Dans 8.30/173 performance at St. Louis NMRA served notice that he intends to be take
This FRPP 351 block displaces 398 inches thanks to a Moldex crank, Bill Miller aluminum
The foundation of this 92 LX sedan was handled by noted chassis guru Keith Engling o
As one would expect, the cockpit of this Outlaw is all business. From here, Dan controls t
Dans right-hand man is Rick Billy Irvan (left). Together with Livernoi
You run across quite a few people who claim to be from a Ford family when you are in this business. But Dan Millen may have the best family lineage weve found. The pedigree begins with Dans grandfather, who at one time was second only to Ford for the most land owned and people employed in the city of Dearborn, Michigan. Some of his business interests were aimed squarely at supporting vehicle production for the big Blue Oval. The family involvement continues with Norma Wallis, Dans mom, who is the chief executive officer of Livernois Vehicle Development [(313) 278-7877], a prototype and vehicle development shop located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.
If you haven't put two and two together yet, let's just say being within a stone's throw of Ford Motor Company certainly hasn't hurt business over the years. Twenty-four-year-old Dan goes to college full-time while working part-time at Livernois Motorsports, the newly established high-performance end of the family business. The machines and tooling came about when the family bought out Stu Evan's Motorsports. And what better way to promote a developing speed shop sporting big-time connections than to go heads-up drag racing in a Super Street Outlaw car at NMRA?
Don't let Dan's youth fool you, however--this cat has been around the scene for a while. Remember that nasty, maroon, '85 True Street GT that used to terrorize the competition? That was Dan's first shot at the gold cup. With a similar 398-inch motor sporting Trick Flow heads and an NOS plate system, his street car went a best of 8.83 e.t. at more than 155 mph while winning the True Street championship in 1997. In 2000 he was back in the meanest class of them all packing a Vortech-stuffed small-block Ford that just oozes potential--try more than 173 mph in the quarter on only his first year out of the barn!
Dan isn't resting on his laurels, as the future for this little white notch includes the construction of a new motor as well as lots of testing before the race season begins on March 3-4 in Orlando, Florida. Livernois Motorsports has already assembled a short-stroke Windsor of 357 ci for next year. On top of his list is an exhaustive testing regiment with torque converters. "The converter was stuffed [in the car] in the last minute [to make the Bowling Green NMRA World Finals]," Dan says. "It was lying around the Skinny Kid shop--intended for a totally different application. The converter started out real tight, which provided consistent e.t., but after trying a different stator it ended up too loose and simply blew the tires off the car. I feel this car will have more potential when Marty [Chance] and myself do some real testing and get a converter built specifically for this application from the start." Of his strategy for the 2001 season Dan says, "In the months off, we will be testing and hope to eventually get the car in the 7.90 range--where we simply must be."
Of course, with more air in the motor courtesy of a new turbo, seven-second passes are where Dan--as well as most of the top NMRA SSO racers--wants to be next year. Whether they can make seven-second passes regularly will be an exciting development to watch in the upcoming season.
Horse Sense: Dan's 398-inch small-block is a bona fide 1,300-horse monster assembled at Livernois Motorsport under the guidance of '99 IHRA Pro Stock Champion Chris Holbrook, who is the acting in-house manager.