The main idea behind the Rough Start concept is that you can find a car that is modifiable and drivable for $5000, through the eyes of someone who has been scraping nickels together for a while. It’s aimed at younger folk, for sure, since I designed it around my early build concepts. Normally, I try to stick to running vehicles, but every now and then you find a reason to break the rule. Today is that day, and it starts with a question: How much can a drop-in engine be, really? If you could find a roller that is just needing some motivation to bring it around, that has plenty to offer, would you jump on it?
This 1979 Ford Fairmont is such a tempting opportunity. Among the goodies listed with the car, you get a cage that’s certified to 8.50, subframe connectors, torque boxes, a tubular K-member, control arms, and Strange coil overs. That’s straight up ready to rock provided you’ve got an engine ready to dump into the Fox body. You aren’t going to come close to testing the limits of any 8.5 cage with this budget, but for a beginner racer on a budget or for someone who would like to cut some cost out of a rowdy street car, well…it might not be a silver platter that it is served upon, but this Fairmont is a pretty tempting call. The question: LS or 5.0L power? Eh, we’ll split the difference…3G Hemi out of a junkyard truck. That oughta spin more than a few heads around while you’re building up something properly nasty!