Horse Sense: Not to be confused with our class at the NMRA, the PSCA's Real Street rules limit rear tires to either Mickey Thompson ET Streets (30x13.5 maximum) or Hoosier Quick Times (29x13.5 maximum).
Quite likely, one of the few disadvantages of living in the sunny Southwest is the fact that nearly all dedicated Ford drag racing takes place on the right-hand side of the country. Blue Oval quarter-milers in such marvelously sun-baked climes as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California are more or less literally hung out in left field. When contemplating attending an NMRA or Fun Ford points event-or even that annual mecca of all things Ford, the World Ford Challenge-the distances involved for Southwesterners are such that a cargo jet might be the only timely form of race transporter. Just the same, if you own a Mustang performance shop out in the middle of the Southwestern desert, your customers still expect you to own and field a late-model drag car. It's kind of obligatory. Failure to do so would be like having a Hooters restaurant without, well, you know, hooters.
Just the sort of paint scheme...
Just the sort of paint scheme to catch a roving photographer's eye, the incen-diary design was concocted and applied by someone going by the interesting moniker of "Sinister." The Fox hatch looks basically all stock Cobra, save for the towering 5.5-inch cowl from Cervini's. Does that make the flamed hood the towering inferno?
That was the position Tom Thompson found himself in not long after establishing All Mustang Performance in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, Arizona. The customers wanted a drag car, and Tom soon caved in to their pressure and bought a theft-recovery shell of a '93 Mustang out of California from which to fulfill their wishes. He then spent the next three years putting together the flamed business card now scorching the pages in your hands. All of which sounds like a perfectly good excuse to us.
Spouse: "You're spending profits on a race car?"
Shop owner/racer: "Yes, dear, the customers are demanding it!"
After 36 months of effort, we imagine the customers were satisfied with the result, but Tom apparently wasn't. He explains, "The first powerplant was 362 ci-revving to 8,800 rpm-that went a best of 9.75 at 138. In January 1999 we decided that 9.75 wasn't fast enough anymore, so we built a 404." The "we" Tom refers to includes his brother, Bob, who is the car's desig-nated driver.
In September of that year, the fledgling NMRA scheduled a nonpoints event in Phoenix, where the freshly stroked Windsor finished runner-up in Outlaw to Mike Murillo with an 8.89 pass at 156 mph. That was using an out-of-the-box 750-cfm carb to top the big Windsor.
Switching to a Braswell-built 850-cfm carb in time for WFC2 in Chicago saw the e.t. drop to 8.55 and trap speed increase to 162. So, let's see-if a 750 worked well and an 850 worked better, why not bolt on an 1150 Dominator? The logic turned out to be sound, as with a ProSystems 1150 in place for the NMRA's West Coast Shootout in October 2000, performance once again improved, this time to an 8.40 e.t. at 165 mph.
But with the points-paying NMRA and Fun Ford events sprinkled throughout the opposite side of the country, the Thompsons couldn't afford the time to attend-they would've spent more time on the road than in the shop, and that wouldn't have amused the customers at all, would it? And although determined to make the once-a-year trek to George Gonzalez's World Ford Challenge, they turned their regular attention to the Pacific Street Car Association, an all-make West Coast drag series with events scheduled in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Bakersfield and Pomona in California.
With its stock front subframe and ladder-bar rear suspension, the hatchback fit the PSCA's Real Street class to a T, so well in fact that at the April '01 PSCA event, the Thompsons tell us the car took First Place, setting a record e.t. of 8.40 (at 165 mph) on the class-mandated M/T ET Street tires. Bolstered by this performance, Tom and Bob loaded up the car the following month for a cross-country jaunt to St. Louis for WFC4. Running in Pro Street Outlaw, the western interlopers went all the way to the semi-finals-running as quickly as 8.30 at 174 along the way-only to run headlong into the then-unstoppable force of Dan Millen's white coupe. Undeterred, the Thompson team headed back West where they were qualified No. 1 at the NMRA's 2001 West Coast Shootout, before it was ultimately rained out.