Scott Dapron, Prescott, AZ - You are looking at one of the rarest combinations of Ford FE 427 motor and aftermarket heads on the planet. Back in the early '60s, Mickey Thompson developed a set of aluminum M/T heads for the Pontiacs he was working on as part of his association with Pontiac Motor Division. When the factory backing dried up, Mickey immediately switched to Fords and began a similar development program with its top-of-the-line 427 engines. A result of that effort was, according to one-time Mickey Thompson employee Scott Dapron, four sets of hemispherical combustion chamber heads for the big-block Fords. These heads found their way onto a couple of very competitive drag-race engines but never enjoyed the success of the Chrysler Hemi. Scott bought these heads many years ago and bolted them on his Mickey Thompson '631/2 Lightweight Galaxie. Later, he bought the intake manifold (the kind you see at a swap meet) only to discover it wouldn't fit a Chrysler Hemi. On a whim, he tried it on the M/T hemi heads and it bolted right up! Scott has lots of stories like this. This engine shot is one of dozens of photos and an equal number of fun stories we uncovered during a two-day visit to Scott's shop. You can find the complete story in our Elapsed Times magazine, on sale at newsstands only in early August, 2012. Buy a copy and thank us later.
1. The envelope in which this engine rests is no less than Mickey Thompson's shop-owned '631/2 Lightweight Galaxie. Scott says the car has barely 900 miles on the odometer and was used as the shop parts-chaser in the late '60s. He bought the car directly from Thompson and has owned it ever since. A Ford Top Loader resides behind this FE.
2. Perhaps even more unusual than the hemi blue oval heads is this cross-ram, twin four-barrel intake manifold specifically cast for use on the M/T heads.
3. That's an original Vertex magneto with a near-impossible-to-find Bakelite cap. Since a magneto does not require an external power source, how do you shut the engine off? A simple lead coming from the magneto leading to a heavy-duty switch will kill the primary side of the points and shut the engine down.
4. Coolant circulates out of the heads via this metal pipe and returns through the surge tank and eventually back into the radiator.
5. This aluminum hard line returns the oil out of the valve covers back to the engine, allowing these heads to be used on an otherwise production 427 Ford block.
6. The M/T valve might look like it should reside on a Chrysler, but this is strictly a Ford effort. According to Scott Dapron, Thompson cast a mere four sets of these heads. If you look closely, the flat-machined area under the spark plugs says "Dyno Room."