Tuned to Haul: Ford Racing Technology FR100
Decent Exposure: This 50-year-old pickup packs Ford Racing’s newest crate motor
By LARRY EDSALL
IN 2004, FORD Racing Technology will add a new crate engine to a performance parts catalog that already fills 168 pages with everything from air conditioning-delete kits to wing nuts.
This new 5.0-liter Cammer V8 is based on the 4.6-liter modular motor that powers the Ford SVT Mustang Cobra.
In the Cobra the cast-iron 4.6-liter V8 is equipped with an Eaton supercharger and produces 390 hp. But cast in aluminum—and with larger forged pistons, ported heads, flanged cylinder liners, modified roller-finger followers, multilayer steel-insert head gaskets, higher-lift cams, beehive-shaped valve springs, higher-flow fuel injectors, a three-piece magnesium intake manifold, various reinforcements and 11.0:1 compression—Ford Racing’s 5.0-liter Cammer crate engine provides 425 hp. That’s in normally aspirated mode, no supercharging needed.
“We’re convinced that more and more of our customers will be interested in Ford’s all-aluminum overhead-cam, four-valve engines for their vintage Mustangs, street rods or classic truck projects,” says Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology.
To showcase its newest product, Ford Racing Technology created the FR100.
Ford Racing has done this sort of thing before—building a 415-hp Mustang it called the FR500 and a 304-hp Focus dubbed the FR200. Both of those vehicles took their names from the displacement of their engines. The FR100 takes its numerical identification from the vehicle itself, the 1953 Ford F-100 pickup truck.
Actually, there are two FR100s—one silver, one black—and by the time the SEMA show in Las Vegas rolls around this fall, these two will be joined by a pair of panel trucks equipped with the Cammer engine. The FR100 is mightily modified, with only the hood and door panels remaining purely stock. Ford Racing Technology’s 30-year veteran and engineering supervisor Hank Dertian worked with McLaren Performance Technologies and with Dennis Carpenter Reproductions to turn two old trucks, one found in Tennessee and the other in Texas, into hot rods.
McLaren’s fabricators, led by Donald Buzynski, built the FR100s around a tube-frame chassis. The roll cage has been completely hidden behind the interior trim panels, though the chrome-moly tubing is exposed behind the cab in the cherry wood and aluminum-trimmed pickup bed.
To provide more interior space, the cabin was extended six inches and the bed shortened by the same amount. The front wheels are located five inches forward of the stock ’53 F-100 placement and are supported by an independent, coil-over suspension similar to that used on the FR500 Mustang. The back end rides on a modified version of Mustang Cobra’s independent rear suspension.
“We did a lot of work on the suspension, to make it livable on normal roads and on the track,” says Davis.
Fenders were widened, and their openings enlarged and squared off to make room for three-piece BBS wheels. The 18-inch wheels wear 40-aspect Goodyear F1 Supercar tires and allow cross-drilled Brembo brake rotors—14 inches in front, 13 in the back—and four-piston calipers to peek through.
On the track, the engine’s power and the truck’s dynamic abilities are impressive, and we’re glad that four-point racing harnesses hold us in place, as the tires display amazing grip. The Brembos prove effective, too, especially given the FR100’s 3850-pound curb weight. With a 52/48 front/rear weight ratio, the truck handles challenging transitions so calmly and with such a neutral demeanor that it seems as if it simply rotates around the “fat-wrap” Mustang steering wheel.
With 370 lb-ft of torque, we do our laps while toggling the long-armed Hurst shifter between third and fourth gears of the six-speed Tremec T56. The drivetrain includes a Ford Racing short-throw shift mechanism, Centerforce clutch disc, prototype Ford/ Centerforce pressure plate, hydraulic clutch cylinder from a Lincoln LS, metal matrix composite driveshaft, Torsen limited-slip differential and a 4.10:1 axle with an 8.8-inch ring gear.
The interior features retro-styled, billet-aluminum control panels, Ford Racing Masterpiece gauges and aluminum pedals. The FR100 has air conditioning, Sirius satellite radio, and a 385-watt Harmon/ Becker CD-based audio system with amazingly thin (10-mm) Infinity electrodynamic speakers mounted around the cabin and an eight-inch woofer built into each door. And for cruise-in show display, the wheels are covered with “moons” machined from four-inch-thick billet aluminum.
While some might find a 50-year-old pickup with 425 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque obscene, we find nothing indecent about this crate-engined hot rod.
Ford Racing Technology FR100
ON SALE: 2004 (engine only, est.)
BASE PRICE: n/a
POWERTRAIN: 5.0-liter, 425-hp, 370-lb-ft V8; rwd, six-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT: 3850 pounds
0-60 MPH: 6.0 seconds (est.)
For more information: fordracing.com
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....