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Junkyard Parts - Performance In the Junkyard

Think late-model salvage has nothing to offer? Not so. You Can find some great performance parts in the junkyard. We did.

Photography by Terry McGean

cars and can easily be upgraded with more aggressive cam timing and intake and exhaust improvements for even more power, but that's just part of the package. These cars also have the tall B-body spindles that can be combined with aftermarket upper control arms to upgrade the handling of early A-bodies (Chevelles and the like); 12-inch brakes are a bonus. Out back, rear discs with aluminum PBR calipers can also be swapped into earlier GM cars. Plus, there's close-ratio steering, an aluminum radiator with killer electric fans, a 4L60 overdrive trans, and more. We found four 9C1 Caprices during our crawl.

The 351 Windsor is hugely popular with Blue Oval guys these days, whether it's being used to pump up a Fox-era Mustang or a vintage Ford. But Windsor cores can be elusive, particularly because the 351W was rarely, if ever, the standard engine in a passenger car or truck. Fortunately, it remained in production until 1995. One of the later-model uses was in Crown Vic police cars until the body style changed in '92 and the modular V-8 took over. This former cop Vic looks more granny with its light-blue respray, but under the hood is a Windsor topped with Ford's miserable variable venturi carb. That's your clue for spotting the Windsor in later, boxy Vics-the 302 was injected at this point.

Speaking of late Thunderbirds, the independent rear suspension used in all '89-'97 models is used in some popular Cobra replica car packages. Pulling one here would be cheaper than having to buy a whole donor car. We've seen these under a couple of early Mustangs, too, but be warned, they're kinda heavy.

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