Arrington Performance's 1964 Ford Falcon
Mike Copeland and Arrington Performance have a reputation for building high-power, cutting-edge motors and cars. They recently revealed their latest creation at the 2022 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada – a hydrogen-powered 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint, named Freebird. The vehicle uses a zero-emissions 2022 Ford 5.0 Coyote V8 engine that was converted to run on hydrogen power, making it the second V8 that Copeland and Arrington Performance have converted.
One of the biggest challenges with hydrogen combustion has been pre-detonation due to extremely high combustion temperatures. Previously, the burn rate was controlled using EGR, but Copeland’s team used water injection, which is a cleaner solution and a smaller impact on the air/fuel mixture being burned in the cylinder.
During the cars unveiling, Copeland did not release hard numbers at the SEMA Show on the engine. He did say that the hydrogen-powered Coyote engine could produce 10% more power than the crate engine running on gasoline. The Freebird Falcon can travel 4 to 5 hours on a single tank of pressurized hydrogen, with the distance being dependent on speed. The car is currently equipped with a 5.3 kg tank, which can be filled from empty in around five minutes.
The Freebird hydrogen-powered 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint is equipped with an American Powertrain Tremec TKX 5-speed manual transmission, a McLeod Racing clutch, and a QA1 carbon-fiber driveshaft. The Moser rear axle has a 3.50 rear ratio and a Detroit True Trac limited-slip differential. The car features complete TCI suspension, front and rear, with QA1 double-adjustable dampers on all four corners. Baer Pro+ brakes with 14-inch rotors and 6-piston calipers are used to handle stopping, while the car rides on 3030 Autosport wheels wrapped in Continental Tires.
The Freebird's interior features a new dash that’s machined from one solid chunk of billet – courtesy of Michigan Machine Worx with gauges provided by Classic Instruments. For upholstery, Copeland chose a TMI interior. To start, a pair of black vinyl Universal TMI Pro-Series Low-Back Buckets with headrests in a Sport-R pattern. The original rear bench seat was wrapped to match the front TMI interior.
Exterior modifications to the car are minimal, except for the NASCAR-style rear spoiler. Most of the brightwork on the car is original due to the lack of aftermarket support for the Falcon. The Liquid Blue paint was applied with a waterborne process, adhering to the zero-emissions ethos. According to Copeland, paint is the second most emissions-intensive activity involved in building a car.
The Freebird hydrogen-powered 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint sounds like a classic resto-mod with a performance engine and exhaust system, but it produces zero emissions – the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water!