Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Crowning America's Baddest '05 Mustang
Nine competitors hit the tarmac for the 1st Annual Nitto Tire/MM&FF '05 Mustang Shootout--and one didn't.
Stock Tires - Power Adder WinnerBest ET/MPH: 11.69 at 114.76 mph
Car Owner: Alternative Auto
Driver: Lidio Iacobelli
Lidio Iacobelli is a longtime Mustang enthusiast and performance shop owner. His goal has always been to showcase what his shop could do with the "Average Joe" style combination. Iacobelli has built cars that his customers can relate to rather than go full bore into a Pro 5.0 effort--which he could have easily done. His latest endeavor is this '05 Mustang GT, complete with an automatic transmission. We watched the car go from a 13-second ride this past spring at the Bradenton season opener down to its current mid-11-second status at our Shootout.
Like most of the other competitors on hand, Iacobelli limited his part additions to mostly bolt-on components. The main power maker is a Vortech supercharger--not the high-output kit but rather the standard version. The blower setup is non-intercooled and pumps out a scant 8.5 psi of boost. One of the more impressive facts about this car is that it rolls on a set of 20-inch wheels. They are a lot heavier than the 17-inch and 18-inch wheels out there, and the tire sizing is not conducive to drag racing--making this 11.69 feat that much more impressive. Unfortunately, this was Iacobelli's only pass of the weekend as he broke the engine on the run.
Drag Radial - Naturally Aspirated WinnerBest ET/MPH: 12.78 at 104.23 mph
Car Owner: P&J Speed Shop
Driver: John McGowan
Plenty of people know about John McGowan's accomplishments in the NMRA Pure Street ranks. He brought his brand-new '05 Stang to the party and with it were 12-second times in naturally aspirated trim. Like many others, McGowan chose to use his personal ride to R&D parts to make sure he knew what worked and what didn't. Basic suspension upgrades, a C&L cold-air kit, and exhaust components from Kooks and Bassani are the major changes to this Stang. It also sported a great-looking cowl induction hood from VFN Fiberglass.
McGowan had some trouble adapting to the Nitto drag radial tires, but by the third round of qualifying, he got the car to leave smoothly and was rewarded with a 12.78 performance. His powershifts sounded clean and smooth, and he said the combination of the new Pro-5.0 shifter, McLeod clutch, and Fidanza flywheel make this car an easy driver. The front suspension features a new set of Santuff struts that were designed specifically for the '05 Mustang.