I first met Andy Gallo, a 34-year-old commercial artist from Rochester, New York, during the summer of 1991. I was fresh out of college and enjoying the scene at the local dragstrip on test-and-tune night with my '86 GT. Andy had one of the fast, local 5.0 Mustangs of the time, and we'd often hang out with other like-minded speed freaks. By 1992, his '88 GT was running 13.80s with nothing more than a short belt and bumped timing. However, even though Andy had one the quickest 5.0s in the area, he would disappear on weekends
This condition became most clear to me when the Fun Ford Weekend tried to make a go of it at New York International Raceway Park. I wanted to make sure this race kept coming back to my local track (so I didn't have to travel so far out of town for a change). I personally handed out 1,000 flyers promoting the race. When I talked with Andy about FFW, he told me he had other plans. That didn't sit well with me, so I pushed to see what could be more important than partici-pating in a nationally run Ford series. He told me he had to take his '78 notchback to a local car show. I just about threw up, but I collected myself and went on with my business. Andy would be known as "Show Boy" for the rest of his life, if I had anything to do with it.
A mutual friend, Franky DiGiorgio, and I were able to convince Show Boy that he needed to begin concentrating on the dragstrip. About the same time, Andy totaled the '88 GT. It was quickly replaced with a '91 LX hatchback. That car received 3.73 gearing, underdrive pulleys, Flowmasters, and a 75-horse, dry NOS kit. With a borrowed set of M&H Racemasters mounted on 10-hole LX rims, the '91 ripped off 12.80s at more than 109 mph. With that quick start, Andy began spending more and more time at the track.
"Of course, I was hip to the latest and greatest car wax," Andy says, "while Frank and Jamie were busy figuring out how to get that extra tenth. It was then that I realized how much fun my everyday driver really was at the track. Here I was taking my daily driver/ winter beater to the racetrack, running 12s, and my show car would sit. I wasn't even interested in the shows as much as I used to be. I was at a crossroads. Show car, race car, and fun car-I needed another 5.0 Mustang!"
In 1995, Andy found what he was looking for with the '87 GT you see here. At the time, the 50,000-mile virgin was stone-stock, including its way-cool T-tops. With the silencer pulled and the timing bumped, the car ran 13.998 at 101-with just its factory 3.08 gears! Andy went right back to his old combination-headers, Flowmasters, 3.73s, and a bigger (125 hp) shot of NOS spray. The car ran 11.90s at more than 113 mph.
Motivated by the loss of his father in 1996, Andy decided to try and reach his personal goal of having a high-11-second car that could be driven across the country. So, he drove the GT from Rochester to a relative's home in Iowa. Along the way, he stopped to race at a few dragstrips-just to prove he could do it.
Since then, Andy has focused on naturally aspirated power, with the goal of putting the GT in the 11-second zone on muscle alone. With Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads and an Edelbrock Performer 5.0 intake, he's well on his way. Next up is a 408 short-block to replace the well-used 5.0.
"As far as car shows go, I still love them. The only bottle I bust open now is a fresh 50-ounce of Armor All!"
You know the saying-you can take the boy out of the car show, but you can't take the car show out of the Show Boy!