Not worried with rarity or historical significance, Doug went right to work with the modifications. He added a K&N air filter and Hoosier Quick Time racing tires and was rewarded with a 14.74 at 93 mph. Following the how-to articles that Tom Wilson used to publish in the former Super Ford magazine, Doug advanced the timing, installed a short belt (to bypass the power steering and smog pump), and installed 3.55 gears. With these, the car ran low-14s at 96 mph. A DynoMax after-cat exhaust, MAC short-tube headers, and an '87 intake manifold got the coupe to a best e.t. of 13.59. Doug and his buddy with the Buick tested quite regularly during those days at Capitol Raceway in Crofton, Maryland.
By 1995, Doug decided to step up his program. The Buick was on its way to running in the high-11-second zone, and he didn't want his pony left in the dust. He wanted to run deep-12-second passes with the chance of going 11s, and he realized he had to have a better (non-'86-headed) foundation to do so. He reasoned that with a fresh motor and something other than the "turbo swirl" '86 head, he would have a chance at running some big numbers. So Doug purchased a '94 iron-headed GT-40 crate motor from Ford Racing Performance Parts for $2,100, commissioning Horsepower by Hermann [(410) 451-3790] to do the installation. Hermann added a GT-40 intake, and the B303 cam that came in the motor was replaced with a stock 5.0 cam and 1.7 Cobra roller rockers to work with the stock, speed-density system. A mass air upgrade was later added, and by 1996 the coupe was running 12.90s at more than 105 mph.
In 1999, the car was once again back at Horsepower by Hermann-this time for a Vortech supercharger. With a polished S-Trim unit, an upgraded MSD-6AL ignition, and an Anderson Ford Power Pipe, Doug's crate engine was seeing as much as 10 psi with the stock blower pulleys. All together, this common combination is good for more than 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.
Doug is still sorting out this 5-year-old combination, but the car has run a best of 12.19 at 113.5 mph. Of special note, on the day that Associate Editor Johnson shot the car, it ran a slippin'-and-slidin' 118-mph pass, showing that the power is there and the need for traction is the next move for Doug. On our slide rule, that comes out to an 11.20 or 11.40 pass-more than enough to hand a bolt-on Buick its doors!
For now, Doug is content to take his uncommon car out to car shows and an occasional dragstrip appearance. He says he's reluctant to put in a cage and the other serious chassis modifications necessary to run well into the 11-second zone. Frankly, we can't blame him, because with the stock hood and stock rims (that Doug will put on for special reasons) this is one sleepy, old-school 5.0 Mustang. Rare and fast, this '86 LX notchback is one for the record books.