WHEN the guys at Performance Forums came up with the 13s for $1300 concept, I was hooked. Could I could buy a car and build a 13-second racer for less than $1300? The idea was great and the perfect way to get away from the computer and into some hardcore spanner-action.
This article was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Street Machine magazine.
I started with the easy stuff, lightening the EL Falcon I’d picked up for $100. Out came the interior, then I removed the sound-deadening using $10 worth of dry ice. In the interests of safety, and because I planned to use giggle gas, I built a firewall between the boot and cabin using scrap tin, which I sealed with expanding foam.
The NOS wet fogger system was an eBay purchase and I built a custom intake to help get cold air into the engine as well as giving me somewhere to mount the fogger nozzle.
Throw in a set of slightly used headers with a short side-exiting exhaust and a straight-through muffler and I had all the power I needed. The hardest part of the build was changing the diff gears. It’s not an easy job at home but I found a set of used 3.89 gears and a brand new mini-spool on eBay and managed to get it done in the shed. Add a novelty 13S FOR $1300 numberplate and some colder sparkplugs for the nitrous, and we were ready to go.
Thankfully the EL Falcon uses a dizzy to trigger the ignition as it allowed me to fool around with the timing a little; just as well too, because it proved vital to performance. Once I got it all sorted at Heathcote Raceway the old Falcon ran like a demon.
Naturally aspirated, the EL sedan ran a 14.91sec pass but the factory 180km/h speed limiter gave me some issues near the finish line. With no quick fix at the track, the only solution with the nitrous was to click it into overdrive and pray the stock trannie would hold.
It did, and with 125hp nitrous jets in the system the Falcon went 13.41sec over the quarter for just $1149!
I was sure there was a little more in it so I bought a new speedo drive gear from Ford to stop the speed limiter issue, took some more weight out of it, and added a nitrous purge solenoid to give the engine a clean hit of laughing gas at the start line. It worked, and the Falcon went firstname.lastname@example.org and ran into the 13-second zone over a dozen times. I still think it could have gone 12s if I’d stuck with it but I promised the wife I’d get rid of it when I was done; so I sold it for $1300.
Weight removal: $10
Expanda foam: $20
Headers & exhaust: $230
Cold air intake: Free (homemade)
NOS kit: $480
Nitrous ’plugs: $26
3.89 diff gears: $170
Novelty plate: $33
Speedo Gear Drive: $20
Backyard electronic shift-kit: $20
Nitrous Purge: $60