We take no credit for the term Rocket Couch, though we wish we could; it has a great ring to it. No, the expression came from Chris Adams' high school buddy who was referring to the sofa-like furniture inside Chris' Crown Victoria, which is all still intact even though the car is more of a dragstrip warrior than the retirement-community cruiser Ford intended it to be.
So why a Crown Victoria? It was, in fact, Chris' first car. He developed a fondness for the thing that provided his first means of transport. He admits to wanting a Mustang when he got his license, but as he puts it, "My parents wanted me in a big, safe car." So he ended up with a Crown Victoria instead. But Chris seems like the kind of guy who thinks of lemons as lemonade in a funny wrapper. He describes how he came to view his big sedan as "an obese Mustang with a lot of potential." With that perspective in mind, he began to modify the car. It started simply enough: underdrive pulleys and a dual-exhaust kit from a police car. But the plans got complicated when Chris' friend found a Paxton supercharger for cheap. "Things just kind of snowballed from there," he says.
"The build was a long, drawn-out mess and took a lot of patience, time, and, unfortunately, money," Chris says, in an apt description of the snowball effect. We all know how that goes. But Chris was really sailing in uncharted waters when he started modifying his car-Ford's Modular V-8 was still a very new animal, so he had to engineer a lot of stuff through trial and error. Sit down with him and he could regale you at length with tales of fried ECMs, burned-up fuel pumps, incorrect valvesprings, and blown-up engines. He's learned so much about building Crown Victorias that he started his own company, ADTR.net, that specializes in speed parts for the big cars.
After nine years, you'd think Chris would be happy with the car the way it is, but like a true car crafters, he has lots of things he still wants to do to it. Though his engine is pretty well dialed in, Chris has plans to up the compression ratio and drop on a set of bigger, ported cylinder heads with blower cams, Extrude Hone the intake manifold, and see if he can go fast enough to get kicked off the track for not having a rollbar. Sounds like a good plan to us.