I like the old pinto engines, I’ve had several of them ranging from the 1.6 to the 2.3 litre. They are reliable, and easy to find, easy to modify. I know that they were used in Formula Ford racing for years!
If you go to some car shows, you will see them all turbo’ed –out. I don’t know what kind of HP they put out, but they sound kinda beastie. Some of the non-turbo units will also lay some pretty impressive black marks on the pavement.
Its kinda win-win with a Fairmont wagon, they aren’t that plentiful, so the “wow” or “what the hell is that” factor is high, and to have a habanero-hot 4 cyl, it should be pretty interesting.
Look on the bright side, if you get really bored, you could drop a v-8 in that k-member, the 4 banger & v-8 use the same members.