Manley Performance

Keeping it in the Family


Words by Richard Kratz photos by Arrington Performance and Manley Performance

When we needed stout connecting rods for the Arrington Performance engine build for our Project Maulin’ Magnum street/strip car we choose Manley Performance. Part of our reasoning was our experience with a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra (we know, WHAT? A BLUE OVAL?). We owned that car and it was King of the Street back then. We played with the car, cranking ever more boost through its Eaton supercharger by playing with pulleys, intake tubes, exhaust and all of the standard hot
rod tricks. It was amazing, both
then and now, how much power
people got out of the 4-cam 4.6L
Ford engine on a regular basis
—we saw a lot of 700+ rwhp
cars that ran for a long time
on the street and track with
completely stock factory
bottom ends.

At the time we were impressed that Ford spent the coin to put forged H-beam rods into the motor. When we looked into it, we discovered that Ford had chosen Manley as the supplier for those rods.

Now, you have to understand what that car and engine represented to Ford back in 2003. It was the highest output engine Ford had ever put into a mass production vehicle. Remember, how power is rated has changed from back in the day to now, so don’t compare it with old muscle car ratings. Ford also went out on a limb putting a hybrid Roots style supercharger on a production car that anyone with the coin or credit could walk in off the street and buy. Ford knew that people that bought that car were going to play with it; they were going to hot rod it. So, Ford didn’t want engines with a few bolt-ons blowing up all over the place, the 2003 Cobra was a statement car, and Ford wanted to make sure it was making the right statement. They chose proven parts that could meet their high standard and it says a lot about Manley that Ford chose them.