Takeoff! Bill Armstrong launches his ’66 Fairlane during Drag Week.
Bill Armstrong, whose love of all things automotive can be traced directly back to the tire tracks he left as a little kid in his mother’s carpets, is hiding something.
“I always loved cars” says Bill, “I wore the paint off of my Matchbox as a child and lived for Friday nights and The Dukes of Hazzard on television.”
His go-fast passion would continue through his formative years eventually leading to the purchase of this ’66 Fairlane in 1990, which is now motivated by a deceivingly powerful combination.
“I bought the car when I was 17 and have been working on it since,” says Bill, whose first career as an aircraft mechanic undoubtedly lent knowledge and perhaps more to the Fairlane’s history. “While in school I ‘harvested’ some electrical junction blocks and so forth from a ’60s-era Boeing 707 we had at the technical college. Technically there are period correct aircraft parts on my Fairlane.”
Additionally, more down to earth equipment helps motivate the car on land including a 427 Windsor based on a Dart block, a Callies Magnum crank, Oliver rods, Ross pistons, Trick Flow High-Port 240 heads, Holley Dominator EFI, which cranks out 943 horsepower to the wheels on 91-octane pump gas and a conservative tune-up.
Liberty’s faceplated T-56 six-speed; a Rod & Custom front end with power steering; 9-inch rear 4.10 gears; Wilwood brakes all around; QA1 dampers on all four corners; and a 10-point roll cage keeps things under control.
To keep the neighbors at bay, a bench seat, a Barry Manilow in the 8-track. and 17-inch steelies with poverty caps complete the responsible adult living in suburbia look. A quick swap to RC Component wheels is all that’s needed for the drag strip which produced a 9.69 at 150 mph last season!
After teaching himself how to weld and fabricate, Bill proudly displays this twin-turbo 427.
Kids Still Love Cool Cars
It would be easy to assume that with 1,200-horsepower hidden neatly under the hood, Bill would be a hard man to catch. However, for daughters Skyelar and Hayley they look no further than the school parking lot.
“You wouldn’t believe all the middle school kids with their phones taking photos and videos” says Bill, who routinely makes the drop-off and pickup rounds. “I guess rowdy, solid-roller cams and cool cars are not lost on the youth of today. They always want me to drive them to the school in it.”
At home in the garage, 1,200-horsepower hidden nicely under the hood.
When not being the cool dad with the cool car, Bill oversees his own company that does warranty management for new home builders in the Colorado area. Additionally he has begun building a ’49 Ford F-1 and in his spare time is revising a children’s book and artwork about the Fairlane called “Henry” to publish in the future. If past success is any indication, it’s sure to go quick.
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Bill installs 17-inch steel wheels and poverty caps for spirited mountain driving.