Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 26, 2013
Photos By: Drew Phillips

"Obtaining a neutral handling car with 50/50 weight distribution was key in this build, so getting weight off the front end was a must. Add to that, we wanted to run a V-mount radiator/intercooler setup and freeing up real estate on the front end soon became valuable," Chris said. "So we broke out the tape measure and scales and proceeded to mock up the engine mounts. When it was all said and done, we managed to tuck six of the eight cylinders behind the firewall and a 28-inch driveshaft was all we needed to connect to our Ford 9-inch."

Obviously meeting the handling performance goals of the project required these intense suspension upgrades. Along those lines, C n' C went to great lengths to balance the car. The only remaining steel panels are the roof and its A and C pillars. The remaining steel is the frame, while all the exterior panels are carbon-fiber pieces from the likes of APR Performance, Maier Racing, and Motor City Solutions. Even the windows are lightweight preformed polycarbonate pieces from Pro Glass. Only the headlights, tailights, and rear bumper cover are traditional replacement parts from Latemodel Restoration.

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"Carbon-fiber panels meant for street cars usually have a thick gelcoat that can be sanded down to a more consistent finish. True motorsports carbon fiber has a thin gelcoat layer, which means there isn't much material to sand," Chris added. "If you sand too much, you basically get down into the weave which you absolutely don't want as it opens up porosity and pinholes in the surface. In an effort to avoid adding excess weight by adding primer and body filler, we carefully sanded the thin gelcoat filling only where necessary."

No matter how modern, putting a hefty V-8 in a slim and trim Fox like Top Notch wouldn't follow the theme. Fortunately the ideal engine is already a an all-aluminum masterpiece. Of course not just any Coyote would do for this car, as it would see boost, and a lot of it. C n' C chose Ford Racing Performance Part's boost-friendly Aluminator crate engine enhanced by a Vortech JT-Trim super0charger discharging through a massive air-to-air intercooler. This combination was good for a raucous 855 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque at the pavement before they tuned it down to live in every performance environment.

Coming together, as most SEMA projects do, in the four and a half months leading up to the big show, it was just two days before the bright lights that C n' C owner Gary Watson worked his magic with Spectra Chrome's spray on chrome paint. Atop that he applied a Ballistic Blue Candy topcoat. The results were jaw- dropping, and drew huge crowds of admirers at the show.

"When we set out to build this car, we knew it was going to be different from other Foxes, so we had no idea how the car would be received by the Mustang faithful. All we knew was that we wanted to build a Mustang our way. When Gary and I started brainstorming about what the car was going to be, our vast and different automotive backgrounds started to show up in every aspect of the car..." Chris said. "I think the vast difference of influences that inspired the various individual aspects of Top Notch are the reason why the car has such wide appeal to those who see it in person. No matter where your automotive background lies, you can appreciate and identify with some individual aspect of the car."

Horse Sense: Obviously C n' C is in the business of building cool cars, and Top Notch won't be the last. "Although, we can't say much about the project just yet, we will be teaming up with Team Falken Tire Formula Drift driver, Justin Pawlak, and 3D Carbon to build a '14 Mustang GT which will debut at this year's SEMA show," Chris said. "It will also feature the best from companies such as Ford Racing, HRE Wheels, and Wilwood disc brakes."

5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain
Block: Coyote aluminum
Crankshaft: Coyote forged steel
Rods: Manley H-beam w/ ARP bolts
Pistons: Mahle hard-anodized w/ Graphal low-friction coating
Camshafts: Stock Coyote w/ TiVCT
Cylinder heads: Four-valve-per-cylinder aluminum w/ Boss 302 valvesprings
Intake manifold: Stock Coyote
Power Adder: Vortech JT-Trim supercharger w/ BV-57 bypass valve, air-to-air intercooler, and NX N-tercooler spray bar
Fuel system: Holley Dominator billet fuel pump w/ Holley Dominator regulator, Metco fuel rails, and Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors
Exhaust: Borla stainless-steel long-tube headers w/ Borla X-shape crossover and Borla XR-1 mufflers
Transmission: G-Force GF-5R five-speed manual w/ RPS carbon-fiber, triple-disc clutch and Long shifter
Rearend: Currie 9-in w/ Strange S-Trac differential, 35-spline axles, and 3.73 gears (2.80 for standing mile)

Engine management: FRPP Boss 302S Control Pack Copperhead PCM
Ignition: Stock coil-on plug
Gauges: AIM MXL dash w/ AIM datalogger

Suspension and Chassis
Front suspension
K-member: JME billet aluminum w/ double-wishbone cantilever
A-arms: Hotchkis w/ JME six-way adjustable sway bar
Struts: JRi two-way adjustable coilovers w/ remote reservoirs
Springs: Eibach, 500 in-lb
Brakes: Wilwood Superlite, six-piston
Wheels: HRE C100, 18x11-in
Tires: Falken Azenis, 265/35-18

Rear Suspension
Shocks: JRi two-way adjustable coilovers w/ remote reservoirs
Springs: Eibach, 175 in-lb
Control Arms: Hotckis S197 three-link w/ adjustable Panhard bar
Brakes: Wilwood Superlite, four-piston
Wheels: HRE C100, 18x13-in
Tires: Falken Azenis, 315/30-18