We all have our reasons for owning and messing with Mustangs, though a desire for higher-than-average performance is usually a primary motivating factor. Exactly what constitutes higher performance means different things to different people. Some folks quantify their successes with quarter-mile timeslips, some with show trophies, and others by road-course checkered flags. Some of us, though, have-oh, let's say-less traditional ways of measuring the performance prowess of their personal ponies. By the end of our little tale, we think you'll agree that Brian Williams falls under this latter category.
Brian bought his first 'Stang, "a sweet, red '87 LX," in 1989 while attending college in Dallas. He didn't supply us with many details about that one, save to claim that one night he "raced Vanilla Ice out at Royal in his white 'vert and smoked him!" (Brian says he had plates that read "ice ice.") "I think that was my first street race," he adds. Just the same, the LX had to go to fund Brian's completion of college, but he never lost his interest in late-model 'Stangs. It wasn't until 2001 that he got another-an '00 black GT onto which he immediately installed an NX nitrous system-and soon thereafter made a grenade out of his stock modular short-block. Trying another approach after rebuilding, he added a Vortech blower, resulting in about 400 hp to the wheels. "Even so," Brian says, "it was a bit temperamental, so I got the urge to go naturally aspirated."
About this time, he "got an offer he couldn't refuse" on the '00. He then located the '90 GT that became the basis for what you see on these pages. It already had a five-lug conversion and '93 Cobra R brakes, so Brian commissioned a 347, based on an Eagle stroker kit, from Prewitt Racing. The sturdy new short-block is topped with the ubiquitous Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads. "My goal with this car was 400 to the wheels, cold A/C, and a docile yet potent street car for occasional use (I only drive it on weekends in good weather), and to get it in a magazine!" Guess he got his wish.
On the tuning side, Brian says, "It took a TwEECer system and a Trick Flow Stage 2 cam to make it run right." This, after running it on an engine dyno with a carb and an E303 cam, making 380 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque in that configuration. Though not tested since, the car now has a Holley SysteMAX II induction and the aforementioned Trick Flow Stage 2 bumpstick, with which Brian expects "400 to the wheels with full cats, emission controls, and A/C."
It was a neighbor-Robert Anthony, owner of Finishmasters, in Austin, Texas-who apparently talked Brian into Cervini's '93 Cobra body kit and the cool custom flame job. "[Robert] stripped the car to bare metal and went to town," says Brian.
The results speak loudly for themselves-which finally brings us to what motivates Brian's love of Mustangs. He's not really into drag racing-instead, he gets his jollies from wringing every last bit of handling out of his GT. Apparently one of his favorite stretches of pavement is a local winding country road called Lime Creek that snakes its way around Lake Travis, somewhere near Brian's Austin, Texas, hometown. To play with, he finds "lots of WRXs out there, and I easily smoke them in my car-it pulls soooo hard out of the corners and in the straights (many of the corner exits there are uphill)."
But what's Brian's real benchmark of success when it comes to pitting his GT against this particular twisting roller-coaster of a road? "Made my sister puke on Lime Creek Road over Christmas!" he says-with considerable pride. Guess he can quite honestly claim that his ride offers sick handling.
|5.0 TECH SPECS |
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN |
|Block ||Stock 5.0 roller |
|Bore ||4.030 |
|Stroke ||3.40 |
|Displacement ||347 ci |
|Crank ||Eagle 4340 forged steel |
|Rods ||Eagle “ESP” 4340 H-beam |
|Pistons ||SRP forged, 10.0:1 |
|Cam ||Trick Flow Stage 2 |
|Heads ||Trick Flow Twisted Wedge |
|Intake ||Holley SysteMAX II (polished) |
|Mass Air ||Pro-M 75mm Bullet |
|Throttle Body ||Accufab 70mm (polished) |
|Cold Air ||MAC (polished) |
|Fuel Pump ||255-lph Walbro in-tank |
|Regulator ||Aeromotive billet adjustable |
|Exhaust ||MAC short-tube headers, |
|Bassani X-pipe, DynoMax high-flow cats, |
|Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers |
|Transmission ||T5, with Tri-Ax shifter |
|Clutch ||Centerforce Dual Friction |
|Rearend ||8.8 w/3.73 gears |
|Engine Management ||EEC IV, w/TwEECer |
|Ignition ||Stock, w/MSD distributor |
|SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS |
|FRONT SUSPENSION |
|K-Member ||Stock |
|Control Arms ||Stock |
|Springs ||Edelbrock |
|Struts ||Edelbrock |
|Brakes ||’93 Cobra R,13-in |
|Wheels ||Cobra R, 17x9 |
|Tires ||Nitto |
|REAR SUSPENSION |
|Shocks ||Edelbrock |
|Springs ||Edelbrock |
|Brakes ||'93 Cobra R, 11.65-in |
|Wheels ||Cobra R, 17x9 |
|Tires ||Nitto Drag Radial |
|Subframes ||Kenny Brown, w/jacking rails |