Big-cubic-inch small-blocks, like the stroked 351 Windsor in Kevin Pallow's Mustang, have a way of making their presence known from the second they are cranked. The quivering idle, sharp exhaust, and willingness to rev when you crack the throttle indicate that something potent lurks under the hood, just waiting to be unleashed. Take this guy on at your own peril.
We rode in Kevin's car on the way to shoot these pictures, so we got what anthropologists call a full-immersion experience. The exhaust is loud, the converter is loose, the spool makes the rear tires chirp around sharp turns—all of which is our way of saying the car felt fast. Kevin later verified this, telling us his best time at the dragstrip is 10.13 at 132 mph, which was actually quicker than we expected, as the car felt more streetable than we would have expected for one running low 10s. He can take that as a compliment.
Kevin tells us he comes from a long line of Ford loyalists. "I couldn't own anything else," he says. He bought the car about three years ago, wanting to build something to get into racing. He had his eye on Brainerd International Raceway's Real Street class and did most of the work himself apart from assembling the engine and welding up the 10-point rollcage.
After a full season of racing, Kevin was happy to report that he finished Third in his class (Real Street/Naturally Aspirated), and his car didn't break a single part. That means there's room to make more power, right? Kevin thinks so, too, and currently has the engine out of the car for a rebuild with more compression. We expect he'll be breaking into the 9s soon.
Who: Kevin Pallow
What: 1990 Ford Mustang
Where: Andover, MN
Engine: Kevin based his big-inch Windsor on a Dart SHP iron engine block, to which he added an Eagle crank, Oliver rods, and Diamond pistons. The cam is a hydraulic roller with a healthy 248/258 duration and valve-lift numbers nearing the 0.700-inch mark. The cylinder heads are Dart Pro 1 that were ported by Knowlton's Thunderheads of Bethel, Minnesota; ARP fasteners are used throughout, as were Cometic gaskets; the pushrods are from Smith Brothers; and the intake manifold is an Edelbrock Super Victor.
Carb and Fuel Delivery: With a final displacement of 438 ci, this engine moves a lot of air and needs a healthy fuel system to keep up with the demand. Kevin picked a QuickFuel 1050 carburetor and fed it with an Aeromotive A1000 pump drawing 93-octane pump gas from a 15-gallon aluminum fuel tank from Behind Bars Race Cars.
Exhaust: A pair of Kooks headers keep the engine breathing freely. The primary tubes measure 2 inches, and they merge into 31⁄2-inch collectors. The exhaust system is also 31⁄2 inches, ending in turndowns just past the DynoMax Ultra Flo mufflers.
Transmission: "I used to have a TKO 600 but decided to switch to an automatic so I wouldn't lose as much time between shifts," Kevin says. Now he runs a Mighty Mite C4 built by Dynamic Racing Transmissions. He also installed a 5,200-rpm-stall torque converter from Ultimate Converter Concepts.
Rearend: Kevin beefed up his car's 8.8-inch rear axle with braces, a Strange 33-spline spool and matching axles, and Ford 9-inch-style housing ends.
Power and Elapsed Times: This combination made 615 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque on the dyno and has propelled the car to a best (so far!) time of 10.13 at 132 mph.
Suspension: Kevin installed an AJE Racing K-member, a Flaming River steering box, and Strange disc brakes to shed some frontend weight. The coilovers are also from Strange. Out back, you'll find HPM MegaBite control arms, stock springs (cut one full coil), and Strange shocks.
Paint/Body: Stock steel body except for the Harwood fiberglass hood with a 6-inch cowl. The color is Oxford White.
Interior: Inside is race-car simple. Climb over the 10-point rollcage and settle into the Kirkey aluminum racing buckets where a set of G-Force harnesses hold you in place. An Auto Meter Monster tach and the cowl hood dominate your forward view. Look over your shoulder to see just carpet where the back seat should be. You know this is going to be a fun ride.
Wheels/Tires: We really like the look of the Billet Specialties Street Lite wheels. Kevin had them powdercoated black and mounted a pair of Hoosier Quick Time Pro DOT slicks on the back.
Thanks: Kevin wishes to extend his gratitude to Transport Graphics and Mean Street Performance. "I could not have built this car without their help," he says.