Pete's GT is the perfect example...
Pete's GT is the perfect example of mixing and matching exterior components from different manufacturers. The Performance Red GT plays host to a Cervini's Auto Designs Stalker hood, a Saleen ground-effects package, and a Roush rear wing. Many people think the whole was repainted when the new items were installed, but Pete is quick to correct that assumption. "I credit that to using Meguiar's NXT wax and No. 21 synthetic sealant," Pete says. For the painted aftermarket components, Pete received help from friends Chris and Andrew Schellberg. Hypercoil springs in a coilover arrangement lower the GT's center of gravity to make the best of Pete's wheel of choice: Simmons FR examples, 17x9 front and 17x11 rear.
Horse Sense: Sneaky Pete Calabrese is the vice president of the Late Model Mustang Club of Connecticut (www.lmmc-ct.com). The club boasts over 200 paying members who help raise money for charitable ventures through car shows and events. Pete has his dad, also named Peter, and his fianc, Anissa Zellman, to thank for all their help. Pete says Anissa calls the GT her beach house, since every vacation revolves around a Mustang event.
The entire car has been taken apart at one point or another," says Pete Calabrese of Fishkill, New York.
To the uninitiated, when a car comes apart, it'll never again see pavement. When a non-enthusiast sees an empty engine compartment, they can't envision the car ever running again. They don't understand that when it comes down to it, a car is a mixture of aluminum, steel, and cast iron.
Welds, nuts, and bolts hold everything together, and what is taken apart, can be put back together. If the average person saw the mechanical carnage and corresponding rebuilds at an NHRA or NMRA event, they would be in awe. After all, even we are impressed with what we see just in the NMRA ranks, and we see it all the time.
Just as with racers in the NHRA and NMRA ranks who have been around an engine or two, this car is not Pete's first rodeo. "This is the culmination of all my years working on cars and learning from previous vehicle combinations," Pete says. Even before Pete purchased this car in 2001, he had a spreadsheet full of modifications he wanted to perform, including part numbers, Web sites, phone numbers -everything.
Pete says he's been into cars since he was 9 years old. He bought his first Mustang, a '68 coupe with a Windsor, at age 15. "This car however, is my biggest project to date. No area was left untouched," he adds.
Going back to Peter's obsessive/compulsive (his words, not ours) build process, Pete grabbed his wallet to put down a deposit on a turbo kit before he even owned the car. "Back then, there weren't too many big power-adder options for the Two-Valve, and I went with a start-up company hoping to obtain my goals for the car," Pete says. As was the case with many turbo systems at that time, it didn't quite deliver what Pete had hoped. Tuning-guru Jerry Wroblewski, known simply as J to many in the Mustang community, finally convinced Pete to shelve that turbo system for a Kenne Bell supercharger. "That was the best decision I ever made with the car," Pete says.
Out came the turbo system and on went the Kenne Bell 2.2-liter Twin-Screw supercharger. However, to fix what many people regard as a late-model Mustang factory flaw in the lack of real paint under the hood, Pete and friends Chris and Andrew Schellberg painted the entire engine bay as part of the Kenne Bell swap. Of course, he had to paint the engine compartment because he had to fill all the extra holes leftover from the turbo kit installation.
The current VT Competition Engine Development found a home over the winter months of 2004-2005 after the original engine ingested 16 pounds of boost instead of the indicated 10 pounds. "It was a bit much for the stock internals, and when they let go, it seemed like the right time to upgrade," Pete says.
Part of his methodical madness came into play when he added the new engine. Many Mustang enthusiasts upgrade one aspect of the car at a time, but when Pete added the VT engine, he also upgraded to the TKO II transmission and built the rear to its current specs. "I did this so the drivetrain would be as bulletproof as possible and eliminate any weak links," Pete says.
From where we sit, Pete's GT has no weak links. It makes excellent power, with 631 hp and 655 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. The combo makes 570 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, for cryin' out loud. That's just crazy talk. "The Kenne Bell performed exactly as advertised. Combined with the VT stroker, it brings a smile every time I get into the car, and I can still get 24 mpg on the highway when cruising," Pete says.
That statement tells you something about Pete and his reason for building this GT. "I think people forget why we build these cars - for our enjoyment," he says.
The first questions people ask him are how fast is it and how much power does it make. "I think people get too tied up in numbers," Pete says.
Pete drag raced for years, autocrossed many times, which parlayed into road racing, and then the show circuit. With this GT, Pete wants to cruise and enjoy driving it. After all, what can be more fun than breaking loose the Nitto drag radials at 40 mph in Fourth gear? "It's an amazing feeling!"
Sneaky Pete has a 5.0 under the hood of his GT, but not in the traditional sense. His is a VT Competition Engine Development modular Two-Valve stroker. VT didn't stop there, though: The company also added ported heads with its Stage III blower cams and Comp Cams valvesprings. This combination in naturally aspirated form sounds like a lot of fun in itself, but Pete didn't see it that way. He wanted big power, so he added a Kenne Bell 2.2-liter Twin Screw supercharger to the 5.0 modular. With Jerry Wroblewski tuning using SCT software, the supercharged combination serves up 631 hp and 655 lb-ft of torque at the wheels with 570 lb-ft of torque available by 2,000 rpm. During the car's build process, the engine compartment was painted body color.
With enough gauges to confuse a NASA pilot, the interior of Pete's GT is just as custom as the rest of the car. An Auto Meter dash cluster replaces the factory unit and gauges, while Pete keeps an eye on the air/fuel mixture with an AEM wideband monitor. Pete raided UPR Products for all things billet, nailing down John Force long enough for him to autograph the dash. Pete's GT also spent quality time at Romar Racing [(845) 778-2737] in Walden, New York, for torque box reinforcements, subframe connectors, and a drag/road-race rollbar with removable door bars.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||ELECTRONICS|
|Teksid aluminum 4.6, 3.57-inch||Stock computer, SCT XCal 2|
|Crankshaft||Kenne Bell Boost-A-Spark,|
|VT Competition Engine||Grantelli Motor Sports coil-on-|
|Development 3.75-inch stroke||plug coils, NGK TR6 spark plugs|
|VT Competition Engine||Auto Meter dash cluster with|
|Development forged||boost, fuel, and oil pressure, and|
|Pistons||oil and water temp; AEM|
|CP ||wideband; Florida 5.0 gauge|
|Camshafts||panel; Auto Meter ProLite shift|
|VT Competition Engine||light|
|Development Stage III blower|| |
|cams||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Two-Valve, VT Competition||K-member|
|Engine Development Stage II||Maximum Motorsports tubular|
|ported, Comp Cams valvesprings||Control Arms|
|Intake||Maximum Motorsports tubular|
|Power Adder||Hypercoil 425 in-lb coilover|
|Kenne Bell 2.2 Twin Screw||Struts|
|supercharger, 15 pounds of boost,||Bilstein|
|Gords Ford heat exchanger with||Caster/Camber|
|twin SPAL fans, custom-||Maximum Motorsports|
|fabricated coolant tank, AN||Brakes|
|fittings, Earl's Lines Pro350||Baer Racing, Mirage Motorsport|
|hoses, custom 4-inch inlet tube ||brake duct kit|
|Kenne Bell/Accufab single-blade||Simmons FR 17x9-inch|
|Mass Air||Nitto 555 275/40|
|SCT BA2800||Rear Suspension|
|03-'04 Cobra fuel tank and||Hypercoil 375 in-lb, Maximum|
|pumps, Kenne Bell Boost-A-||Motorsports rear coilover|
|Pump, custom fuel lines, Steeda||conversion|
|Autosport fuel rails, 60-lb/hr||Shocks|
|injectors, stock fuel-pressure||Bilstein|
|regulator with TJM remote mount||Control Arms|
|BBK long-tube headers and||adjustable lower control arms|
|H-pipe, Magnaflow mufflers,||and heavy-duty torque arm|
|custom tailpipes to clear||Brakes|
|suspension||Baer Racing rotors|
|Tremec TKO-II, McLeod twin-disc||Simmons 17x11-inch|
|with aluminum flywheel, Steeda||Tires|
|Autosport Tri-Ax shifter, Ford||Nitto 555R Extreme Drag radial|
|Racing Performance Parts||315/35|
|aluminum driveshaft||Chassis Stiffening|
|Rearend||Romar Racing subframe|
|8.8-inch, 3.55 gears, Torsen T2R||connectors, torque box|
|differential, Superior 31-spline||reinforcements, and drag/road-|
|axles||race rollbar with removable|
| ||door bars|