Mad Frenchman @ Island Dragway


Mad Frenchman @ Island Dragway

Not the best view as Island Drag Strip isn’t the best for viewing especially when you are in the staging lanes and a car launches that you want to see ๐Ÿ™

Island Dragway Shot
Island Dragway Shot

Once again this was killer car to watch make runs as it is a Ford straight six and it wasn’t even one of the bigger sixes either. It was an oddball six that the owner made most of the parts for it himself from what I was told ๐Ÿ˜•

Then to top that off it uses a stick transmission and of course it’s in a Maverick of all cars. Was one of the more interesting setups I had a chance to see running down the quarter. Saw it at Island and Englishtown however not sure if I ever saw it at Atco or not ๐Ÿ˜• I do believe I saw it for sale at Englishtown once too but checking the internet I learned the owner builder Clem had passed away in 2012. So RIP Clem for building such an awesome car ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Well, had to update this page as the video I originally took and uploaded to streetfire is gone as that sight was bought or some BS? Now my footage is lost ๐Ÿ™

I did find that after Clems passing his Maverick has re-emerged and was going to be up for sale. Being a very interesting car to me and never getting to speak with Clem at Englishtown or Island I am only able to pick up this cars interesting history. Or should I say the engines history and then the car as it would seem now after the comment below explaining the engines long history.

Then on to the car itself, who would think a Ford straight six would be used for so many vehicles?

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One Comment

  1. For those who may be interested, the engine is not an oddball but the 300ci Ford truck engine. It uses a CJ Batten ported head and a Howard roller cam with 0.750 gross lift at the valve and ridiculously crazy intake duration to make it breath. It uses three 48mm Weber downdraft carburetors and runs as well as it does due to many hours on a GoPower engine Dynomometer.

    How do I know these details? Because my brother and I built the car in 1974 as an NHRA legal H/MP car and raced it up and down the East Coast through the 1976 season including an appearance at the ’75 Gatornationals and the Div I points race in Sanair Canada, a crazy place where beer is sold at the concession area in the pits!

    We initially had the engine in a ’55 Chevy running I/G but the Volkswagens took over the class so we transplanted the entire drivetrain into a ’63 Plymouth Valient where we enjoyed a lot of success, often running below the national record. When the NHRA changed the rules requiring the Modified Production cars to have matching brand bodies and engines, we built the Maverick

    We sold the car to Clem in 1978 after he had crashed his own Maverick. He initially used his own engine in the car and ran 11.7s or so but picked up 3-4 tenths as soon as he put our engine back in. We had run a best of 11.29 in legal H/MP trim and I still have that time slip from Englishtown from 1975.

    Clem later lightened the car with fiberglass parts and put in a C4 automatic in lieu of our T10 4 speed and his experiment with a Liberty clutchless 5 speed. He also converted the rear suspension from our Dana 60 with leaf springs to a coil over Ford 9 inch. Later, he bought an engine from a Competition Eliminator racer featuring a billet crankshaft with Chevy V8 size rod bearings (much smaller diameter than the stock Ford crank) which freed up a lot of horsepower due to lower parasitic drag (wish I had thought of that). With more horsepower and lighter weight he eventually got the car to run in the low 10s.

    Clem was inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2010 or 2011 and was one of the genuine nice guys in the sport. I don’t know what has happened to the car since his passing but would love to know where it I if anyone has that information.

    RIP Clem

    Bob Eliezer

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