Let's say you want to build a competitive NMRA Super Street Outlaw Mustang for heads-up competition in search of fame, fortune, and glory. Where would you begin? The plan would go something like this. (1) Buy a body-in-white Mustang. 2) Take said raw material to a chassis shop for a 25.2 SFI chassis build. (3) Contract one of the top Ford engine builders in the country to come up with an 1,800hp monster to stuff into your new car. (4) Take it to a paint shop to get the colors on before you add all the supporting systems. (5) Take it to another shop for a fuel system, another shop for interior and trim part installation, and yet another shop to install the wiring system to run the car. (6) Take the nearly completed car back to the first chassis shop for engine installation, header construction, transmission installation, driveshaft construction, intercooler tank fitment, and blower/turbo tube construction (assuming you are using forced induction). (7) Assuming everything fits right (those who have actually built a car on this level are doubled over with laughter at that assumption), set up the chassis and suspension to get the car straight off the starting line. (8) After a dozen or so trips down the track, you are ready to see if you have anything that could be considered competitive by today's standards.
If you're still with us, you would have spent at least 12 months and at least $150,000 to do the job right-that is, unless you are talented enough to take on all the work yourself. It's a tough trail to follow, and it gives you new respect for what it takes to compete in this class, "The 10-Inch-Tired Freak Show." There are some shops that can tackle some of the tasks at hand, but there has never been one shop that has built a competitive SSO car from top to bottom all by itself-until now, that is. Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce to you Zack and Steve Posey's SSO '04 Cobra-a car that was completely assembled (and we mean every single part) at Paul's Automotive Engineering [(513) 791-1087] in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Is it competitive? You bet it is. Zack has already busted off a 189.7-mph pass (and backed it up) in NMRA competition, and that would be good enough to take away Billy Laskowsky/Chris Beningo's world record. The only catch was that Zack was not familiar with the NMRA's policy on claiming that record. No problem. We think he'll have that record soon enough. And, while he's getting used to the raised level of competition in what most experts agree is the toughest heads-up Ford racing class you can get into, Zack has already left a mark. Besides the record-setting power, the car has been able to string together 7.70 runs with ease. That kind of performance put him into the semifinals at the Martin, Michigan, NMRA event. And, he had to beat Jim Blair (the 2004 e.t. record holder and SSO champion) to make that happen.
Although Zack is only 21 years old, it's not surprising that he has enjoyed such early success. His father, Steve, raised him on high octane. Steve owned an NHRA Top Fuel drag car in the early '80s, which was campaigned for several years with some noted success. At home, Steve got Zack involved with competitive go-kart racing and then Legend circle-track racing. For now, though, Zack is dedicated to the world of NMRA SSO.
"Outlaw is a wild class," Zack says. "First off, it's competitive for sure. It's fast-we wanted to go fast first when we started thinking about building this car. [Paul's Automotive head technician] Mike Wilson really talked us into Outlaw, and we're glad he did. We didn't think we'd be running sevens before Bowling Green. For now, I have my mind set on drag racing. I love the Outlaw class, and you're going to see me there for the next few years."