Wow, what a trip down memory lane here folks! Here is my short story.
My sisters starts dating this guy who owns this 1 year old 78 Formula, yellow with tan interior. I fell in love with the color and set out on my mission when I turned 16 to start a search for my own 78 yellow Formula with tan interior. Two years later as I was just about to give up and buy a brand new 1981 Z28 4 speed car, I found my new ride. A trade in from the previous weekend at a Toyota lot in Huntington Beach, Ca was a 1978 Formula with all the right colors, 403 motor, TH 350 trans and a 2.56 gear out back. It had manual windows and no A/C. I met my girlfriend and now wife in that car, she is a motor head like myself and helped me with keeping it lean and clean. I lowered the car 2Ē all the way around, I ran BFG 295/50-15ís out back and 275/50-15 up front. The car weighed 3,750 lbs without driver.
The car ran a 16.21 ET at Orange County Raceway, with a 67 mph thru the traps bone stock. I rejetted the stock Q-jet carb, recurved the stoch HEI distributor, true dual exhaust on stock manifolds ( I ran headers for a while and didnít like them so I went back to the stock manifolds), edelbrock performer manifold and a dual snorkel ďcold airĒ cleaner. The car ran consistent 14.30ís at 102 mph with the 2.56 gear. The car ran on ###### water grade fuel, never burned a drop of oil and would get 22 mpg on the highway if I would keep my foot out of it. I later went to a posi 3.42 gear which the car would then run between 13.98 and 14.03 all day long at the same 102 mph. Up until the late 80ís, a 14 flat car was pretty darn good, and I didnít loose to many street races. As a side note, I once had the car up to 5,000 rpm in 3rd gear with the BFG tires and the 2.56 gear. I remember I did the math at the time and calculated the mph to be in the 150 range, it was a stupid thing to do. A few strange things happened at about 130 MPH, the windows sucked out of their roof seals and onto the roof.
Many people gave me a hard time about the engine package I was running, but it served me well and caught many a hot rod off guard. It wasnít a revver motor. My best ETís were shifting just below 5K, from 2 to 4K rpm, that motor was a torque monster. Very unusual for a short stroke motor. In the 156,000 miles I drove the car, it never broke anything!
Eventually, the car sat covered in my garage until 1990, not getting out much. A street racing ticket (against a SS396/325 hp car) and no A/C was not compatible with my career. I also had a new house and wife, meaning it needed to go. A gentleman from New Zealand purchased the car for a client of his. As far as I know, the car is still over there. That was a ###### good car.
Keep up the good work, for those of you that still have these cars, enjoy a timeless classic hot rod.
Edited by ntoracn, 10 January 2008 - 11:06 PM.