Freaky Fiesta

Hot Rod Magazine: Feburary/March 1978

Read this doc on Scribd: Hot Rod Magazine-1978-Freaky Festa
FORD'S ECONOCAR BECOMES HOT ROD'S EXOTICAR PART 1 There's no doubt about it, the four-cylinder motorcar is back in fashion in these' United States, And if it doesn't yet look that way where you live, get ready for news like, , . LOS ANGELES-For the first time in history, new-car buyers in Southern California have sent a foreign auto manufacturer to first place in the local sales war. More Toyota vehicles were sold here last month than any other make, leading the imports to a record 40-percen( share of all local sales. Nationwide, imported vehicles accounted for almost 20 percent of new-car sales in the same 3D-day period. No need to remind you how many pistons usually come with that new Toyota (or Datsun or Honda, among other companies reporting record U.S. sales). Such four-banger buying activity has not been seen in the States since Henry Ford's original sales blitz of 50 years ago. Fortunately for those of us residing in the smog- and fuel-conscious 'Seventies, Ford Motor Company has never quite stopped refining that four-cylinder engine family efther. Even while this country was still enjoying 29-cent high test and $2995 supercars, buck-a-gallon petrol was coming to other parts of the free world. Not surprisingly, those ever-thrifty little four-banger Fords became fashionable with the masses; only the very rich dared even consider a V8. It's still that way today, only more so. In fact, Ford's so-called "1600" motor, as seen in the Anglia and Cortina GT long before the Pinto, is considered the small-block Chevy of European hot rodding. And it's that same basic engine, with 20 years of flogging to its credit, that ultimately was selected to power the hottestselling new Ford since 1964 %: the Ford Fiesta. As you've probably gathered by now, this car was born into a ready-made family of high-performance pieces abroad. And if you know where to look on this side of the pond, you won't have to cross an ocean to find them. HOT ROD went shopping last spring, even before the Fiesta was formally cleared for U.S. distribution. Chuck, of Villa Ford, plugged us directly into one of his Orange, California, neighbors by the name of Automotive Development. AD makes a living at making and selling things for SCCA Formula Ford race cars, which just happen to share that very same basic engine. The association seemed a natural for producing one really freaky Fiesta, and so it proved to be. With the continued support of Villa Ford, AD owners Paul White and Jules Williams threw years of racing experience and tons of enthusiasm into the project. What they helped create was exactly what we wanted: a Camel GT-styled street car, with both performance and handling worthy of the racy styling. The initial design came from artist Paul Pfanner, himself a Formula Ford driver. Gordon Saunders and Luis Carbajal of GSAID, a Wilmington styling firm, then turned the illustration into street-legal reality, as illustrated on these pages. The colors came from Swede Wahlgren of Orange, who proclaimed our Freaky Fiesta's body pieces "the best-fitting fiberglass I've ever had anything to do with," We're inclined to agree. Along with the AutoPower rollbar, modified Hoesman Wing, Chastain window louvers and Vitaloni mirrors the bolt-on body pieces are now available from AD and their dealers. (For details, write Automotive Development, 501 Wes.t Maple, Unit V, Orange, California 92668, or phone 714/633-6672.) In addition to the abovementioned pieces, hundreds of other motor and suspension parts are also available, as we'll see next month. Part 2, which examines various mild-to-wild performance and handling tricks, demonstrates exactly how far these American road racers will go to prove a point long accepted as fact overseas: For fast, cheap fun, it's flat tough to beat those fourbanger Fords! HR Automotive Development already offers a bunch of bolt-on pieces for Ford's new Fiesta, including this Auto Power roll bar. Strong, attractive unit installs in stock interior, features removable crossbar. HOT ROD FEBRUARY 1978 37 I. I .... Ford rims (12x4) and Michelin rubber (145SRx12) gave way to 13x5Y2 Western mags, B50x13 Super Charger skins. Ordinary tin snips cleared a path in minutes, which is all that's required up front. In back, inner and outer fenders must be cut, then rejoined. A body shop can do the job in a few hours, or you (c:a~n:"'_~iIiiJ• • • •llw;;'~::;a follow the instructions in AD's kit. _ The rear fenders were rough-formed with strips of fiberglass first, and bonded together by GSAID (304 East Anaheim Street, Wilmington, California 90744). Sharp edges were smoothed out by adding sheets of fibercloth, as demonstrated here by GSAID finishing expert Luis Carbajal. o I iJ ::0 }> Gl b I iJ :<: o ~ ~ Once applied, sealed and dried, the cloth layers added about 3/ 16-i nch to the surface, reinforcing the entire piece. At each stage of development, GSAID stylist Gordon Saunders put his thoughts into writing. These instructions were Gordon's last prior to final shaping, which GSAID accomplishes with their own mixture of polyester filler material. Finished part became the plug for AD's Freaky Fiesta fender mold. m An Automotive Development spring kit dropped the body two inches at either end (as F we'll illustrate in next month's suspension section). Rubber endpieces were unbolted r from the stock bumpers-which happen to be interchangeable-and trimmed to fit the Freaky Fiesta's new fiberglass. Side lights were removed for the short trip to GSAID's m styling studio. f) 38 HOT ROD FEBRUARY 1978 Like the front fenders, GSAID's air dam gradually took shape in foam, from which a mold was formed. Squared-off headlights and "script" grille were slated to appear, a la the European Fiesta, but the headlight buckets are still unavailable Stateside. Door pieces were saved for last, then hand-formed to match the finished fenders by stylist Saunders. A perfectionist in every sense, Gordon Saunders prefers shaping with foam whenever possible. Besides eliminating the "clay" stage entirely, foam shapes easily and minimizes the stress and warpage that plague "slab" construction. The front fenders were carved from blocks of polyurethene foam, a talent Gordon Saunders has been utilizing since the 'Forties. Once SCUlpted, sanded and filled, the finished piece became a "plug" for AD's front-fender mold. Second photo shows foam plug and initial fiberglass mold. Mounted fender was extracted from that mold, then further refined, as indicated by Saunders' "notes," for a second, production mold. The air dam was designed to blend into the fenders, yet allow compatibility with the stock Fiesta bumper, as shown. Here's the Freaky Fiesta just prior to paint preparation. The four fenders, door sections and air dam are all actual production pieces, extracted from GSAID's fresh molds. Rubber spoiler lip (not shown) attaches to the lower edge of the air dam, is included in Automotive Development's package. HOT ROD FEBRUARY 1978 39 The fiberglass pieces were painted individually, then mounted to the body.. AD's Freaky Fiesta body kit includes predrilled mounting flanges (inset) and rubber gaskets for every piece, plus complete installation instructions. Swede's Custom Painting advises that a complete paint job really isn't necessary; once matched to the'body color, the fenders (and/or doors) can be custom-painted to achieve a low-dollar custom paint treatment. Rear window louvers, also available through AD, are by Chastain, Inc. Mild to wild, the folks at Automotive Development tell Lis how it's done in . next month's installment. _-==".... ====~~====b:::== This particular motor features twin Webers, AD's own Fiesta exhaust system and lots more, yet _ ......liol cold-starts easily,' gets great mileage and hauls . hay, needless to say! Power a!1d handling secrets coming right up in Part 2: Freaky Fiesta. NEXT MONTH: . , -4 N ext to making the payments, the worst thing about driving a brand-new, just-introduced AUTOMOTIVE DEVELOPMENT DEALERS: Sterling Racing Service 551 Taylor Way Belmont, Calif 94002 (415) 592-7082 Stimola Race Preparation 57 Birch HIli Rd. Locust Valley, L.I., N.Y. 11560 (516) 671-9715 Autoworld 701 N. Keyser Ave. Scranton, Pa. 18508 (717) 344-7258 The Book 801 13th Ave. S. Minneapolis, Mlnn 55404 (612) 336-8000 Butch Harris Racing 2806 Greenrldge Houston, Tex. 77027 (512) 783-9655 Pierre's Motor Racing 11 802 S. E. Stark S1. Portland, Ore. 97216 (503) 255-4110 Ron Minor Racing 6145 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix, AriZ. 85014 (602) 277-7233 CAMCO Racing 3840 Dupont Ave. KenSington, Md. 20795 automobile can be the inevitable absence of bolt-on performance pieces. Such has been the plight of Volkswagen's water-cooled DasherRabbit-Scirocco series, the homebuilt Chevy Chevette and a host of other economy-oriented newcomers. The automotive aftermarket needs time to catch up, and the process sometimes takes years. Indeed, even after that 48-easy-payments plan has finally become history, the new car owner can find himself stuck, still, with little or no selection of proven power pieces. A rare exception to the rule is the spanking-new Ford Fiesta. The right equipment and technology already exist, and surprising amounts of both have come directly from Ford. Fiesta's big difference is no difference; that is, a four-cylinder powerplant that's been turning up in various small Fords since the 'Fifties. Because millions of Anglias, Cortinas and early Pintos all share the same basic four-banger, and because wellfinanced FoMoCo factory teams are common on the international motorsports scene, race-proven factory hardware is available throughout the world. "This engine family is as broad overseas as the small-block Chevy is AD replacement road springs (above, shown with stockers), brand-new Koni struts and shocks (see text) produce handling worthy of the IMSA-inspired styling, Ford "script" grille arrived in time for deadlines; squared-off headlight buckets did not. The Freaky Fiesta is on display at Villa Ford in Orange, California, Mild (Stage II) cam and AD exhaust system keep our Freaky Fiesta surprisingly streetable. Intake manifold is a Ford of Europe item; carbs are 40-DCOE Webers. All of it fits beneath the stock hood. 36 HOT ROD MARCH 1978 FIESTA HANDLING & HORSEPOWER: OLD TRICKS FOR THE NEWEST FORD (NO WAITING REQUIRED) in America," states a guy who should know. And with that, Automotive Development's engine-builder, Jules Williams, begins pulling big-bore pistons and dry-sump oiling systems from his shelves, all the while flipping through aftermarket catalogs and FoMoCo racing manuals. Virtually all of it applies to the 1600cc "crossflow four," so named for its cylinderhead design that comes with every American Fiesta. Turned sideways this time and connected to a frontdrive transaxle, yes, but this engine is hardly new. And as one might expect of the "small-block Chevy of Europe," this motor is a favorite with hot rodders. Not all of them live in Europe either. Since the late 'Sixties, two primary stateside sources for Ford of Europe parts have been Automotive Development and Villa Ford, unrelated firms that happen to be headquartered in Orange, California. While an authorized Ford parts outlet in its own right, AD is quick to credit its friendly neighborhood new-car dealer for "importation" assistance. Because not all of the nation's 5200 Ford dealers share Villa General Manager Chuck Foulger's fondness for fast and freaky Fords, AD does a brisk mail-order business in the factorybuilt, factory-flogged European items sought by American enthusiasts. Cortina owners get extra credit for creating the demand which in turn created a U.S. dealer network. These hard-to-establish connections are an unspecified, if very important, part of every Fiesta's standard package. About that standard package: Right from the factory, the box-stock, smog-legal, 49-state U.S. version produces about 60 actual, flywheel horsepower; enough to put a stock Fiesta in the low-18-second range at the drag strip, which is pretty respectable for the size and cost. How much quicker the package ultimately ~. 1I. ..' HOT ROD MARCH 1978 37 becomes is, thanks to Cortina & Co., limited only by the owner's wants, needs and cubic dollars. Hard-core American musclecar fans are reminded that, on a pure power-to-weight ratio, the V8 Camaro or Mustang or Cuda will need about 300 honest horses to match strides with an 1800pound pavement-pounder like our Freaky Fiesta. And that's to say nothing of this new car's road-holding potential. The bare-bones automobile handles like it performs-respectably well, but no match in the corners for a well-sprung American ponycar, much less a Porsche. Fatter tires and/or wheels will help, but beware of skin-tight sheetmetal. As we learned last month (Part 1, February '78 HOT ROD), even slight deviations from stock sizes may necessitate some body and fender modifications. Among the bolt-on suspension stuff already available in the States is an Automotive Development coil spring kit (see photos) which stiffens up the package and gets it about 1Y2 to 2 inches closer to the ground. Koni has just released a replacement MacPherson strut assembly for the front (Koni No. 82P1987) and shocks for the rear (No. 82J1988), all adjustable in nature. Beefy front and rear sway bars are due this month from Automotive Development. Ford's Fiesta S option includes an anti-sway bar for the rear, and the factory markets a nice line of Fiesta suspension pieces overseas. Stateside availability details remain indefinite. Dealer interest will definitely be a prerequisite, at least for a while, and yours can contact Mr. Foulger (Villa Ford, 2550 North Tustin, Orange, California 92668) for all the latest in factory info. The European engine items are already here, if one knows where to shop. Stateside AD dealers (listed elsewhere),' are a good beginning source for Fiesta owners, as most have spent time flogging combinations of FoMoCo and aftermarket items for the 1600-series engine. Light, first-level motor mods are somewhat restricted by Fiesta emissions equipment. An AD exhaust header can be added without necessarily sacrificing the smog stuff. Available with or without smog provisions, the header even works with the catalytic converter, if the owner so desires. AD also offers a complete (continued on page 109) AD's hot-street packages usually include the mild Stage II cam (280· duration, 360-inch lift), larger intake and exhaust valves (39mm/34mm), improved single springs and 9:1 pistons (standard bore or + .030-inch). Aluminum manifold (front) accepts 5300-C Holley carbo Mechanical distributor replaces solid-state stocker, also provides needed clearance for wild 125-hp (dual-Weber) intake system. Our Freaky Fiesta pumps out about 140 horses behind the Stage II cam, bigger-yet valves (42mm/36mm), dual springs and aluminum retainers. (A complete, bolt-on cylinder head is also available.) Big mechanical fuel pump feeds the 40-DCOE Webers. Big-bore AD pistons pump compression ratio to 11:1, displacement to 1840cc (liners required), are cut for compatibility with both Stage II and III AD camshafts. The ultimate 1600 system includes huge (No. 45-DCOE) Weber carbs and dry-sump oiling. Both are recommended for racing only, and both are very expensive. 38 HOT ROD MARCH 1978 FORD FIESTA (continued from page 38) exhaust system, header through chrome-tipped tailpipe, that features 2%-inch tUbing both fore and aft of a big Lincoln muffler. Valve-spring replacement is anElther first-level AD priority, even for box-stock Fiestas. Some 'Sixties FoMoCo production pieces, like the downdraft Weber carb from late Cortina GTs, can also be contributed without disturbing the smog equipment and/or internal arrangement. They may not run any cleaner, but Freaky Fiesta Part 1: Hot Rod Magazine Feburary, 1978 Part 2: Hot Rod Magazine March, 1978 For More Information on English and European Fords Visit: C~ AD's Stage II motors sure look a lot cleaner. These so-called "hot street" combinations can be assembled to produce anyWhere between 90 and 125 horsepower, depending on the customer's desires. All include a 5300-C Holley two-barrel, aluminum intake manifold and recurved pointstype distributor, plus larger valves (see photo section), Stage II camshaft and standard-bore 9:1 pistons (precut for compatibility with the bigger bumpstick). AD's max-street setup requires an AD-prepared Holley, balancing job and 10:1 compression, and returns about 125 hp ..For roughly $700 in parts, the Fiesta owner can thus double his horsepower without sacrificing driveability. In fact, the new combination should still net 20 to 25 miles per gallon at normal cruising speeds. Something a bit more sophisticated perhaps? Stage III is the full-race, 150-horse package that AD has been known to provide its really serious small-car customers. And just as long as their hoods are closed, YOU'd never suspect anything but a 60horse stocker beneath. That would be your first mistake. As this pint-sized supercar sails out of sight, remember that HOT ROD Magazine warned you all about Stage III Fiestas. Huge, sided raft Webers only hint at the rest, including a bigbore kit that boosts displacement to 1840cc and compression to a hotrodly 11:1 ratio. AD's competition valve springs, aluminum retainers, tubular push rods and a big Ford cam all get into this particular act, and $1200' will pay the parts bill. AD's really, really serious small-car customers often tack on another $650 for dry-sump -oiling, but most of these are driving Formula Ford race carsanother popular application for FoMoCo's 1600 engine. Turbocharging? Stand back for Stage IV, Automotive Development's still-secret Fiesta development program. After driving the mild-mannered, normally aspirated Freaky Fiesta to off-the-speedo numbers in nothing flat, we can only marvel at the turbo possibilities. AD has also dropped some hints about twin-caliper discs and other such exotica for even freakier Fiestas to come. Meanwhile, Fiesta's future would appear to be assured in the domestic marketplace. And thanks to the Anglia and Cortina, supercar power and sporty-car handling are ready and waiting for the hot-selling newcomer. Details and pricing on Fiesta components, including the fiberglass body package (February '78 HOT ROD), are available for $1 directly from Automotive Development, 501 West Maple, Unit V, Orange, California 92668; phone (714) 633-6672. HA HOT ROD MARCH 1978109
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