Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) went to work on the 5.8-liter small block V-8 and managed to squeeze 240 horsepower out of it. A lowered suspension, new shocks, anti-roll bars and 17-inch tires put that power to the road and made the Lighting a great handling truck in addition to being a speed demon. The Lightning cranked up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and blazed through the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. The biggest complaint about the Lightning was that it gulped down gasoline.
With bigger tires and heavier rims on your list of Jeep mods, the stock gear ratio may not be enough to get you where you want to go. This is where changing the gear ratio comes in handy and reduces unreasonable stress on the engine. If the wheels are too tall for the stock gear ratio, there will be a noticeable power drop off from its stock build.
Like the old COPOs of the 60s, the 2011-14 models adhered to strict NHRA guidelines. That meant super-small production numbers and a price payable only by professional race teams. It also meant the car’s engine could only make 530 horsepower. But much like the Japanese engine restrictions of the 1990s, that figure seems to have been framed in air quotes. In 2016 a (not extensively) modified 2014 COPO Camaro ran an 8.323-second quarter mile at 165.80 miles per hour. Doing the math, that car was making closer to 1200 horsepower. 1200.
Let’s start with the 9.1:1 compression, which means you can run this on pump gas. Add in a cast aluminum block, titanium valves, and a forged steel crank attached to forged titanium rods attached to forged aluminum pistons. Top that off with hydraulic roller cams, aluminum heads, and a high-helix supercharger pushing 10.5psi of boost.
Our list of cool old Ford trucks would certainly not be complete without the Ford Lightning. This performance truck was launched as a response to the Chevy 454 SS and it was not only a looker but cranked out some power as well.
While these aren’t necessarily Jeep mods, they should be checked and double checked when you’re putting in work. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there are likely going to be times when you get yourself into a bind. Even if it never happens to you, others who you come across or go adventuring with may need help.
The powerplant behind them was the legendary 427 “L88”, a 450-horsepower 7-liter engine found in many other GM cars including the Corvette. But this version had high compression, required race fuel, and made an insane-for-the-time 450 horsepower.
Remember those COPO Camaros of the 1960s we talked about earlier? The baddest of the bad, the stuff of bedroom posters and “I swear I saw one” stories, the kind of car the uber-rich still build replicas of today? Well in 2011 Chevrolet modified a modern Camaro in a COPO sort of way and took it to SEMA, and the response was overwhelming. So they built it for real. And at its heart, you could have this: a 5.7-liter supercharged 350 crate engine dubbed the COPO 350.