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Violent cornering brought out the advantages of a low center of gravity.  This new Ford really sticks.  Body lean is modest, and with the built-in oversteer, you get a feeling of confidence in the car's ability to do your bidding.  Not that you can't break it loose; we did several times, but it broke reluctantly and a quick correction of the wheel put it back in the groove.

Steering is positive with about average resistance without power advantage.  You'll like the feel of the smaller deep-dished steering wheel , and the driving position, with its conduciveness to good control.   The four turns from lock to lock could probably be reduced to 3 1/2 turns without creating undue turning resistance.  Steering ratio is up from 25.3 to 1 to 27 to 1, "for easier turning," says Ford, but we feel the smaller (14-inch) wheels, with broader rims and more tread surface on the road, may have had something to do with the change.

The Ford for '57 should be a most interesting car to watch.  There are plenty of Ford fingers crossed and they'll remain to until an upward sales trend is established.  No-one really knows why the '56 Chevy wound up so far ahead, but Ford hopes to close the gap with their '57 offering.  They think you will like it.  We think you may, too.

Above information thanks to:
MOTOR TREND / NOVEMBER 1956
SPECIAL NOTE: "FORD DID OUT SELL CHEVY IN 1957"

Supercharger History

Ford Motor Company was looking for a means of increasing the performance of their racing engines as a part of their long running NASCAR battle with Chevrolet.   With the Rochester Fuel Injection looming on the horizon Fords prospects looked weaker for 1957 and they were looking at all options.  Ford decided to use the Paxton-McCulloch supercharger for NASCAR, and after evaluation decided that the VR57 fitted it's need, and as the VR blowers had not been made available to the public by the time Ford set up an exclusive contract with Paxton Products for the VR57.  NASCAR stipulated that a minimum of 50 power plants had to be manufactured to the racing specification before the engine was allowed to race.  Ford built between 50 and 100 supercharged 312 cid engines, equipped with the Phase 1 Paxton-McCulloch VR57's which produced 6 pounds of boost, for racing during 1957.  These power plants, which were conservatively rate at 340 bhp (Paxton claimed 360bhp), proved to successful in racing (much to Chevrolet annoyance) and contributed to the NASCAR and USAC ban of supercharging, multi-carburetion and fuel injection after one year.  Ford also introduced  the Supercharger as a $500 factory option on passenger cars and Thunderbirds in 1957.  The F code supercharged 312 Y-Block engine was rated at 325 hp.  These engines were in response to Chevrolet 283 hp fuel injection 283 cid engine and significantly Ford exceeded the 1 bhp per 1 cid record claimed by Chevrolet in 1957.  The Paxton-McCulloch VR57's installed on these engines are known as the Phase 2 VR57's as they were slighty modified in design to the competition Phase 1's and were de-rated to 5 pounds boost in conjunction with less radical cam to improve the longevity of the engines.

For more information on superchargers check out Jim Moody's site:   www.vs57.com Thanks Jim

 

 

1957 Supercharged Fords

Ford's supercharger program was a stopgap measure to counteract Chevrolet's sophisticated small block V8 on the nations racetracks, which in 1957 had grown to 283 cubes and 283 horsepower with fuel injection.  Ford had owned the V8 market since 1932, so when Chevrolet started to win races in 1955 and 1956 with their new V8, initially a 265, Ford instituted a game plan to regain superiority.  The blown 312 Ford 2-door sedans topped Chevrolet 27 wins to 19 in NASACORT in 1957.  In USAC, it was all FoMoCo, with 12 wins for Ford and four firsts for Mercury.  A minimum number of units had to be built for the street for the Supercharger to be considered stock and eligible for NASCAR.   Well known are the F-model Thunderbirds with blown 312s.  Exactly 211 were built.  More obscure are the supercharger-equipped passenger car.  The formula in 1957 was to take the lightest, least optioned, cheapie 2-door sedan and fit it with the most powerful engine you had, in Ford's case the supercharged Y-block 312 V8 rated at 300 horsepower but was really producing 325 horsepower.  To drive these cars, Ford assembled what is arguably the greatest collection of stock car racing talent ever on one team.   Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Marvin Panch, Paul Goldsmith, Parnelli Jones, Eddie Pagan, and Ralph Moody (later, of Holman-Moody).  Ford's blown Y-block V8 under the hood created the quintessential street NASCAR Stocker.
Thanks Popular Mechanic
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