'99 Mustang GT
Ride and Drive: 6
Fit and Finish: 7
Drag Race: 6
Popular Vote: 6
Total Score: 51.15
Randy Munoz's '99 GT was another of the unknowns we had coming to the Nitto Tire KOTS competition. Yes, we saw pictures of the car prior to selecting him, and it looked promising with a twin-turbocharged Four-Valve powerplant. However, we didn't truly know much about the car until we saw it in person. We can say it was the antithesis of most other KOTS cars. Many of those cars were built to be pretty, but Randy's was built more out of function. It came together really well, or you wouldn't be seeing it on these pages.
Randy built the car using other spare parts found laying around the shop at HPP Racing. Since he's a tech at HPP, Randy had first dibs on many of the discarded performance items when a customer was stepping up in power. Few components were actually bought new, and most of the fabrication work that went into the car was done in-house at HPP.
Randy was eager to get going with the competition as his was the first car tested on the Ride and Drive, and the first one on the dyno for the Horsepower segment. More on the horsepower results soon enough, but for the Ride and Drive one glaring reduction on Randy's GT was the exhaust. What we've found on the turbocharged cars we've driven is that the majority of them are obnoxiously loud or whisper quiet. This car was definitely the former. The exhaust dumped at the front, using the turbochargers as mufflers. If we could equate the driving experience to anything, it would have to be that of a grounded prop plane where the exhaust is released at the front.
However, Randy's GT is probably much faster than a grounded prop plane. As we mentioned, it was the first on the dyno, and right away it was a resounding "game on" by pounding out 858 corrected horsepower. We don't think anyone saw that coming, but when it did, the competition became decidedly more fun to witness. A good time turned decidedly serious. While the other categories are great, the Horsepower category is the one feather everyone wants in his gas cap. Though Randy set the bar high, Jeff Mingledorf's '03 Cobra took the top prize in the Horsepower. Randy had to settle for a Second Place score.
In the Ride and Drive category, Randy and his GT didn't score quite as well. The car was smooth with a solid ride and excellent idle characteristics. However, the car's A/C was long gone, as was its headliner, and anyone who has been in a car without a headliner knows that's not a pretty sight. The Tremec TKO 600 shifted great; and the car featured a pistol grip shift knob, which was a bonus. The GT did boast a nice stereo with DVD player, but we noted the car's overall driveability was merely OK. The brakes were nice, and they really need to be: The car's power comes on at 3,500 rpm, and it doesn't stop until you tell it to with your right foot.
Taking all this into account, I gave Randy's GT a 6 in the Ride and Drive. What really impacted his score was the conversation-killing exhaust, the lack of A/C, and the missing headliner. However, Tech Editor Jones gave it a 7 in Engineering, and Editor Turner gave him the same score in the Fit and Finish category. With an 11.50/135-mph blast in the Drag Race portion, the car scored a 6 with that same score in the Popular Vote category.
Overall, Randy's GT did well for a car built using, as he puts it, "any leftover parts I could find." Had he been able to find a few more parts to complete the package, he would fared much better.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||Fuel System|
|Block||Aeromotive Eliminator fuel pump|
|4.6 Mustang GT block||and regulator, Aeroquip fuel lines,|
|Displacement||Sullivan Performance fuel rails,|
|Rotating Assembly||Exhaust System|
|Cobra crankshaft, Manley||Pro Turbo Kits/HPP Racing|
|connecting rods and pistons,||front facing headers|
|Hell Fire piston rings||Transmission|
|Compression Ratio||Tremec TKO 600 SPEC Stage III|
|8:1||clutch, Pro-5.0 shifter|
|Stock '03 Cobra||8.8, 3.73 gears, welded axle tubes,|
|Heads||Auburn Pro differential, Moser|
|Stock '03 Cobra||31-spline axles|
|Sullivan Performance lower||ELECTRONICS|
|intake, custom upper intake||Engine Management|
|Accufab single-blade oval||Ignition|
|Power Adder||MSD Digital 6, custom Randy|
|Precision Turbo twin 61mm||Munoz-built distributor setup,|
|turbochargers, Pro Turbo Kits/||NGK BR7 spark plugs|
|HPP Performance custom Viper-||Gauges|
|spec intercooler, 20 psi of boost||03 Cobra |