Fairly low-key for a tuner...
Fairly low-key for a tuner car, our WAR Mustang features the stock 18-inch fan blade wheels. The lowered Steeda stance, Silverhorse Racing front splitter, hoodscoop, and flat-black WAR decals let you know it's more than stock.
Horse Sense: Aside from its line of serialized Mustangs, Wayne Akers Racing will also customize Foci, Fusions, F-150s, and F-250s
Have you ever daydreamed about picking up a new Mustang from a dealer that will install performance parts from companies scattered throughout the pages of this magazine, let you finance the whole package, and even allow you to retain your warranty in the process? I have, and I've even written one or two columns about the idea.
Sometimes daydreams come true. Those days are here at most dealers if you want to go with certain items from Ford Racing Performance Parts, but there's at least one dealer that's taking that a step further by offering its own Mustang performance packages that just happen to be customizable. That dealer is Wayne Akers Ford in Lake Worth, Florida.
"Wayne Akers Ford has a long history in performance," says Frank Perdomo, parts counterman at Wayne Akers Ford. "In the late '80s and early '90s-the beginning of Wayne Akers Racing (www.wayneakersracing.com)-Wayne Akers Jr. campaigned a Mustang in the Trans-Am series. Sadly, Wayne died in 2000. With his loss came a decline in performance sales, and without Wayne backing the program, it fell by the wayside."
You can get the Wayne Akers...
You can get the Wayne Akers Racing faux gas-cap badge with the serialized package, but the 5.0&SF plate isn't an option.
With fortuitous timing, Frank and Sales Manager Brian Syme reignited the WAR program in 2004, getting right back into the groove of selling a lot of FRPP gear. Like many others, they saw the potential of the '05 Mustang. They decided to build a pair of pilot cars with the goal of attaining performance for a reasonable price. Those two pilot cars were constructed with a mixture of Roush, Ford Racing, and Steeda parts, and they sold immediately.
"The powers that be gave Wayne Akers Customer Service Manager Mike Knapp the green light to produce serialized WAR performance packs on Mustangs exclusively for Wayne Akers customers," Frank says.
That's where we come into the picture. Mike Knapp dropped us a line asking if I'd come down to South Florida and check out a WAR Mustang. Obviously I did, and I came away impressed not only by the car but also by the flexibility that can be offered by a dealership that understands the performance customer. It's not something you run into at every Ford dealer, which makes it all the more special.
Out back, a Silverhorse Racing...
Out back, a Silverhorse Racing honeycomb panel between the taillights highlights the unique WAR faux gas-cap emblem. While any Mustang can be modified by WAR, only the serialized cars receive these emblems.
The serialized WAR Mustangs are available in three basic packages: WAR Packs 1, 2, and 3, which climb the ladder from a simple bolt-on, naturally aspirated package to a full-tilt, 400hp supercharged package. That said, the dealership is completely flexible as to how you want to build your car. It can be a blend of the three or even more aggressive, but some mods-such as the higher-boost Whipple supercharger option-may take you outside the bounds of your warranty. As long as you're cool with that, Mike will work with you to build your dream 'Stang.
On a beautiful South Florida weekend, we tripped down to Lake Worth to check out the Vista Blue WAR Mustang you see on these pages. A gleaming example of just how flexible the cars are, this one doesn't quite fit any of the three fixed packages; it's a blend of WAR Packs 1 and 2, topped off with a 5-pound Roushcharger. The list of other mods is right out of the pages of 5.0&SF, and much of it felt familiar. In fact, the car reminds me of a fusion of Steeda and Roush Mustang packages thanks to the supple grip afforded by the Steeda springs and the torquey grunt of the Roushcharger.
If you're into the idea of owning a turnkey performance Mustang that you can finance and build to your own liking, WAR has the game for you, and it's a win-win.
Underhood, our WAR tester...
Underhood, our WAR tester features the complete Roushcharger setup, including 39-lb/hr injectors, Roush-spec spark plugs, and a Roush supercharger with an air-to-water intercooler. This setup tops off the stock engine and feels like a Mustang should feel. Driveability is great and the power is sporty with plenty of bottom-end grunt and a thick midrange that tapers off as the tach climbs high.
When I dropped off the WAR...
When I dropped off the WAR tester, I met Neil Miller, owner of WAR No. 001. He spec'd out a personalized NA package including a Steeda cold-air kit and tune; high-flow cats and an X-shape crossover; 3.73 gears; a rear panhard bar; lower control arms; Sport springs; short-throw shifter; staggered, deep-dish Bullitt wheels; Nitto tires; a custom leather interior with red inserts; painted brake calipers; and WAR billet. Neil seems to love his car, and he is having a blast taking it to local car shows.
With the supercharger headlining...
With the supercharger headlining the show, our WAR tester was lightly optioned otherwise, but it has the parts where they count-in the power and handling departments. In this example, the WAR package adds $11,999 to the base Mustang price of $29,890 for a grand total of $41,889. Not only can you finance this car, but also it retains the factory warranty and is eligible for the extended service plans.
Inside, our WAR tester is...
Inside, our WAR tester is pretty much straight from Auto Alliance save for the emblem on the dash. As you move up the package ladder or add your own options, you can choose some of Silverhorse Racing's billet bling to liven up the interior.
If you're into having something...
If you're into having something unique and one of a few, there's no better way than buying a serialized tuner Mustang. Not only does it have a traceable lineage, but it usually has a cool badge to let everyone know it's unique. In the case of the WAR cars, it could be truly one-of-a-kind because you can spec out the combo yourself.
WAR's Mike Knapp was kind...
WAR's Mike Knapp was kind enough to not only let us borrow the WAR Mustang, but also do a couple of laps around the block for our cameras. The FRPP mufflers sound great as the WAR 'Stang rumbles by.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||Rearend|
|Block||Stock 8.8 w/ 3.31:1|
|Stock aluminum|| |
|Stroke||Stock Spanish Oak powertrain|
|3.54-in/90mm||control module flashed w/ Roush|
|Crankshaft||Stock w/ Roush spark plugs|
|Cracked powdered metal w/|| |
|floating wristpins||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Stock SOHC w/ variable camshaft||Struts|
|Stock aluminum Three-Valve||Steeda Sport|
|Composite shell-welded single||Stock|
|runner, charge-motion control||Brakes|
|Mass Air||Rear Suspension|
|Fuel Pump||Steeda Sport|
|Stock cast-iron manifolds||Brakes|
|Stock Tremec 3650 five-speed||Tires|
| ||BFGoodrich P235/50ZR18|