Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
The White Phantom
The evolution of Mike Tracy's GT results in a 700-horse monster.
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As an esteemed member of society, you clearly have the appreciation for all the finer things in life. You strap your leather gloves on tightly before you operate that lavish European automobile of yours on your way to supper with Fifi, which consists of a meal cooked by some guy named Pierre, in the most palatial of five-star restaurants. You drink your sumptuous tea with your pinky finger out and have a crumpet or two. Probably have two miniature dogs in tow. Hey, it's not easy living the fancy life, but when you're the hot-shot prepster with more boat shoes and golf tees than Bob Barker, you "settle" for the second-row seats at the opera.
Okay, reality check. Let's see...you drive to work in an F-250 with 44-inch mudders. You enjoy eating hot dogs for breakfast and the only thing from Germany that matters to you is the beer. And yes, your refrigerator is stocked with the best in frozen dinners. You, my friend, are a man. You like cheap cigarettes, cheaper women and, most importantly, the cheapest deal on car parts. The only thing you read about is horsepower and those made-for-TV, car build-up shows on cable don't do much for you. And yeah, you've got a Mustang.
Scary thing is, our friend Mike Tracy almost fell into this pretentious yuppie/preppie lifestyle and was about to stay in that holding pattern on his arrival to manhood, waiting for hair to grow on his chest. That was until a few years ago when he finally realized what he was missing. As the 49-year-old police officer explained, "Up until 1995, I'd never owned a Mustang or even a Ford. My tastes had run towards Porsches and Corvettes. At the time, I had just sold my third Porsche and was looking for a get-around car to drive until I found another sports car. I wound up finding this '91 triple-white convertible Mustang that was in perfect, but stock, condition. I had never driven a Mustang before and was excited at how good it felt to drive. I was fairly happy with the car in this condition for about six months. Then the yearning for more power and better handling hit."
Doesn't this sound familiar?
He then went on to say, "I ended up talking to a guy named Bryant Morris during a slow day at work. Bryant was working as a mechanic at a local automotive shop, but did work on the side building up his own performance shop, Full Throttle Motorsports. After talking to Bryant about Mustangs for a few days, we started getting busy rebuilding the car from front to back. With a Vortech S-trim and a set of TFS Twisted Wedge heads, the car made 462 hp to the wheels.
"At about this time, the bug really hit and I made Bryant remove the engine to have Greg Grosset at Total Performance in Santee, California, start building a new motor from scratch. We went with an SVO N351 block. Greg did all the machine work, getting it ready for the bulletproof internals we had agreed on. A 377 stroker kit, consisting of a Crower billet crank, Eagle H-beam rods and custom Arias pistons made up the rotating assembly. Doug at ESI (San Diego) designed a custom dual-pattern cam and did a ton of work on the TFS aluminum heads. They went with a 2.08/1.625 valve combo and were able to get some extra porting done by converting to the J302 exhaust bolt pattern. Greg then assembled the long block, topping it off with some Crane Gold Race 1.6 rockers and a Probe rocker stud girdle kit and a hogged out Edelbrock RPM intake.
"After getting this all set up, we were off to Danny at Swanson Performance in Torrance, California, where we had him build a custom computer chip, and the car made 628 hp and 629 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. That was with 91-octane pump gas with 18 pounds of boost."
So far, he was on the right track. It was pretty clear he had a big pair hanging low. Very low. A Porsche? What's that?
Of course, tying a total package together like this requires some updates in the suspension and looks department. By first lowering the car with Eibach springs, Koni dampers and a tubular frontend with coilovers, Mike was able to bolt on a set of 18-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs to the M-2300 five-lug brake kit for better handling and braking. The Nitto 555 tires fit the 8- and 10-inch-wide wheels perfectly and help give the car a low and mean stance (time to grab yourself and make some grunting noises).
Up next, the Cervini's Cobra R hood, Stalker nose piece and Cobra rear wing and spoilers were prepped and painted along with the entire car by Stretch of Stretch's Playhouse in Lakeside, California. (Hey we don't make up names here.)
So just how much did Mike Tracy like switching over from the neat and proper to the loud and badass? Well, it looks like it made a huge impact as Mike sold off all his other cars and went totally Ford with a '98 Cobra convertible, an '01 Expedition and a '97 Cobra coupe. To deepen his voice some more, he added an '02 Suzuki Hayabusa to his fleet for good measure.
Nothing like waking up and smelling the coffee. Mustang horsepower coffee that is.