Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: You seem to have parlayed your interest in working on cars into a full-time metal fabrication business-what motivated you?
Mark Buchanan: My brother, Bob, and I have always been very interested in cars, and the mechanical part came naturally with help from our father and uncle, both of whom worked for Ford. But the body and fabrication skills were acquired after paying other people too much money to take too long to do disappointing work. We just realized we had to do it ourselves.
CC: That led to the racing contacts?
MB: We'd been racing our dragster since the late '70s, and being in Indy, we made contact with a lot of racers, which eventually led to work for several successful drag race teams, including Don Garlitts' back in the '80s. Today we do lots of work for drag teams and even a few IRL guys.
CC: What's next?
MB: Just trying to stay on top of the business while finding time to have fun with the cars.
Car: '64 Ford Galaxie 500, lightweight "Dragster" package
Owner: Mark Buchanan, Indianapolis, IN
Engine: '68 Ford FE series 427 "high-riser" V-8, now displacing 447 inches with Speed-Pro 14:1 pistons and Ford "LeMans" rods, machined by Scott Gunderman, Indianapolis, IN
Heads: '64 Ford factory High-Riser, 80cc chambers, 2.19/1.73-inch valves, no port work
Induction: Stock '64 Ford "Thunderbolt" aluminum intake manifold with two Holley 780-cfm carbs
Exhaust: Belanger 2-inch headers to 3-inch stainless exhaust with 3-inch, three-chamber mufflers
Camshaft: Crane mechanical flat-tappet with 280 degrees duration (advertised) and 0.715-inch lift
Transmission: '69 Ford Top-Loader four-speed with Hays clutch, Ansen bellhousing, and Mr. Gasket Verti-gate shifter
Rearend: '64 Ford 9-inch housing with bracing, Detroit Locker, 4.44:1 gears, and Moser axles
Front Suspension: Stock '64 Ford with 90/10 Carrera shocks
Rear Suspension: Fabricated unequal-length four-link with original leafsprings
Brakes: Stock '64 Ford drums, front and rear
Wheels And Tires: '58 Rambler 15x4-inch steel front; Stockton Wheel 15x12-inch steel rear; Mickey Thompson 28x15 front; 19.5x33x15 Sportsman, rear
Body Modifications: Factory acid-dipped with original fiberglass hood, fabricated rear wheeltubs
Paint: Ford Wimbleton White by Mark Dole (in 1978), Indianapolis, IN
Cost To Build: "I don't have $5,000 in this car"