The exhaust pulses from the 514-inch big-block shake the ground almost as much as the engine shakes on its mounts. It's loud, it's brash, and it's beautiful to behold. Cars like Bud Honnert's are the reasons tired, old clichs like "iron fist in a velvet glove" exist.
It's difficult to photograph the kind of intensity this car exudes, and words usually fall short as well, but close your eyes and imagine the raucous popping of a big-inch, high-compression engine at idle. Now floor it and dump the clutch. Untethered, the engine roars to redline in a mechanical din that's rivaled only by the sound of melting tires.
That about sums up the purpose of Bud's car. He didn't build it to turn corners, and he won't take it to track days or autocross circuits. It certainly doesn't get trailered to shows to spend an afternoon with mirrors aimed at its undercarriage. This car was built mainly to embarrass anyone foolish enough to square up against Bud in the next lane. Guess what? We have no problem with that.
We met Bud and his Fairlane at the Goodguys show in Columbus, Ohio, and he instantly reminded us of a mischievous kid in a grown-up's body. Have time for a photo shoot? Of course. Mind spinning the tires a bit? Thought you'd never ask. Bud's hometown of Sunman, Indiana, occupies a very small space on the map, but we expect it has more burned rubber on its roads than towns 10 times its size.
Can you blame us for loving this car? It is the very definition of automotive irresponsibility: a giant engine with a giant cam fed by a giant carburetor. But it's wrapped in a package that is easily dismissed by the casual observer. We can only imagine the glee Bud must feel when he's behind the wheel of his Fairlane. With a manual transmission to intensify the experience, there's little else to dilute the fun that is to be had leaving the competition in a cloud of billowing tire smoke and exhaust fumes.
Who: Bud Honnert
What: '67 Ford Fairlane
Where: Sunman, Indiana-a town that occupies exactly one square mile.
Engine: Big is the rule of the day and the mantra Bud must have chanted as the engine came together. A Ford Motorsports block is the foundation of this 514-inch monster. The nodular iron crank swings a 4.30-inch stroke and probably weighs a ton. That weight is offset, though, by Eagle H-beam rods and forged TRW pistons. Aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads also contribute to the overall weight loss in a big way, and they are filled with 2.20/1.76-inch valves and Comp 953 springs. Comp also ground the solid roller cam to the tune of 254/258 degrees of duration and 0.647 intake and exhaust lift. On the engine dyno, Bud's big Ford dialed up 621 hp at a high-winding 6,250 rpm and 602 lb-ft at 4,750.
Induction: This combo has the potential to move a lot of air, so there's a Barry Grant 980-cfm carb atop a Victor Jr. single-plane manifold on the supply side and 2-inch primary tube Crites headers downstream.
Exhaust: Three-inch collectors, pipes, and Flowmaster mufflers aid and abet what Bud's neighbors may regard as disturbing the peace.
Transmission:Rather than trust all this power to a Top Loader, Bud backed up his big-inch motor with a TKO-500 five-speed. The overdriven Fifth gear makes driving to car shows in the next state tolerable on the eardrums and wallet. Dark Horse Performance worked over the trans, and the clutch assembly is from McLeod-it spins inside a Lakewood bellhousing.
Rearend: Custom Drivetrain Specialists made the driveshaft, which turns 3.75:1 gears on a Detroit Locker differential inside a nodular iron 9-inch housing.
Suspension/Brakes: The suspension is stock with big-block springs and Monroe shocks at all four corners. Bud added a pair of CalTracs bars to keep the rear leaf springs in check under hard launches. He also chucked the Fairlane's drum brakes for a pair of Grenada front and Explorer rear discs.
Wheels/Tires: Those are E/T Classic Five wheels, 15x5, front and 15x8, rear. A pair of Coker 185/70R15s are mounted on the front hoops, and the rear wheelwells are filled with 255/70R15 BFGs.
Toby Day at Fette's Auto Body in Sunman sprayed the Code K Night Mist Blue paint. The ram air hood is from Crites.
The cherry interior is just as it rolled off the assembly line nearly half a century ago. This car had only 36,000 miles on it when Bud bought it, and the interior was complete and in great shape. Bud wisely left it alone. His only addition was a VDO tach and a couple of Auto Meter gauges.