Saturday, June 11, 2011

'76 Mercury Monarch

I frequently get plagued by another question: What car should I get that is supremely light, but can fit and handle a huge, throbbing V8? I keep thinking Mustang, Maverick, Falcon, Hemi Dart, and things like that, but then I am plagued with a counter thought: I love big, full-sized full-framed sedans, coupes, and personal luxury cars. We'll cover that issue later.

I was reading the current issue of Car Craft magazine the other day when it found its way to my door, and was automatically drawn to a heading on the cover. It said, "10-sec. Turbo Maverick $5000," and I was intrigued, especially since I own a Maverick. This guy took a cheap Maverick project car he bought and dropped an '83 F-150-sourced 300 straight six with some light modding, but no rebuilding, and added a machined turbo from an old semi and drag radials. This thing does wheel stands and burns down the 1/4 mile in around 10.5 seconds! I forget the power rating off the top of my head, but this is with a mostly factory (other than valve-train upgrades, intake porting, and some oiling upgrades) truck six cylinder with a junkyard turbo from a detroit diesel! I think the motor cost the guy under $2,000!

This got me thinkin'. Why not a Granada, no, a Mercury Monarch.
You know, I was gonna say burgundy with a cowl hood that would have a matte black single racing stripe that would be as wide as the cowl and extend from the grille to the edge of the trunk to match the F-150, but I kinda like the black. And that would match seeing as all my other ideas were mostly black too. I would diffinitely have a set of road tires and a set of drag radials for road or track use. But I digress...

Imagine, if you will, a '76 Monarch fresh from a grove in SW MN. Restore/modify the interior to be black awesome with kickin' gauges, killer stereo, and a roll bar. Add a beefy replacement frame for race cars installed front and back, and drop in an automatic overdrive transmission with manual shifting gears, stall converter, and a 4.11:1 rear gear ratio with a limited slip differential, and you're ready for a motor to lift the front end up.

From this point, the engine could go one of three ways, as I see it.
Option A: 351 Windsor-based 418 stroker V8 with optional twin-screw supercharger.
Option B: 4.6/5.4 Modular DOHC Ford V8 with optional twin-screw supercharger.
Option C: 300 straight six with turbo as stated above.

Option C really intrigues me. Not only is it cheap and effective, but it should get fairly decent mileage compared to a similarly powerful V8, AND many of the base vehicles for my ideas come with the 300 six already, so I would be a third of the way to big power by just buying the vehicle! This would be really intriguing and fun to try on something. I vote doing it on the van, personally, but it'd also be great on this car while I drive it daily and slowly build up the V8 to go in it later.

I wonder if I could put a straight six in my Crown Vic. Hmmm...

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