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Southern California Timing Association Top Speed Time Trials - Dry-Lake Screamers

By Miles Cook, Photography by Miles Cook, Will Handzel

What a Luxury (Race) Car Should Be
Just like it says on the side of Jim Gazdzik's Mark VIII, this rig is a hot rod Lincoln of the first order and one of the baddest Fords we've ever seen. The '96 Lincoln Mark VIII is a brand new car, and we saw it on its second-ever trip to a land-speed record event. Jim has lofty goals, and if the way it's built is any indication, some serious speed is not far away. It went 168.868 mph the day we saw it at El Mirage. Power for this other-worldly machine comes from a Boss 429 destroked to 362 cubes to fit in the C Gas Altered class where the current record is 223 mph. The Alan Root aluminum block contains a Sonny Bryant billet crank, Carrillo rods, Arias pistons, and an Elgin cam. The Root aluminum heads have Jesel rockers, Manton pushrods, K-Motion valvesprings, and Manley valves and retainers. Spark is provided by MSD bits. Engine management is by way of an ACCEL/DFI setup tuned by Ken Duttweiller. On Duttweiller's dyno, the Boss 362 cranked out 750 hp at 7,500 rpm. Power is transferred to a Jerico four-speed and a 9-inch rearend with 2.75:1 gears.

The most notable feature is how the motor is set entirely behind the front wheels making it basically a mid-engined car. With a blown version of a Boss motor, Jim, Crewchief John Petri, and driver Alan Foglidani hope to crack the 300-mph barrier with the slippery Mark VIII profile. You can have an additional peek at this awesome car on the web by visiting Or better yet, go to El Mirage and see it in person.

By Miles Cook
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