As did most of us, Cindy Albert became interested in Mustangs as a kid. Back then, her uncle had a '65 Mustang-red with black top convertible-which made her proclaim, "When I get older, I'm gonna have a Mustang." It didn't hurt that Cindy had three older brothers who were also gearheads, so it was only natural that she would be into cars-and specifically Mustangs, as you can tell by the '00 Laser Red convertible seen here.
In 1993, the Coventry, Connecticut, resident first quenched her Mustang thirst with an '86 GT. But that car lasted only until 1996 when Cindy decided she needed a larger vehicle with which to play soccer mom to her two boys.
But by the end of 1999, Cindy was once again looking at Mustangs. A stop at Bill Selig Ford in Windsor, Connecticut, revealed her dream car in a Laser Red '00 GT convertible with an automatic. "There it was, sitting on the showroom floor just waiting for me," Cindy says. With thoughts of her uncle's Mustang convertible still fresh in her mind, Cindy knew this car was the one for her. Her boyfriend, Dick Zelles, bought the car for her as a present, and it didn't take long for Cindy to have the car at the dragstrip where it ran a 15.1 in bone-stock trim.
With that as a baseline, the modifications ensued, with the first additions being 3.73 gears, a Borla Cat-Back, and a K&N filter. You can bet Cindy had the car back at the track after those bolt-ons, where she was rewarded with a 14.7. Next came underdrive pulleys, a Superchips performance computer chip, a bigger throttle body, and all the usual bolt-ons. With every bolt-on known to the modular community installed, the car ran a 13.99, which meant a cage was needed in order to go any faster and to remain legal.
To make full use of the cage, Cindy upped the power again by adding an ATI-ProCharger P-1SC. But at the '01 Fun Ford Weekend opener, all her hard work came out of the oil pan due to a bad tune-up. Once back home, the carnage known as the original engine was replaced with a Sean Hyland Motorsports long-block. At 387 ponies, the power was nice, but Cindy had the urge for more.
Back the car went for more power, with the addition of a return-style fuel system, a Bullitt intake, and an ATI-ProCharger D-1SC-a step up in power over the P-1SC supercharger previously installed. Remember the 387 hp Cindy's car made prior to undergoing this round of upgrades? Well, the GT left the shop with 300 hp. For those scoring at home, the modifications should've been good for a 100hp gain, not a loss of 87 hp. Nonetheless, as the Fun Ford Weekend opener was in Orlando, Florida, Cindy wanted to be there. So she attended an Orlando Speedworld track rental prior to the FFW race.
Yep, you guessed it. The hard work was once again for not, and Cindy was not the least bit happy when more parts ended up in the oil pan. She would like to point out that the issues weren't mechanical, but of the tuning and installation variety. Fortunately for Cindy, local shop owner Jake LaMotta of LaMotta Performance was also at the track rental, where he witnessed the carnage firsthand. Feeling sorry for Cindy's plight, Jake told her, "You get me the parts, and I'll have it running by next week." Anyone familiar with the Fun Ford and NMRA openers know they are a week apart and at tracks within 100 miles of each other. "Jake worked around the clock and had the car ready to race by the NMRA race a week later," Cindy says.
After the NMRA race, Cindy returned home and had the shop that had previously worked on the car do some tuning. Once again, the engine went south. Since then, the car has never been close to that shop. Cindy brought the car to LaMotta, and as it needed an engine anyway, she and Jake decided to go the Cobra engine route. A Sean Hyland Four-Valve long-block with Al Papitto- prepped heads, to which Jake added CP pistons, found its way under the hood. Jake also added a FAST fuel management system, which was then tuned by Turbo People's Job Spetter.