Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Ford Mustang V6 - Englishtown Raceway Park - Sport Compact Slaughter
The V6 Mustangs have found their niche in the compact market, but musclecar owners better be on the lookout
This year, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine is really pumping out the shootouts. In addition to bringing our readers event coverage from Fun Ford Weekends and NMRA meets, we've been busy assembling various groups of automobile enthusiasts and letting them duke it out on the 1320, all for your enjoyment.
Now that you've witnessed the Turbo 4 Terrors, we've summoned some of the baddest V6 Mustangs and let them swing it out at Englishtown's Raceway Park. In this business, we're accustomed to seeing enough V8 Mustangs to warrant the use of algebraic equations, but what many people don't realize is that V6 Mustangs represent two-thirds of the total amount of ponies on the road.
Add to that a lower initial cost and decreased insurance rates and one can understand why they are so popular. Back in our May 2000 issue, we tested a V6/5-speed model and came away with a string of low 15-second runs in addition to a 14.9 pass, so stock power output is definitely respectable.
For our shootout, we gathered seven Mustangs that we thought showcased what is possible with these cars. From natural aspiration to supercharging to nitrous injection, we had a good variety of engine combinations and a good variety of performance figures to go along with them. Throughout the day, we let these guys make as many runs as they could. Once the smoke cleared, we tallied up the best six runs of each competitor and took to the typewriter.
In researching this genre of the automotive hobby, we came across some great Internet resources where V6 enthusiasts can get their fill of the American 6-bangers. We found most of our participants inhabiting V6Power.net, which is an extensive site with tech articles, message boards and of course, individual automobiles. Corral.net and Stangnet.com also have V6-dedicated message boards, thus opening many avenues through which the V6 Mustang owner can obtain information about his or her pony. From the little bit of investigating we did, here is some background on the 3.8-liter Mustang.
The 3.8-liter engine was originally offered in the Fox Mustang from 1983-1986, and was rated at 120 horsepower. After 1986, the 6-gun was sidelined in favor of the 2.3-liter 4-cylinder motor until 1994, when it was shoehorned between the fenders of the SN95 chassis. The heavier car benefited from this powerplant, which offered more torque than the 2.3.
For 94-95 horses, the V6 was rated at 145 horsepower and 215 lbs.-ft. of torque. 1996 saw the motor's output increase by 5 horsepower, while torque remained the same, albeit at a slightly higher rpm range.
In 1999, Ford went to a split-port induction, which bumped power output upwards to 190 horsepower and 220 lbs.-ft. of torque. And for 2001, Ford added intake manifold runner control plates to gain 3 more horsepower but more importantly, a stout 25 lbs.-ft. of torque. In addition to these respectable power figures, the aftermarket has stepped up with supercharger and nitrous oxide kits, as well as exhaust components from the headers back. Some companies carry V8 take-off components, so that the V6 owner can upgrade to heavier-duty parts as his/her budget permits.
Bearing all of these facts in mind, MM&FF felt the need to bring out some of the finest and most interesting V6 cars for you to check out. Our invitations stretched as far as Livonia, Mich., home of Pete Campbell and his 2001 4.2-liter Mustang.
Yes we said 4.2-liter. As it turns out, Pete pirated the larger V6 engine from an F-150 and with some parts from the 3.8, was able to drop it in his Mustang without much drama. Add to that a Powerdyne supercharger and one can imagine that it might be quick. We witnessed Pete lay down a 12.64-second run at Cecil County Raceway in Maryland and knew that this was one car we needed to get for our event. Pete also happened to be the first one to contact us after we put out the call in Horse's Mouth several months ago, and had it not been for an evil gust of wind that flipped his hood into his car's windshield, we might have been able to bring you some more of his super-quick times.
About 900 miles south of Pete, we found Brandon Adcock of Cary, N.C. Brandon's 2000 Laser Red Mustang featured the latest aftermarket cylinder heads and intake from Super Six Motorsports. His naturally aspirated combo was something we had heard about before, but never had the chance to test.
d'lo home, we contacted Zach Young, and boy does his name fit. When we first talked to Zach, we were looking forward to having him participate with his nitrous oxide-equipped Mustang. Then we found out he was a mere 16 years of age. Raceway Park, in accordance with New Jersey State law, requires competitors to be at least 17 years of age. Thankfully Zach's birthday was but a week before the event, and his father was kind enough to come with him from their Baltimore home to sign his permission release.
From the Keystone state, we rounded up Frank Osborn's Vortech-blown pony and Brian Bitner's Super Coupe-spec Mustang. Bitner, along with Jamie Hiscoe, took upon the challenge of equipping their cars with the supercharged 3.8-liter T-bird engines, but Hiscoe had head gasket problems that prevented him from attending our event, while Brian joined us and made something like 14 runs. Clint Oteri came down from New York with his Vortech-supercharged steed and Dan Haga brought his wild V6 Stang from Maryland. Haga's car features a set of aftermarket cylinder heads and intake manifold, in addition to a centrifugal supercharger.
From our list of competitors, it is very evident that these are serious automotive enthusiasts. While many may balk at the thought of starting a car project with anything less than a V8, many of these V6 enthusiasts will give those naysayers a run for their money. So read along and you might just have second thoughts when that Mustang with the running pony on its fender pulls up next to you.