Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsCar Reviews
True Street On Trial
We put an 800-RWHP MM&FF winner through a torture test to prove its roadworthiness.
What defines a street car? Everyone seems to have their own opinion--to some it's a Pro Mod car with mufflers; to others, it's gotta-have A/C and can sit in traffic without incident. For us, the MM&FF True Street Challenge differentiates the real road warriors from the race car wannabees. This class requires you to cruise your registered and insured Ford on the street and then make three consecutive strip passes--no cooldown, no opening your hood to make repairs, no refueling.
Still, there are doubters. Despite the 30-mile cruise, some critics say True Street is not the ultimate test. To prove these folks wrong, we decided to put True Street on trial. We invited the '05 Fun Ford Epping True Street champion, Stephen Harvey, to our neighborhood. The idea was to put his car through a torture test it wouldn't soon forget.
Stephen's pride and joy was going to be driven on city streets for several hours. It was subjected to severe traffic (in summer heat, no less) as we gave each horsepower a thorough workout--all 800 of them. That's right--800 hp at the wheels through a heavy, power-robbing AOD transmission. If you're thinking that 800 rwhp (approximately 1,000 hp at the flywheel) is too much for a street car, then perhaps you need to check what's inside your pants.
Despite the naysayers out there, we are convinced that Stephen's '94 Mustang GT is the real deal. Its performance on the track and its street manners are rivaled by few, if any, other cars on the road. This Stang represents everything 1,000 hp shouldn't be--it's tame, the A/C blows cold, and the transmission shifts into Overdrive. It has a race weight of 3,800 pounds and will have run nines by the time you read this. Hell, this thing even has a road-race-inspired suspension if you want to hit the curves.
The car acts like a modest professional athlete who downplays his performance during the Super Bowl MVP press conference. But once you slam the throttle down, the story is altered. Like that MVP, the attitude changes instantly and you have something that is way above normal--an extraordinary performer no matter whether it's in a dyno room, the street, or on the dragstrip. If there's a competitive environment, Stephen simply needs to step on the go-fast pedal and hold on tight.
While sitting in city traffic, you can't help but marvel at the fact that this Mustang produces over three times the horsepower of anything else around you. The great part about it is that no one has any clue as to the raw power under the hood. The idle is barely noticeable as the custom stereo system is blaring the tunes and the A/C is protecting you from the nasty Northeast heat and humidity.
The engine combination sounds simple enough if you have the money to throw at LaFerriere Racing (Johnston, Rhode Island). Proprietor Eric LaFerriere selected the best parts to ensure reliability. The starting point is an A4 block. "This is one of the features that allows me to sit in bumper-to-bumper Lincoln Tunnel traffic for an hour and a half and not overheat," Stephen says.
Cylinder bores have been enlarged to 4.060 inches. Knowing the potential power output of this turbocharged engine, Eric wisely selected a Sonny Bryant billet-steel crank. The 3.00-inch stroke helped combine for the final 310ci displacement. Other rotating pieces in the engine buildup included Oliver billet rods and custom CP pistons (compression ratio is listed as 8.5:1).