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1964 Ford Falcon Futura - All-Motor Man

John Urgo Likes Runnin' 10s The Hard Way. And With A Clutchless Four-Speed!

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Tech Notes
What: '64 Ford Falcon Futura

Owner: John Urgo, go-fast guy

Hometown: Camarillo, CA

Engine: It all started with a 351W block that CFO Racing Engines bored 0.040-over to create 358 ci. Then came the stock stroke Scat steel crank that pushes a set of Groden aluminum rods and a gnarly set of Ross pistons squeezing 14.9:1 compression. Akerly & Childs rings and bearings keep everything sealed and moving smoothly. Lubrication duties fall to the Milodon pan and Moroso external oil and vacuum pumps.

Camshaft: Like many racers, John is secretive about the mechanical roller camshaft, but with almost 15:1 compression, you know it's long on duration. Call it "large by large" with more than 0.700 inch of lift.

Heads: Edelbrock Victor Jr.'s were the raw product, but only long enough for CFO to do its full-tilt porting job. Ferrea supplied the 2.08/1.60-inch stainless steel valves loaded by Isky valvesprings, massive 3/8-inch Smith Brothers pushrods, and a complete T&D shaft rocker system.

Induction: This may be the simplest portion of the entire engine, with just an Edelbrock Super Victor single plane and a Barry Grant mechanical secondary 750 cfm carb.

Exhaust: John and the Fast Guys Fabrication company put some thought into the entire header and exhaust system starting with 1 3/4- to 1 7/8-inch stepped headers that feed into a 3 1/2-inch merge collector and into a Fast Guys-fabbed cross-pipe that eventually leads to a pair of DynoMax Bullet mufflers.

Power: CFO dyno tested this Erik Jones-built 358ci motor and came up with 545 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 and 700 hp at 7,800 rpm. "The torque curve looks like a pool table," John says.

Transmission: Instead of a boring automatic, John opted for a 3.19 First-gear Jerico backed with a Long shifter. The key to making this trans work is the clutch, which is a McLeod Soft Lok dialed in by Les Freeman using a 15-pound aluminum flywheel and medium-friction disc. Coast Driveline built the 3-inch chrome-moly steel driveshaft.

Rearend: John found a '70 Ford Ranch Wagon 9-inch housing that fit the Falcon perfectly, laying the foundation for a set of 5.14:1 gears and a spool to apply all that power through a pair of 31-spline axles.

Suspension: When you have 700 hp, you know it will take some suspension work to hook that grunt to the ground. John worked with Fast Guys Fabrication in Oxnard, California, to add Suspension Technology front springs and Koni SPA 1 front shocks to work with the otherwise stock front suspension. The real effort was in the rear, where Fast Guys tubbed the Falcon and added adjustable ladder bars, a track bar for stability, and a set of QA1 adjustable coilover rear shocks. The Fast Fab guys also added a set of subframe connectors just so the windows wouldn't pop out of the car on the launch.

Brakes: Run 134 mph in the quarter and you'd better have good brakes. Wilwood front discs dissipate most of the braking force while stock Ford rear drums handle the rest.

Wheels/Tires: Bogart Racing Wheels keep the rotating weight down with lightweight 15x3 1/2-inchers up front with a pair of Mickey Thompson 24x4 1/2-inch ET Fronts. In the rear, John mounted a set of 28x11 1/2-inch ET Drag tires on a pair of Bogart 15x10-inch wheels.

Body: This was actually the first work completed on the car way back when John first started the project. Later, the rear wheelwells were stretched 2 1/2 inches when the tubs were added. The only other changes are a brand-new GlassTech fiberglass hood and front bumper. John shot the paint himself in his garage using Oxford blue enamel with a little pinstripe help from Mike Shartell.

Interior: When the emphasis is on going fast, the main move in the interior is to make it safe. The Fast Guys added an eight-point roll bar, which offered a place to hang the Crow Industries safety harness. John then hung the Auto Meter Pro Comp tach, oil-pressure, temperature, vacuum, and fuel-pressure gauges, which still allowed room for the in-dash Kenwood CD player.

Crew: Race cars don't build themselves, and John had plenty of help from the aforementioned people plus West Coast Race Crafters' Big Joel Ganguish, Paul Bartlett of Fast Guys Fabrications, Erik Jones, Jason Holt, and Anthony Ruiz. A special thanks goes to his wife, Cheryl, for her patience and willingness to spend cold rainy Saturdays at the dragstrip, and especially to his dad, John Sr.

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