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						Ffr Spyder 1
Big Boost in Buick-Powered Spyder

Grand National power in a Factory Five Daytona Spyder

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

The Ford small-block is basically standard issue in most any Ford or Shelby recreations. Ubiquitous 289 and 302 ci Ford’s can be found just about everywhere, and the venerable 351 Windsor even forms the foundation for most 427 ci replica vehicles these days. But there’s no written rule that this needs to be the case, and there are numerous options these days for lightweight replacements for displacement; take this twin-turbo V6-powered Factory Five Daytona Spyder for instance.

Under the hood we see Buick’s legendary turbocharged V6 from the Grand National, the 3.8-liter, cast-iron LD5. For 1987, Buick’s Grand Nationals were rated at 245 to 276 hp, though these numbers were vastly underrated. Engines used a single Garrett T3 turbocharger and an air-to-air intercooler in top-spec’d models, and power was sent to the rear through a Hydramatic 200-4R with an upgraded torque converter.

Compared to the (roughly) 200 hp of your average Ford 302 in stock configuration, you can see how the Buick V6 is a viable and exciting option. But the builder went way above and beyond the Buick’s original performance, installing upgraded bearings, studs, valvetrain parts, forged pistons and CNC-ported iron heads. All that work was done to compliment the forced induction upgrades, consisting of twin Precision ball-bearing turbos, and custom turbo headers and wastegates. The owner lists engine output at 450 hp at 12 psi, and a maniacal 642 hp at 24 psi.

Numbers like that are hard to disagree with, and while it’s an unconventional choice, the Buick V6 is pretty fitting for the FFR Spyder.

One of just 38 built in the early 2000s, the Daytona Spyder put a fresh twist on the Shelby Daytona Coupe design with an open-top roadster layout and revised tail panel. With those changes in place, most builders take a revisionist or modern approach to a Spyder build, generally tossing notions of Guardsman Blue, Wimbledon White, Halibrand mags and Weber carbs (of course that’s a generalization not a rule).

This Daytona Spyder is likely one of the most radical of its breed, and it should be for the seller’s $65,000 investment. Find the Spyder here on Memphis Craigslist for $35,000.

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