Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
September 4, 2013
Photos By: Brad Stillwell

Some folks like to complain that going fast is only possible with cubic dollars. It's easy to write off building a cool car because you aren't loaded. It's even easier to blame getting beaten by one based on how the car was funded. However, sometimes it's hard work and ingenuity that make a car fast.

Such was the case with Tyler Garcia. He fell for the Fox Mustang in his teens and he never looked back. "I got the car when I was 15 years old. This was my first car. My aunt had a Fox Mustang, and I wanted one of my own,” Tyler explained.

Now most of us have fallen for these cars by being around them, but often we've had to wait years to make that dream a reality. Tyler moved a lot faster than that. "We found the car in the Houston Green Sheet, went to see it, and bought it that day,” he explained. "It was bone-stock. It took me about a week to decide I wanted the fastest car in school.”

To make that dream a reality, Tyler took a part-time job at Strictly Performance in Pearland, Texas, where he earned the used parts he wanted for his car. While building up his first Fox with these used parts, Tyler became known on the local racing scene. Actually, he became infamous.

"I was a ‘young gun' racing all the old guys and taking their money,” Tyler said. "Many of the sore losers that I raced accused me of using ‘Daddy's money' to build the car. Little did they know that I got most of my parts for free.”

You might expect that the story could have taken a turn with Tyler riding off into the sunset. Maybe he'd turned his local success into running a national drag racing series. However, this story didn't take a turn at all. Instead, it kept going in a straight line—well past 1,320 feet.

"I started dating my girlfriend, and her stepdad, Tommy Gates, introduced me to the standing mile. He had been racing his Hayabusa at the Texas Mile event in Beeville, Texas, for years.”

Tyler and the Texas Mile hit it off in a big way. He and his Fox came running strong right out of the gate with a 191-mph pass at his first event in October 2011.

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As with any great story, there was a bit of strife before he achieved his goal. After two runs, he hurt the engine. However, he set his sights on the Texas Mile's gold standard—200 mph.

He tried again at the March 2012 event, and this time he was stuck at 191 mph and Third gear failed. "This is when I decided to totally bulletproof the car and get a TKO transmission,” he said. "We tuned the car some more and tried again at the October 2012 event, where we made two passes and went 203.8 and 210.2 mph.”

After this accomplishment, videos of Tyler's exploits spread across the Internet at speeds far exceeding 200 mph. The Mustang world was abuzz with the exploits of this 200-mph Fox. We were among those ready to celebrate Tyler's accomplishments. "Everyone was blown away that an old Fox could hit speeds that high,” Tyler said. "...but with the right build, we were able to set a world record.”

It's hard to argue with those results, and it serves as a reminder that not every fast car is built with the benefit of a large checkbook. 5.0

Horse Sense: Run twice a year at the Chase Field Industrial Complex in Beeville, Texas, the Texas Mile offers racers the opportunity to run flat-out for a full mile with a half-mile shutdown. The classification groupings are for street-legal, non-street-legal, and exhibition vehicles running as fast as 130, 160, 190, and over 200 mph.

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5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Ford Racing Performance Parts R302
Eagle forged
Eagle H-beam
Diamond w/ Polydyn coating
Comp Cams
Cylinder heads
Edelbrock Performer aluminum
Intake manifold
Ported FRPP GT-40 lower w/ Jegs sheetmetal bread box upper, Accufab 90mm throttle body, and Pro-M mass air meter
Power Adder
Vortech YSi-Trim supercharger w/ Snow Performance water-meth injection system
Fuel system
Aeromotive Eliminator pump w/ Aeromotive fuel-pressure regulator, Aeromotive fuel rails, and 60 lb/hr injectors
Kooks 2-in, stainless steel long-tube headers w/ Flowmaster mufflers
Tremec TKO five-speed manual w/ faceplated gears, SPEC Stage 5 clutch, and FRPP Aluminum driveshaft Rearend
8.8-in w/ spool and 2.73 gears (3.55 for dragstrip)


Engine management
Ford A9L EEC-IV w/ DiabloSport chip tuned by Strictly Performance
Stock w/ MSD 6AL, MSD TFI coil, FRPP spark-plug wire, and NGK spark plugs
Stock w/ Innovate air/fuel gauge and MSD shift light

Suspension and Chassis

Front suspension
UPR Products tubular
UPR Products tubular
UPR Products, 130 in-lb
Stock w/ parachute
Michelin Pilot
Rear suspension

Control Arms
Lakewood traction action
Michelin Pilot

Out back nothing more than a classic Saleen wing provides some downforce for top-speed runs and a parachute acts as the primary anchor, while the stock brakes chip in a bit of deceleration on the way down from 200 mph.