SHANNON Heraud’s Ford Escort burnout and drag car is a standout on multiple levels, which is why it was the cover car of the August 2018 issue of Street Machine. One of the key drawcards of this little monster is the angry blown V8 that occupies its engine bay, particularly because said mill is a humble 253.
The venerable thongslapper has now resided between the Mk1’s strut towers for the better part of a year, fulfilling strip and burnout duties with gusto. The last time the car saw a dyno, it was spitting out a verified 510hp at 6500 revs.
Not satisfied with consistent 10-second runs down the quarter, Shannon recently felt it was time to shore up the 4.2-litre and aim for nine-second passes and even bigger clouds on the pad.
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This time around a beefier cam and some extra boost from the 4/71 blower was paired with Jesel roller rockers, while upgraded pushrods also made the list. The injection and wizardry is still controlled by an Autronic ECU, but the ignition is a mish-mash of old- and new-school tech. “The Autronic runs all the engine management including the ignition with the SM4, while also using an Autronic 500R CDI box to control the spark,” Shannon says. “It has a four-point magnetic crank trigger, and the distributor is only used to give the computer a cam signal, and to distribute the spark from the coil to the leads. I did that because I wanted to keep the look of the old dizzy instead of individual coil packs.”
The new mods have paid off; as you’ll see in this video, on the engine dyno the upgraded mill ran up to 7000rpm and offered back 600 horses at the crank. Shannon expects the Escort should go well into the nine-second range, and we’re inclined to agree.
Shannon plans to keep attacking events around Victoria and beyond with the formidable 4.2. First on the agenda are a few smaller affairs in the form of LOO5ENATS in Stawell and Shepparton’s Springnats. Of course, you should also expect to see the green beast tearing up next year’s Street Machine Summernats – this time with even more oomph.