In addition to building and campaigning this car, and maintaining his business, Phil Delaney also heads-up the IMSM Racing Series. The IMSM features a host of index classes aimed at creating an even playing field for a variety of cars and combinations. Races are held during the summer months in the Midwest from Byron and Cordova, Illinois, to Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Besides racing his '86 GT in the NMRA's True Street class, Phil races in the IMSM's 9.50 Pro Tree index class.
Rage Against the Machine is one of my favorite bands thanks to a unique, hard-hitting, soul-stirring sound. However, lost in the band's riff-heavy tunes and anger-spawned lyrics that made you want to kick someone's teeth in, Rage's message was to fight against "The Man," or "The Machine." Rage was one of the few rap-metal bands attempting to inform people about the injustices of this world. Rage encouraged us to not become part of the machine, but to help us think for ourselves and not simply conform to what big government wanted us to be.
As part of this magazine and enthusiast base, we're a part of a different machine, but one aimed at doing well. We try to keep the cogs of this machine going in the right direction, and one person helping to keep it going is Bartlett, Illinois' Philip Delaney. Instead of writing about cars all day long like we do, Phil uses his creativity to give cars a new exterior identity by way of his company, Rage Wraps. "I have always loved art and cars," Phil says. Starting Rage helped Phil to combine his loves.
During the car's construction,...
During the car's construction, Phil decided to start his own business combining his love of art and cars. That's when Rage Wraps was born. Using his '86 GT as a blank canvas, Phil chose a design near and dear to his heart, a flat-black-over-silver scheme. He wanted a simple, clean look for his own car, leaving the retina-puncturing designs for his customers. The design gives him the contrast for which he was looking, and he "always wanted a flat black and silver scheme," Phil says. The wrap is enhanced by Weld Racing Pro Star wheels surrounded by Mickey Thompson boots, LX taillights, and a 3-inch cowl hood.
Specifically, Phil's more into Mustangs, but that shouldn't be a big surprise since you're reading about him here. Phil had a 10-second '89 GT with a ProCharger, but when that car was damaged in an accident, he was back to square one. The '89 was Phil's second Mustang, and he learned a lot from owning that car. Starting over lead Phil to a clean '86 GT roller with a lot of potential. After looking at the car on several occasions, Phil brought it home and got to work.
"The car was special to me. I have always been a four-eyed fan, considering my first Mustang was an '82 Mustang GT that I bought when I was 13," Phil says. Phil knew the '86 was his chance at doing something big, so he called his buddy Rich Groh at Rich Groh Racing Engines. Phil had a 351 Lightning block and asked Rich what could be done. Of course, as with anything to do with making power, Rich had the answer, but more on that later.
In the meantime, Phil, his brother Dustin, and dad Robert, had plenty of work to do on the car to get it ready for Phil's goal of single-digit quarter-mile timeslips. A lot of work was needed to bolster the car and Phil's knowledge of drag racing. "Everything on the car other than the cage was done by our hands," Phil says. Dustin is the wiring guru of the family so he was enlisted to wire the car. That and Phil hates wiring so it's a good thing Dustin can make magic with a spool and wire strippers.
Throwing a wrench into the car's build was Phil's sudden desire to start Rage Wraps. "Starting my own business was important to me," Phil says. He couldn't have picked a more inopportune time to start Rage Wraps, but why make it easy! "Rage Wraps was an idea I had where I can combine my love for vehicle art and apply it to help racers become a marketable entity," Phil says. That statement has us convinced. However, taking time to build the business took time away from building the '86, but he had the chance to travel with the NHRA, NMRA, IHRA, and other sanctioning bodies to help spread the word. These travels gave him even more desire to get the '86 done so he could become a part of the performance machine.
"I can't say enough...
"I can't say enough about RGR Engines," Phil says. "His (Rich) knowledge can't go without thanks." Rich Groh screwed together a 383ci Windsor using a 351 Lightning block. "Here is a block, what can we do?" asked Phil at the outset of the project. Rich answered with a steel crank, stock rods, and RGR Engines-spec Diamond pistons. He topped the short-block with FRPP Z304 heads, an Edelbrock Super Victor intake with a Wilson Manifolds elbow, and 25 pounds of boost courtesy of a ProCharger D-1SC supercharger. The combo made an effortless 715 hp at the rear tires.
During this time Rich Groh had plenty of time to work with the Lightning block Phil had supplied. Rich turned the 351 into a 383ci thanks to a 3.75-inch stroker crank, and a 0.030-inch overbore. Making the most of the cubic inches, Phil returned to ProCharger for one of its D-1SC superchargers. DynotuneMP's Mike Post provided a base tune, and on the dyno the combo made an easy 715 hp at the feet.
Speaking of feet, building the car and getting the business on its feet, Phil had tremendous help from his family to get the car done, but the graphics were up to him. He wanted a simple look for his car, but one with high contrast at the same time. In the end, this simple flat-black-over-silver scheme gets the job done.
Like the car's taillights,...
Like the car's taillights, the interior has been updated to '87-'93 guts, joined by a pair of Kirkey Pro Drag seats up front, and a B&M Pro Ratchet shifter. The Big Stuff 3 and MSD Digital 7 unit reside in the cool confines of the interior within easy reach for any necessary tuning changes. Phil, his brother, Dustin, and dad, Robert, did the majority of the fabrication on the car. One area farmed out was the 12-point rollcage and subframe connectors handled by LRT Racing in Streamwood, Illinois. Alston Racing also finished the front suspension set-up on the car.
The car made its public debut at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl at Joliet in 2008. It wasn't in fighting shape, but it was there. It wouldn't be until the NMRA World Finals at Bowling Green that Phil would be able to make his dreams come true. Competing in True Street, Phil made the cruise with no problem, but he made a rookie mistake by not tying down a line to the map sensor (If you need any tie-wrap tips Phil, let me know!-Johnson). The result was the line came loose at about the 1,000-foot mark and the car did a nose dive. However, it still ran a 9.65 at 130 mph. "A far cry from where it should have been," Phil says.
For 2009, Phil and company made a few changes,and were rewarded with a best of 9.32 at 145 mph. For 2010, plans include an intercooler and maybe a step up to a ProCharger F-1R. Sounds like a lot of rage to me.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block 351 Lightning
Displacement 383 ci
Crankshaft Rich Groh Racing steel crank
Rods 351 Lightning
Pistons RGR-spec Diamond pistons
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Camshaft RGR, Ford Racing Performance Parts roller lifters
Heads FRPP Z304, RGR-ported, 2.08/1.60 valves, Harland Sharp roller rockers, RGR-spec valvesprings
Intake Edelbrock Super Victor, Wilson Manifolds elbow
Throttle Body Accufab
Power Adder ProCharger D-1SC supercharger, 12-rib drive belt, 25 pounds of boost
Fuel System MagnaFuel ProStar EFI fuel pump, MagnaFuel regulator, -10 Feed, -8 Return, RGR E-Flow fuel rails, Seimens-Deka 83-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Kooks long-tube headers, Dr. Gas 3 1/2-inch X-shape crossover, DynoMax Bullet mufflers with turndowns
Transmission Fully rollerized TSI C4, w/ Pat's Performance Converters 9 1/2-inch, 4,000-rpm billet stall converter and B&M Pro Ratchet shifter
Rearend 8.8 w/reinforced housing, 9-inch ends, Motive Gear 3.73 gears, Strange Engineering 33-spline axles
Engine Management Big Stuff 3
Ignition MSD Digital 7, Moroso Ultra 30 spark plug wires, NGK plugs
Gauges Auto Meter Sport Comp, UEGO 2000 wideband
Chassis And Suspension
K-member Anthony Jones Engineering tubular
Control Arms Anthony Jones Engineering tubular
Springs Strange Engineering coilover
Struts Strange Engineering adjustable
Caster/Camber Strange Engineering
Brakes Strange Engineering disc
Wheels Weld Racing Pro Star 15x3
Tires Mickey Thompson
Shocks QA1 adjustable
Control arms Behind Bars Race Cars adjustable upper control arms, Weight Jacker lowers
Brakes Stock Ford Explorer
Wheels Weld Racing Pro Stars 15x10
Tires Mickey Thompson E/T Street
Chassis Stiffening LRT Racing 12-point chrome-moly cage, subframe connectors