Jeff Lacina
November 1, 2007
Photos By: Mike Pakoskey, Ron Blevins

Getting There Is Half The Fun
What better way to enjoy an all-Ford funfest than to load up the Mustang and point it in the direction of a cool event? The journey I faced was 1,120 miles (one-way) from Olathe, Kansas, to Tooele, Utah. Usually, I'd load up my trusty, old silver steed on the trailer, hitch it up to my proven PowerStroke F-250 and head out down the highway-but not this time.

For this trip, I managed to come up with a real sweet ride: a ProCharger-equipped, five-speed, '06 Mustang GT. According to the ProCharger Web site, the H.O. kit for the '05-'07 Three-Valve Mustang GT is capable of a 70- to 75-percent power gain on stock motors running pump gas, with 10 psi of intercooled boost. This means stock motors typically produce 460-plus rear-wheel horsepower.

My goal for this trip was not to trailer the car but to drive it to the SVTOA Experience III event at Miller Motorsports Park, as well as put the retina-vibrating yellow GT through its paces on the track and then drive it back to the Kansas City area. Loaded up for a week on the road, not to mention putting on the SVTOA Performance Driving Clinic, my son Grant and I plugged in the Garmin navigation unit and headed west.

Out on the open road, the GT soaked up the miles with aplomb. With the cruise control locked on and the Shaker 1000 blastin' out some CD tunes that my 16-year-old and I actually agreed upon, the miles and hours seemed to melt away. At each and every fuel stop, even the most casual refueling neighbor couldn't help but ask about the car and want to see the shiny ProCharger P-1SC.

Speaking of fuel, we managed a respectable 23.5 mpg average for the on-highway round trip. Keep in mind, the car was loaded (my son and I don't pack lightly), with the A/C on all the time and rolling along at speeds that allowed us to complete the 1,120-mile one-way trip with an average moving speed of 72 mph.

Once at the event, I couldn't resist seeing what those 450 horses felt like on the track. Proving the classroom point that I've been making to our SVTOA On Track students for more than six years, more horsepower doesn't always mean faster (or smoother) lap times. From my first, boost-assisted, tail-hangin'-out laps around the deceptively tricky Miller East Course, I quickly realized I had way more horsepower than I had under the fenders. It was still fun chasing down numerous unsuspecting Terminator SVT Cobras once I figured out how to balance the horsepower with the grip.

Clearly, getting the most out of this combination on-track would also require some suspension and brake upgrades. And with the incredible number of spring, strut/shock, sway bar, and brake upgrades available for the S197 Mustang, turning this car into a real track monster would be a relatively easy and enjoyable undertaking. Of course, if doing so means more on-track laps and more miles getting to and from the events, sign me up.