Brad Smith / Sunland, CA
The clear message from our readers is those “rich-guy garages” are not very popular. So based on your preference, we bring you a real-world garage that might actually make you feel good about how messy your garage is. Brad Smith is a real-world Ford guy who, like many of us, has what appears to be a lifetime worth of projects in this garage. Brad suffers from guilt by association with our loose-knit Car Craft family and was involved with our buildup of that bad-actor Kaase Boss–headed monster we built back in the Sept. ’09 issue (“834 HP Kaase Boss”). The lead photo for that story showed us dropping the Boss into Brad’s ’69 Talladega NASCAR stocker in front of his shop. We thought you might like to see the other treasures lurking inside Brad’s crowded two-car garage.
1. Hidden behind the Talladega is another big-block Ford—a 429 SCJ that Brad bought as a junkyard orphan. “The House of Clocks sign must weigh 500 pounds. We’re gonna need a crane to put that up someday,” Brad says. He thinks it came from a clock shop on either Sunset or Santa Monica Boulevard.
2. Farther behind the Talladega, you can just make out the Holley Dominator carburetor sitting on top of the Kaase Boss 520ci behemoth. We made 834 hp, but Kaase told us it has the potential for 900. Can you say “wretched excess”?
3. The blue ’69 Talladega is, in fact, an old NASCAR stocker that Brad purchased when the previous owner would only sell the entire car when Brad offered to buy just the 427 Tunnel Port engine. Once the car is completed, the Kaase Boss will power this machine for track-day fun.
4. This is Brad’s “I drive it all the time” ’66 Shelby GT 350H blessed with a four-speed and a Boss 302 for motorvation. Yes, that “H” means it was a Hertz rental at one time.
5. Let’s talk engines. This is a 396ci destroked version of the Ford Tunnel Port 427 that was originally in the Talladega. In the second half of the ’60s, NASCAR banned Ford’s SOHC 427. In response, Ford created the Tunnel Port 427, which used tennis ball–sized intake ports for 427 FE engines that employed a pushrod tunnel through the middle of the intake-manifold port. These engines came with both twin and single four-barrel intake manifolds. Remaining engine specs were similar to the 427 Hi-Riser. The little four-cylinder to the left is an ’03 2.3L Duratec PZEV (partial-zero emission vehicle) engine. This tiny DOHC beast is intended for friend Tim Moore’s ultralight Jamaican Fiberfab project.
6. Then there’s the ’70 Boss 302 Mustang. Brad says the car came with a 4.30:1 rear gear, no tach, no power steering, and no power brakes. He doesn’t have the original engine but does have plenty to choose from. He’s had this car for well over 20 years. Can you tell?
7. The fender is a survivor of the Talladega back in its racing days.
8. Farthest to the rear is a ’67 Shelby GT350 that was originally purchased by Brad’s dad, Jack. It has all the original pieces and is just waiting its turn.
9. This is a Cobra reproduction that Brad is working on to re-create a ’65 Cobra FIA 289 car. The tube chassis is a clone of the original, and his current plan is to stuff in a Boss 302 engine. Scott’s brother has a ’99 NASCAR small-block that might also find its way into this classic.
“I’m embarrassed to say there is a Chevy engine in the garage—just one.” Brad on the near-new LQ9 that belongs to friend Tim Moore