If you were a Mustang, we're pretty sure you'd want to belong in the stables of a guy like Herman Torluemke Jr. Such ownership would mean you'd be housed in a climate-controlled, pristine 41/2-car garage, shared with a couple other Pony siblings. You'd never have to go to work, and you'd never, ever be asked to navigate through such distasteful and corrosive elements as snow, or even rain. Though you would occasionally be asked to send all 419 rwhp to the pavement, this would be done in such a respectful way that your original clutch and T5 tranny would still be onboard after 17 years. And your polished-to-perfection Oxford White clearcoat finish would be the one applied at the factory back in 1992. Door dings? Never a one. This, in other words, would be the automotive equivalent of being born with a silver spoon in your, uh, grille.
Herman bought this Fox GT new some 17 years ago, after riding shotgun in a buddy's '89 5.0 for a couple years and becoming thoroughly hooked on its "bang for the dollar." But even back then, at the brimming-with-vinegar age of 22, he never abused his new Mustang. Nor did he put it into harness as a daily driver-he had lesser wheels for that chore. The hatchback instead immediately assumed the role of occasionally driven pampered toy, and continues in that role today. At that point it was his sole vice, though a '97 ragtop and an '08 Shelby GT500 have since been added to his personal sin list. "I don't drink; I don't smoke," says Herman, "I'm just addicted to Mustangs."
The engine bay is a different...
The engine bay is a different story. Though the Powerdyne blower and FRPP short-tubes are about the only power enhancers, everything has been detailed to the point that the underhood mirrors are put to good use. A three-row radiator featuring a 14-inch electric fan supports the factory clutch fan in keeping things cool.
Looking at the level of detail and polishing underhood, we'd have to say it's a fairly time-consuming addiction, and the chassis is reportedly just as sanitary. Though he's had no problems with the BD-10 centrifugal blower that he installed way back in 1996, Herman had Powerdyne upgrade its internals to stronger BD-11A specs, and now has it pullied for roughly 11 pounds of boost. By careful twisting of the distributor (remember those?) and utilizing a Snow Performance water/methanol injection kit, he hasn't even had to chip the trusty old EEC-IV processor. In fact, because the GT never sees rain, Herman utilizes what used to be its windshield washer bottle as the methanol mix reservoir. If worst comes to worst, we suppose he can always squirt it on the windshield...
Though Herman doesn't race...
Though Herman doesn't race his GT, he thinks the Steeda four-point rollbar gives the cabin the right attitude. The grey leather upholstery is as Ford issued it, aside from the GT and running horse embroidery on the headrests and door panels.
Until he added Ford Racing Performance Parts' venerable E303 cam, he ran 3.27 gears in the rearend-they worked just fine with the strong low-end torque attributes of the Powerdyne blower. However, Herman reports that the E303 does its best work with the tach spun a bit higher, so he bumped up to 3.55 cogs to get into the happy range a bit sooner.
Oh, and the "nitrous" bottle in the hatch? No laughing gas is housed within-it simply acts as a disguised subwoofer housing.
Aside from being prized toys, this nostalgic old Fox and his other Mustangs act as pivotal parts of his social life. His buddies seem to gravitate to Herman's place, often completely filling his driveway with their own Mustangs-perhaps no surprise given that his garage is the one with all the cool Ford memorabilia, the huge plasma TV, and the all-important fridge. Said garage's trick new $4,000 floor finish is always spotless. "I'd mop that before I'd mop the kitchen," quips Herman. And what self-respecting car geek could argue with those priorities?
We asked Herman if he had any additional mods planned for his near-historic hatchback. His response: "Well, if I don't blow it up, no, not really." He is, in other words, completely satisfied with the way his fawned-over Fox has turned out, and still loves detailing and driving it every bit as much as his new Shelby. Peaceful is the man who knows when his work of art is complete.