When Gregg purchased the car,...
When Gregg purchased the car, it was pearl white with blue stripes. That design has since been replaced by Toreador Red with ghost and true flame graphics. Gregg's friend Josh Mullins applied the Ford hue before Chris Alexander laid down the custom flames. That's a Saleen front valance and a Cervini's Auto Designs Cobra R/SVO-style hood up front to accentuate the '85 GT's aero conversion. The wheels are replicas of those that came factory on '03 10th Anniversary Cobras, in 17x9 front and 17x10 rear.
One of the coolest things about the Mustang aftermarket is that the majority of people behind the components are Mustang enthusiasts themselves. Not only do they deliver some of the performance components on your Mustang, they use them on their own Mustangs as well. Look at any performance parts manufacturer, and we'd be willing to bet they not only have a guinea pig 'Stang but the employee parking lot is home to more than one during business hours.
Trick Flow is one such performance manufacturer with its fair share of Mustang parts and enthusiasts. At a Mustang show or event, you can't throw a rock without hitting a Mustang boasting a Trick Flow part. Its cylinder heads are the stuff of legend in our hobby. Many of the fastest Mustangs today rely on Trick Flow Street Heat heads, and that head design has been out for years. The Twisted Wedge head is its little brother, but it's no less a powerhouse on the Mustang scene. And that doesn't even get into the Trick Flow's intake and camshaft offerings, of which there are many.
Trick Flow's Gregg Changet is someone who believes in and installs the parts he watches over on a daily basis. He knows the components it takes to build a fast car, and he applied that knowledge to his own '85 GT.
First off, yes, this is an '85 Mustang GT. As most Mustang enthusiasts know, converting a four-eyed Fox to an aero-nose '87-'93 is not that hard--and quite popular--but sacrilege among the four-eye loyalists. It's not for everyone. Some purists would rather see the four-eye setup preserved, but the choice was already made for Gregg before he purchased the car. "The object of this car was to build a fun, fast street car that I could put the family in and go cruise around," Gregg says. He bought the car in 2009 out of New York and got to work.
"The first thing I changed was the heads," Gregg says. Obviously, going back to this story's introduction, he added Trick Flow 185 CNC heads, but not until after Total Engine Airflow further improved airflow. After the engine was back together, Gregg swapped out the T5 and 7.5 rear for an 8.8 rear and a C4 transmission. In that form, Gregg drove the car for a while, but as time went on, he decided the exterior needed a makeover.
From the outside, the car...
From the outside, the car looks to be an '87-'93, but inside you can tell the car's roots are straight out of 1985. The interior actually sports '85 SVO/Recaro seats, an Innovate wideband, and a gaggle of Auto Meter gauges in support of the stock gauges. In the tunnel is a C4 manipulated by a B&M ProStick shifter. A Boss Hoss 3,200-rpm stall converter allows the combination to build boost off the line to get a jump on the competition at the light.
Using Scott Rod Fabrications' inner fenderwell pieces, Gregg smoothed the engine compartment and sanded the car for a color change to Toreador Red, a 2010 Ford color. Gregg's friend Josh Mullins applied the new paint, and Gregg took the car to Chris Alexander in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the custom flames.
The car already had a 70mm turbo on it when he bought it, but it was slow to spool and out of control once it hit full boost. That's usually the case with a big turbo. You get huge lag, but once boost comes out, look out. It's great fun the first time you experience it, but as time goes by, you want something more manageable.
Before diving into the turbo system, though, Gregg went after traction first (imagine that!), and he chose an excellent source for gaining grip. He talked to NMRA Real Street racer and champion Bruce Hemminger. Those conversations led to adding Competition Engineering double-adjustable upper control arms with weight-jacker lowers, both featuring polyurethane bushings. The car also received four-cylinder springs out back for increased weight transfer.
Then he addressed the turbo change by seeking out the advice of another expert--Hellion Power Systems' John Urist. Heeding John's advice, Gregg swapped to a Turbonetics 64mm single turbo for quicker spooling and more linear power delivery. Gregg also added Hellion's turbo headers and intercooler while he was at it.
With the traction issues, power delivery, and exterior upgrades complete, Greg finally turned his attention to the interior. He's not sure of the seats' origins, but they were in excellent shape so he left them in place. However, the dashpad and carpet needed help, so he replaced both with new pieces to bring the inside up to par with the rest of the car.
Nowadays, the '85 GT is what Gregg envisioned--a fun, fast street car he could enjoy with the family.
Horse Sense: Greg thanks his wife, Darcy; Josh Mullins; Chris Alexander; Bruce Hemminger; and John Urist for making this project come to life. "Also, Kevin from Carburetor Solutions Unlimited for his great customer service," Gregg adds.
Down low, the engine's bottom...
Down low, the engine's bottom end is stock save for a Ford Racing Performance Parts F303 cam. However, since Gregg is a Trick Flow tech, it would be sacrilege to not add some performance goodies up top. Of course, the engine wears a pair of Trick Flow's 185 CNC heads, featuring the company's 1.6 roller rockers, Pacaloy valvesprings, and 2.02/1.60 valves. The heads aren't stock castings, either. Total Engine Airflow freed-up a little velocity before Greg bolted them down. Covering the lifter valley is an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake with a Carburetor Solutions Unlimited 750-cfm carburetor. It's not every day you see a carbureted, turbocharged combination, but Gregg's LX features a Turbonetics single-turbo kit loosely based around a Hellion Power Systems kit. The turbo is a 64mm unit putting out roughly 9 pounds of boost. A Hellion intercooler hides behind the front bumper cover, and Hellion got the call for turbo headers, as well. All this madness is fed by an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump and regulator via -8 fee
Engine and Drivetrain
Camshafts Ford Racing Performance Parts F303 w/stock lifters
Cylinder heads Trick Flow 185 CNC aluminum w/Total Engine Airflow porting, 2.02/1.60 valves, Trick Flow 1.6 roller rockers, and Pacaloy valvesprings
Intake manifold Edelbrock Victor Jr.
w/Carburetor Solutions Unlimited 750-cfm carburetor and a K&N filter
Power Adder Turbonetics 64mm single turbo w/Hellion Power Systems intercooler, and 9 pounds of boost
Fuel system Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump w/-8 feed, -6 return lines, and Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Exhaust Hellion Power Systems
w/Magnaflow mufflers and dumps
Transmission C4 w/Boss Hoss 3,200-rpm stall converter, and B&M ProStick shifter
Rearend 8.8 w/stock differential, stock axles, and 3.08 gears
Ignition Mallory Ignition Digital 685 box w/MSD coil and spark plug wires, Autolite spark plugs
Gauges Stock w/Auto Meter boost, fuel pressure, water, and oil pressure
Suspension and Chassis
Wheels 10th Anniversary Cobra replica, 17x9-in
Tires Riken Raptor 235/45ZR-17
Springs Four-cylinder Fox
Control Arms Competition Engineering double-adjustable uppers w/Steeda Autosports weight-jacker lowers and polyurethane bushings
Wheels 10th Anniversary Cobra replica, 17x10-in
Tires Cooper 275/40-17