We truly lament the passing...
We truly lament the passing of Sonic Blue as an offered Mustang color, and Mike Cooper's '05 Roush Sport is a good example of why we do. Most everything you see here was part of the Sport package, other than the Ford Racing Performance Parts rims and the body-color mirror covers from Midwest Auto Gear.
It's funny how a day that starts off badly can sometimes take a sharp turn for the better. A few years ago, Michael and Victoria Cooper were in a two-car procession from their West Bend, Wisconsin, home, heading to the performance doctors at Clinton, Illinois' Anderson Ford Motorsport, when not just one, but two, whitetail deer plotted a simultaneous interception course on the family's '94 GT. The blown and stroked SN95 had been scheduled into Anderson for installation of a nitrous kit and a good tune-up.
Sadly, after the impact of the four-legged missiles, the '94 needed much more than just a tune-up (we assume the same can be said for the deer duo). In fact, once the fur-festooned GT was towed the rest of the way to Anderson, an insurance adjuster ultimately made the call that it would be written off instead of repaired. Luckily, Michael had been wise enough to document his ongoing improvements and modifications of the GT for his insurance company, so the write-off value was somewhat better than would have otherwise been the case.
Naturally, all this stuff took a good portion of the day to sort out, during which time, Mike's wife, Victoria, wandered next door to the showroom of Anderson Ford-Mercury, not so much to check out the wares as just to use the facilities. On her way, however, she spotted a new, prominently displayed '05 Roush Sport in Sonic Blue. The stylish GT coupe called out to her in no uncertain terms, so she jumped in and checked it out; then excitedly went to tell her husband about what she'd discovered. Naturally, one thing led to another, and by day's end, the couple were headed back to Wisconsin as proud owners of the Roush-with the proceeds of their '94 GT write-off going toward its purchase price. It was, in other words, partially financed by Bambi.
The engine room may be showy,...
The engine room may be showy, but there's a built short-block hidden beneath all the dress-up components-all the better to deal with the heavy-hitting T-Trim blower. Reined in to only 15 psi for now (until more manly fuel rails and lines can be brought onboard this winter), the combo currently dispenses 520 hp and 470 lb-ft to the rear wheels.
The Roush Sport package includes the company's six-piece body kit; rear-exit high-performance exhaust with trapezoidal tips; foglamps; and Roush-embroidered floor mats, fender badges, and a windshield banner. Combine this with the rare Sonic Blue hue, and you've got a heck of a handsome S197. The stock GT rims, though, looked a little outclassed, so Michael hunted down a set of Ford Racing Performance Parts' FR500-style 18x9 rims and filled the fenders with Pirellis up front and BFG Drag Radials out back. Those fenders lost some of their extreme factory altitude with the help of Roush Stage 2 springs, dampers, and antiroll bars. The chassis is also bolstered with Steeda's G-Trac brace up front, along with their adjustable third-link and billet lower trailing arms on duty to control the rear axle. Said axle is now fitted with FRPP 4.10 gears and Moser 31-spline axles.
Now looked and handled the way an enthusiast's Mustang should-but what about thrust? The Roush Sport package leaves the Three-Valve utterly stock. A person just can't go from a supercharged 331-inch pushrod to a factory stock modular. It just wouldn't be right. "I've always had the speed itch," Michael admits. "Nothing's ever quick enough." So the power ball began rolling with typical bolt-on hardware, including gears, a premium-fuel tune, a cold-air inlet, and an upgraded exhaust. Then Mike got more serious, together with his old friend Marv Zuidema at C&M Performance (Hubertus, Wisconsin).
First up was a Vortech V2SQ, but then Mike decided that if boost was good, more boost would be better. Plans were made to acquire a T-Trim and some supercharger-friendly cams, but Mike also realized that stock Three-Valve compression is pretty high, and some of the components-notably the rods-within the factory aluminum block are marginal when it comes to highly elevated boost levels. With that in mind, he contracted VT Engines to fortify the bottom end with forged-steel hardware and forged CP pistons, which lowered compression by a full point to 8.5:1. With the aftercooled T-trim, the combo currently produces 520 rwhp and 470 rwtq at 15 psi. The T-Trim will, of course, churn out a lot more pressure, but Mike intends to upgrade fuel lines and rails before turning up the wick. For now, the combo runs 12.01 seconds at a speedy 119.94 mph.
But the strip isn't the Roush's primary mission. Mike is one of the organizers of the popular Planes, Manes & Automobiles show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, so his Roush is also well gussied-up for show duty, as our photos attest. That said, his plans for this winter include a Roush brake package and a D&D T56 swap, so this is far from a static show queen. Now, if only he can keep the deer away from this one . . .
The cabin is tastefully dressed...
The cabin is tastefully dressed for show duty. With Jack Roush's love of aviation, perhaps it's not surprising that the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture extravaganza at Oshkosh provided the venue for Mike to get the Roush autograph on his carbon-fiber dash panel.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine And Drivetrain
FRPP steel (Cobra)
Comp Cams Stage 2
Stock with Comp Cams beehive springs
Vortech T-Trim, 2.91-in pulley
Centerforce Dual Friction and Fidanza aluminum flywheel
FRPP 4.10:1 gearset; Moser 31-spline axles
Stock with SCT tune
Chassis And Suspension
Roush Stage 2
FRPP M-1007-F500C 18x9, chrome
Roush Stage 2
Roush Stage 2
Steeda adjustable third-link and billet-aluminum lower arms
FRPP M-1007-F500C 18x9, chrome
BFG Drag Radial 275/40R18