Shake-Rattle and Roll

Lee LaChapelle owns this ‘71 Ford Torino Cobra and HAS OWNED it since new! He bought the car in 1971 from Tasca Ford….Yes - THE TASCA Ford  - located at 777 Taunton Ave in East Providence, Rhode Island. Why is this so important? Because TASCA Ford is STILL in business today and involved in motor-sports; sponsoring the Ford MotorCraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Nitro Funny Car driven by Bob Tasca III!

This car was sitting in the dealers lot Lee says with four flat tires at the time of purchase, all because at $4100 sticker and the energy crisis, insurance premiums skyrocketing for performance muscle cars, it languished like so many of the times. Remember: this was 1971 and many of the now sought after muscle performance big blocks were a hard sell.

It shakes because it has the shaker hood and rattles to the tune of a new 429 (500hp) built by Tuff Dawg’s in Phoenix, AZ. While originally equipped with the 351 Cleveland and C-6, Lee changed it up a bit after a lady at a car show in WayCross, Georgia on April Fools Day (2009) shot across a parking lot full speed and struck Lee’s Torino - taking the whole front end off! It moved the car 25 feet! He may have been rattled but he got after it with a vengeance; up to this point - the car had over 368,00 miles on it! Hagerty Insurance came to the rescue and with Lee doing all the bodywork. Paint was done by Lee and Larry Fifield. He worked with their adjuster - checking his progress every week. Lee changed up the stock color (Calypso Coral) just a bit with his own custom mix, and had a devil of a time finding the replacement shaker hood - paying $900 for one that required a LOT of work. Tough to find, so Hagerty said roll with it!

It rolls on a set of over 20 year old Cragar S/S Wheels shod with 255/60R/15’s (rear) and 235/60R14’s (front) with disc brakes up front and drum rears. During the re-build Lee chose to send the original C-6 out for a rebuild too and Fourth Gear in Apopka, Fl handled all the upgrades; installing a 2500 Stahl converter. The car still has a 3:25 posi rear end, original door panels and re-upholstered seats that Lee changed to his liking, as well as the original (a $75.00 add on) factory window slats and shaker hood.

Lee has always loved to take this car out and drive it. His Dad and Mom made at least 15 round trips with this car from Rehoboth, Mass. To Deland, Fl.  While Lee is no stranger to hot cars and laps (he used to be a co-owner in the Modified NASCAR Modified series, campaigning cars for over 15 years), he definitely ROLLS in this car every chance he gets - winning so many trophies over the years - he’s run out of room to display them all. He’s most proud of the time he won $750 for a Best of Show in Williston, Florida and we’d like to say - it’s a definite BEST OF Show with Us too Lee!

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