Mention the name Paul Svinicki and regular readers will form an immediate mental picture of the genial owner of Paul's High Performance flying headlong down the quarter-mile, wringing every last possible iota of performance out of one of his various Cammer-powered drag Mustangs. We, too, tend to think of Paul as a straight-line guru, and we've put his well-documented piloting abilities to work for us in drag testing both the '03 Cobra and the Mach 1. More than just a razor-reflexed shoe, Paul also possesses the mechanical and electronic savvy to develop an ongoing stream of parts and tuning strategies that help keep e.t.'s low and trap speeds high, and he puts his theories to the test on the 1,320 almost every summer weekend. It's safe to say that many modular racers have this guy to thank for some of their quarter-mile quickness.
So it should come as a complete surprise to all of us that the PHP project car pictured here could care less if it ever sees a dragstrip's Christmas tree. In fact, in a move that would seem nothing short of a sacrilege to most Mustang drag racers, Paul actually unbolted the car's factory live axle and substituted an '03 Cobra's independent rear suspension--intentionally. OK, we'll give you a moment to catch your breath.
Horse Sense: The Ignitor's body wears a Mach 1 chin spoiler, Bullittsidescoops, C-pillar trim, and rockers, all embellished with CDC'sShaker hoodscoop, fuel door, sequential taillights, fog/driving lights,and signal side mirrors. The wing is stock, painted black.
The project began with a new '02 GT and a plan to gussy it up for the Las Vegas SEMA show. Perhaps feeling a little pigeonholed, Paul had decided to do something to break out of his drag-racer mold. Don't get us wrong--Paul loves quarter-mile competition, but he also enjoys turning left and right every once in a while, so he plotted out a multidiscipline Mustang, one using as many Ford parts as possible and that would be equally at home on the street, road-course, or, if need be, the strip. The result is what Paul--taking a bit of liberty with the dictionary--calls the Ignitor, a theme based on its yellow hue and reflected in the subtle flames that decorate the hood panel surrounding its CDC Shaker.
Though all may look stock beneath that Shaker, Paul yanked the GT's cast-iron 4.6 and replaced it with an alloy Cobra block stuffed by Steve Stratton at Hillsdale Performance with a ModMax stroker kit, for a more manly 5.0 liters of displacement. Fox Lake ported up a set of PI heads, topped with ModMax street-grind cams, and Paul chose a Bullitt intake to nestle in between. The alloy manifold was Extrude Honed and hand ported. The 24-lb/hr injectors on tap are supplied by a PHP fuel tank and pumps--the latter setup likely a bit of overkill, but you never know when the urge might strike Paul to add a little giggle gas. The fuel rails, throttle body, and high-flow filter box are also PHP bits, while the exhaust is all from Bassani. To tune the combo, Paul used his recently developed ability to flash program the EEC V--a skill that will become ever-so-important as the factory does away with the option of chip-tuning in upcoming models. The result at the wheels is 325 hp and a butt-thumping 347 lb-ft of torque, as measured on the PHP Dynojet.