It's just a simple, clean...
It's just a simple, clean Reef Blue '93 Mustang GT-or so you thought. The near-stock 5.0 wears Edelbrock heads, a fuel system, and a Turbonetics T64 turbo kit. Paul runs high-10s at around 10 psi on ET Streets.
Horse Sense: To see more details on how you can maximize your street turbocharger kit or keep track of the continued development of this feature car, Paul has invited all of our readers to his home page at www.cardomain.com/ride/340965. Check it out.
Longtime readers of this magazine will remember a bright-red turbocharged street sweeper owned by Scott Bailey featured in the July '02 issue ("Road Raging," p. 164). Scott took his stock-looking GT into supercar status by basing his mods around an affordable turbocharger system. He has since turned the GT into a 9.60 car that's a useful tool for all sorts of encounters. When we shot it, Scott's little brother Paul came along to show us his GT. The Mustang was clean, had a nice selection of bolt-ons, and was on its way to becoming special. When he asked us if we could shoot the car that day for a feature, we politely asked him to get hold of us when he was finished with the mods. True to our word, once Paul was somewhat satisfied with the car's performance, he contacted us and we set up a photo shoot.
Family hot rods didn't begin with Scott, though. Their father has a side business, Blue Knight Enterprises, which specializes in building and restoring old Willys; the two brothers were always helping with various projects.
An aftermarket hood and Cobra...
An aftermarket hood and Cobra R rims set off the now-classic lines of the 5.0 GT. The suspension is largely stock with the exception of Lakewood shocks, HP Motorsports upper and lower control arms, and Jegs subframe connectors. The car pulls 1.50-second short times on wet grass.
Paul's first car was a '68 Dodge Dart with a 318 small-block stuffed into it. It was a crawler, but it got him into the game. Meanwhile, Scott grew up with a '67 Cougar that ran low-13s. Then he got the GT, which came equipped with a Cartech turbo system. Paul was still in high school at the time, but seeing his brother's immediate success with a turbocharged GT solidified what he wanted in his future project car.
By 1998, Paul was in the financial position to get a Mustang. After his dad and Scott helped him look at a few cars, he bought the Reef Blue beauty you see here. It was rather expensive at $8,900, but it was in killer shape. All stock, it ran a best of 15.3 seconds at 93 mph in the quarter. Practicing his driving techniques and getting to know the car got the best as-delivered numbers down to 14.5 seconds at 95 mph. That's a good lesson for those readers just starting out-get to know your car, learn the sport of drag racing, and practice as much as you can before you dump all sorts of money on speed parts.
"My car became the leftover stepchild for my brother's upgrades," Paul says. "As more and more of his car parts became available, my car got faster. I received a full exhaust, a new clutch, a quadrant, and a flywheel from the beginning. In 2002, the car had Edelbrock heads-the same ones that are still on the car-an Edelbrock Performer intake, a 75mm throttle body, a C&L 73mm mass air, and a stock cam. The car made 299 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. It ran 12.40s at 108 mph on ET Streets. It was enjoyable, and it was a solid 12-second car. But at that point, I was ready to take it to the next step.
Not much to see here. Keep...
Not much to see here. Keep everything stock, add the necessary gauges, and no one will know what you're up to. Add in the super-quiet exhaust note-the turbo actually acts as the muffler-and you have quite a surprise for the guy in the other lane.
"I knew I didn't want a blower or nitrous. Every car I would see at Fun Ford and NMRA events had that, and I wanted something different. My brother's car was still somewhat of a rarity. Turbos were becoming widespread, and that was what I wanted to do. I did my research and decided to go with the Pro Turbo Kits. I gave Pro Turbo a call, and six months later I had my kit in hand."
What followed could best be described as a couple of years of growing pains, as Paul had to update several systems on the car to make it survive the power potential of a serious turbocharger system. An incorrectly installed FMU hydro-locked the engine and kept the car down for almost a year. Back together for the '03 season, Paul worked his way through transmission issues with a best of 13.1 seconds at 120 mph on only 7 psi. Paul also realized that a stock short-block and big boost don't mix well, so he submitted an order for a built short-block from Fox Lake. Ron Robart and his Fox Lake team prescribed a low-compression 306 with forged internals, and by the '04 season Paul was back in action. That season brought a lot of frustration. The transmission continued to hinder maximum performance, and the car's true potential wasn't getting realized no matter how hard Paul worked. The season ended with a disappointing 12.84 e.t. at 117 mph in Fun Ford Norwalk True Street competition. A week later, the turbo sucked a clamp through it, bombing the head unit, thus ending the season for the GT.
With the '05 season, Paul had a renewed interest in the car-he considered dumping the whole thing. He swapped in a rebuilt Tremec 3550 transmission with a SPEC Stage 3 clutch. After filling the tank with 110 octane and seeing as much as 20 psi, the car ran an 11.63 e.t. at 122 mph. Two more 11.60s popped up that day, but a 25-psi boost spike kicked the head gaskets, sending Paul and his team back to the garage.