"The Nuclear Option"
Chris Lancaster's '93 LX
Photos by: Tony Kirksey Photography
Walking through the pits of any drag racing event, there is never a shortage of wicked cars to see. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with so much to take in, such as at an NMRA race. The noise, the crowds, the smell of race gas and tire smoke; it's a beautiful thing. In such an environment it is pretty tough to stand out from the crowd. Everything happens so fast, it almost seems like a blur with so much action. Every now and then, however, you stumble on something that totally captivates your attention. Something so over the top that you can't help but stop dead in your tracks with your jaw on the pavement. One such car is the subject of this feature, Chris Lancaster's '93 LX. The owner of L4 Auto Body in Bonair, GA; Chris has a solid background in paint & body. The mind bending House of Kolor Candy Green paint alone makes the car almost glow, even at night. Upon further inspection you notice the exceptional workmanship, and detail in the car; this is not just a pretty face.
Continuing on with the inspection, one would note that under the fiberglass hood is not your typical power plant. When Chris set out on this build, it was all or nothing. A dry sump Ford GT supercar block resides between the perfectly smooth fenders. Ford's mightiest of the mighty modular power plant motives this '93, and is chock full of one-off parts adding fuel to the fire. Down low, a Cobra Jet crank swings Oliver billet rods, and custom made forged pistons. Atop the Ford GT heads, custom ground billet cams and Jesel solid lifters actuate the valves. The intake is a story all on it's own, being a prototype unit from Ford Racing, that was intended for the '00 Cobra R. Are you getting excited yet? The engine was assembled and tuned by Mark Biddel of Panhandle performance in Lynn Haven, FL.
Boosting the supercar mill is a totally custom job as well. Starting totally from scratch, Chris built the entire hot and cold side to channel boost into the hungry modular. The centerpiece of the kit is a PTE 76mm unit, huffing 25psi down the throat of the 5.4. Competing in Ultimate/Ultra Street, Chris has the smallest displacement engine in the class, but don't go calling it an underdog. Having made a best test hit of 4.90, the little notch is squarely in the middle of the action, and getting faster every outing.
The supporting cast for such a car would obviously need to be just as stout to handle the violent power coming from up front. A fully built TH400 trans was employed, and works in conjunction with a Neal Chance converter to send the power rearward. Next on the list to receive the punishment is a custom built, carbon fiber driveshaft, then on to a fortified 9" that was built by Tim Lyons of Lyons Custom Motorsports in Rossville GA.
For a solid foundation to put all of this power to the ground, Chris went back to Tim Lyons for a full 25.3 roll cage to tie the coupe together, and keep things safe. The k member, front control arms, rear control arms, and torque boxes were all custom built for the car. Because the class Chris races in requires the use of first gen Mickey Thompson drag radials, a lot of thought went into the chassis, to make it work with those specific tires. Simply bolting on parts is not going to cut it in Ultra Street. Anyone who's ever tried to plant a thousand horsepower to the ground, on a drag radial, knows the struggle is real.
Fact is that it's pretty hard to stand out these days in an environment where everyone is pushing the envelope. Chris has managed to achieve this feat, however. Drawing large crowds of drooling fans at every event he attends, it is obvious he hit a homerun. "The main questions I get are what color is that, what intake is that" says Chris. Sure anyone can have an outrageously cool paint job, but this car goes deeper than that. Let's be honest here, how many guys drop a supercar engine in their fox body Mustang, and go drag radial racing? CR