”

The interior is a good example, where things started as a classic restomod re-trim only to bloom into a full-blown if not subtle reinterpretation of the original cars. From first glances, it would be easy to assume this was just an out-of-the-box job using repro parts. Look closer and you’ll realise that there is a lot more going on, with some parts modified and recovered up to three times to get the right look and feel. Those leather-clad seats are heated and the carbon inserts are custom.

A comparatively brief two-year build may seem short for such an extensive project, but when you’ve got someone working on the car up to seven days a week totalling some 9000 man hours, it makes more sense. Yet, Wasyl still says that waiting was probably the hardest part of the build. “Managing a construction company interstate doesn’t leave much time to play with toys like this one,” he says. “But where there’s a passion there’s a way. Having people working on it full time, managing it after a day’s work, giving my direction/vision partly to de-stress from the construction industry and its challenges was the norm for two years.”Wasyl's 'Eleanor'-Inspired Fastback Mustang

“People say it’s not the destination but the journey. This was definitely not the bloody case here. I’m really happy it is finished.”

If that was the hardest part of the project, he knows immediately what the best part of the build was. “Showing it to my family for the first time at MotorEx 2013, for sure,” he says. “We finished it at midnight the night before, literally loading it onto the trailer at Andy’s and waking up in the morning in disbelief that it was actually finished. The highlight was definitely seeing my sons smile when they saw their names on the NOS bottles.”

Show life isn’t over for the ’67 just yet, with Wasyl planning a few more shows before letting the car settle into life as a family cruiser. A quick look underneath the car will show you that this was planned all along – everything from the firewall back coated in a generous layer of stone guard.

What then? Be prepared to see a ’50 mercury sled in matt black with hot rod pin striping hitting car shows around the country within the next handful of years!

Owner: Wasyl
Model: 1967 Ford Mustang
Colour: PPG Pepper Grey
Bodywork: Custom GT500 Shelby/Eleanor mix, custom grille, custom steel rear wing/valance, functional steel side vents, functional side exit exhaust,
Block: 427ci Ford Racing Crate Engine
Engine Mods: Scat steel crank, Scat H-beam 6in rods, Mahle pistons (10.7:1-comp’), Sealed Power rings, ARP head and mains studs, Clevite bearings, CNC-ported alloy heads, stainless valves, Comp Cams springs and retainers, Comp solid roller cam’, Melling oil pump, custom alloy sump, Ford Motorsport water pump, Aussie Desert Cooler alloy radiator, March billet pulleys, 950cfm Holley carb’, Edelbrock Super Victor intake manifold, 200hp direct-port NOS nitrous system, Ford Motorsport air cleaner, MSD Pro Billet distributor, MSD coil and spark amp’, MagnaFuel electric fuel pump and regulator, custom 120L fuel tank, stainless braided fuel lines, hidden wiring and fluid bottles, billet hinges, billet strut braces and caps
Power: 666fwhp (489kW), 570lb/ft (772Nm)
Exhaust: Custom ceramic coated 4-into-1 headers, twin 2-3/4in stainless exhaust (true side exit), custom ceramic coated mufflers
Gearbox: Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed, single-plate hydraulic clutch
Diff: Sheet metal braced 9in, LSD
Brakes: 430mm front rotors, 380mm rear rotors, 6-piston AP Racing calipers, AP Racing pads, electric vacuum booster, manual booster relocated
Suspension: Front and rear TCP coil-overs, 4-link rear, reinforced mounting points, reinforced shock towers, reinforced floor pans, TCP steering rack, minitubbed to rails
Wheels/Tyres: 18in custom offset billet rims (8in front, 13in rear), custom spinner centres, Pirelli P-Zero tyres (335/30 rear)
Interior: Black leather trim, black carpets, Nardi steering wheel, suede dash, carbon fibre trim inserts, nitrous switch, Autometer gauges, roll cage, heated front seats
Stereo: Custom flip-down double-DIN Alpine head unit mechanism, Alpine power amps, Alpine 6in front and rear splits, 2x Alpine 12in subs, custom wiring
Build Period: Two years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Special thanks to Goren Ilioski, Ronny, Andy from Andy’s Restorations and most of all to my wife and sons for their support and endless love, Form 700, Blueprint Race Engines, Clockwork Wiring, S.Rich Polishing

Cover Car: Gary Collins’ Ford XB Falcon 500 Coupe

19 Jul

My photo shoot on Gary Collins’ wild, blown 427ci Ford XB Falcon 500 Coupe was on the front cover of the last issue of Street Fords magazine, which was on sale recently. It seamlessly mixes old-school charm with modern injected swagger and an interior to die for!


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Gary Collins' Ford XB Falcon 500 Coupe

Gary Collins' Ford XB Falcon 500 Coupe     Gary Collins' Ford XB Falcon 500 Coupe

Cover Car: Lorenzo Capogna’s 1972 Ford XA Fairmont

22 Jun

My photo shoot on Lorenzo Capogna’s tough-as 1972 Ford XA Fairmont made it onto the cover of last month’s Street Fords magazine! Powered by a 393ci Clevo stroker and running a cage and minitubs, the sedan is running a peak Aussie Muscle-ness.


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Lorenzo Capogna's 1972 XA Ford Fairmont

Lorenzo Capogna's 1972 XA Ford Fairmont     Lorenzo Capogna's 1972 XA Ford Fairmont

Cover Car: Arthur Spiropoulos’ 1970 Ford XW Fairmont

25 May

I’ve used this location a couple of times before, but perhaps not as successfully as with Arthur’s 910rwhp Procharged 427ci XW Ford Fairmont! Look at how perfect the sky, sea and sand work with the blues and yellows in the Ford. It was shot for the front cover of issue 161 of Street Fords, which was on sale last month.


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Arthur Spiropoulos' 1970 Ford XW Fairmont

Arthur Spiropoulos' 1970 Ford XW Fairmont     Arthur Spiropoulos' 1970 Ford XW Fairmont

Feature Car: George Paradisis’ 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

16 May

I had the pleasure of photographing George Paradisis’ immaculate 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback for issue 162 of Street Fords magazine late last year. The issue hit newsstands last month. With a warmed over 302ci, it makes around 400hp, meaning it goes as nice as it looks.


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

George Paradisis' 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

George Paradisis' 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback     George Paradisis' 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

Feature Car: Greg Kerbage’s FPV F6 for Street Fords

04 May

I had the pleasure of photographing Greg Kerbage’s 521rwkW FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) F6 for Street Fords last year and it appeared in issue 161. So much power from a 4L six!


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Greg Kerbage's 2014 FPV F6

Greg Kerbage's 2014 FPV F6     Greg Kerbage's 2014 FPV F6

Cover Time: Street Fords and Power Magazine

12 Apr

Two of my photo shoots made it onto front covers this week, with my shoot on George’s immaculate 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback on the cover of the new issue of Street Fords and Jim’s Falcon coupe on the cover of Slovakian magazine ‘Power‘!

Street Fords Issue 162

Power Magazine April 2017

Front Cover: Arthur’s 1000hp Ford Falcon for Street Fords

13 Mar

My shoot on Arthur’s 1000hp Procharged Ford Falcon sedan will appear on the cover of issue 161 of Street Fords, on sale on 16 March. Also inside is my shoot on Greg’s FG F6.

Street Fords - Issue 161

Cover Car: Jim Ayoubi’s Ford XC Falcon Coupe

04 Nov

Our photo shoot on Jim Ayoubi’s incredible show-stopping Ford XC Falcon Coupe made it onto the front cover of the new issue of Street Fords, which is on sale now! This thing boasts an 8/71-blown V8 making 770hp! Be sure to grab a copy of the mag and read all about it.


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Jim Ayoubi's Ford XC Falcon Coupe

Jim Ayoubi's Ford XC Falcon Coupe     Jim Ayoubi's Ford XC Falcon Coupe