February 13, 2003

Louisiana's Gulf Coast is home to New Orleans, and New Orleans needs little introduction for most of us. We understand its status as a party town and a diverse community rich in culture. Leave your depression at the doorstep because New Orleans celebrates life as a matter of practice. Immediately outside of New Orleans is Kenner, Louisiana. Kenner is home to Hodges Mercer, who owns this Pro Street '67 Mustang hardtop.

Hodges celebrates life by spinning the cam lobes and pinning the butterflies for a wild ride that could parallel a space shuttle launch. Beneath the super custom, hood-mounted mailbox is a 575-horse 351W Winston Cup stroker displacing 407 ci. Call this bad boy the power of a big-block without the weight penalty. It screams with the authority of seven angry pit bulls on recreational drugs. It does this with a race block and crankshaft from Ford Racing Performance Parts. Inside are Crower rods, BRC pistons, and a Lunati roller camshaft just for good measure. Topping the iron are A3 aluminum heads born of the 351C design with huge ports and wedge chambers. Underneath, there's a Milodon oil pan. As you would certainly expect, MSD fires the mixture. A small-block C6 makes light work of the piloting experience. Out back is a 9-inch Ford diff with 5.43:1 cogs and a steel spool. Just point and shoot.

You've probably figured out this is no ordinary street cruiser. It's an industrial-strength drag car with a Chassis Engineering full 'cage and chassis that are mission-specific: drag racing only. We're impressed with the execution and workmanship. It's top drawer all the way. That's '92 Probe Brite Blue Clearcoat by DuPont. It's a basecoat/clearcoat finish that's easy on the eyes and exciting to the senses. Things become more exciting whenever Hodges hits the staging lanes and 1320. When he cracks the throttle, this Mustang is good for 10.77 seconds at 125 mph down the quarter-mile.

On those evenings Hodges wants to shake up the monkey works in Kenner, he cruises the streets looking for victims and onlookers. Be assured, he finds more of the latter than the former. Call it maximum thrust and a whole lot of dust.

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