5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1989 Ford Mustang GT - Getaway Car
Lost Fox - Dwayne Blackwood's 'Stang is one feature car that almost got away
Horse Sense: The Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger is one of the most versatile power adders on the market. Not only is it perfectly at home on street cars like Dwayne's GT, it's equally capable of making huge power, and at one time, was competitive in the NMRA's Renegade class.
It was 2004's season-opening race at Bradenton Motorsports Park, when Editor Turner first clicked the shutter on Dwayne Blackwood's '89 GT. Dwayne's was one of those cars Steve was able to shoot on Bradenton Motosports Park's return road (which is pretty much impossible to do these days) during the yearly NMRA season opener. Somehow, Editor Turner made it work.
So why did it take so long to land on these pages?
Like with every feature car, once Editor Turner was done shooting the car, we swapped information with Dwayne, gave him a tech sheet, and Steve plugged it into the plans for yours truly to write. When it came time to make Dwayne famous, we couldn't get on the same page with him. He didn't go away for a while (if you know what we're sayin'), but we couldn't get in touch with him. Therefore, his feature went into the holdover pile, which is reserved for features to be run in future issues. Not long after that first planned issue, we tried again to contact Dwayne, but to no avail.
Then it went into hibernation for several years! Editor Turner and I would talk about Dwayne's feature from time to time, but we had no idea how to reach him. Enter Kevin Dunn into the picture. Kevin had actually worked on Dwayne's car, but had moved from South Florida to Texas. When we featured Kevin's Cobra in the Sept. '11 issue ("Clean and Mean," p. 88) he thought we needed to revisit Dwayne's feature. The two had been in contact and knew we would be able to make the feature happen this time around.
So after all these years, here it is.
Dwayne was into cars at an early age. "Mustangs and stereos were my interest as a teenager," Dwayne says. "I had friends who owned Mustangs," he adds. "I met Kevin Dunn when he came over to help me fix my Ford Escort," Dwayne says. Kevin was the go-to guy in their circle of friends. Kevin taught Dwayne how to drive a stick in Dwayne's first 5.0. Kevin also introduced Dwayne to the custom-stereo world. They built a few stereos together, and from there, Dwayne was hooked. Kevin focused more on performance, while Dwayne continued in the area of custom stereos.
Dwayne purchased the Mustang featured here from Bill Noonan, who at that time was the manager of Audio Advisors in West Palm Beach, Florida. The car already had a system in it, and Dwayne started competing in stereo shows. He did well, but he wanted more.
"I decided to set out and do what had not been done before," Dwayne says. As Dwayne points out, this was before the days of DVD/TV screens in cars. He wanted something cutting edge, so he started with a fresh design from dash to hatch area. It took Dwayne longer to do the car's interior than it takes a lot of people to do a whole car, but the results speak for themselves.
When the interior was almost done, Dwayne reached out to Kevin on ideas of how to give the engine compartment the wow factor to match the inside. The guys contacted Ricky Best—then with Paxton Automotive, now with Holley Performance Products—for a polished Novi 2000 supercharger. Kevin did the Novi's installation, and everything under the hood was also polished or chromed to match the Novi. Kevin also completed the car's five-lug swap for increased wheel options. However, Dwayne stayed close to home by choosing '94-'95 GT wheels in chrome. As you can see, the choice can't be argued.
As for the car's paint, he wanted it to stand out as well. "Something that was different, and yet classy," Dwayne says. He hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately he had to source a Dodge Intrepid hue to achieve his goal. However, the color matches the car's persona perfectly. Dwayne painted the car with help from Joe Moriera.
Though the car was designed and built for stereo competitions, Kevin persuaded Dwayne to bring it to the Fun Ford Bradenton opener. "I entered into the car show and it was a crowd favorite," Dwayne says. The car garnered seven awards, including an Editor's Choice from Turner. "The engine would draw the crowd in and the interior kept them saying, 'It looks like a spaceship.'"
Even in our current world of Coyote swaps, 1,000-rwhp street cars, and 8-second Terminators, Dwayne's GT was ahead of its time. Perhaps you weren't ready for it back at that time. We're just glad it didn't get away forever.
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5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Cylinder heads: Stock E7TE, Kevin Dunn-ported w/ FRPP 1.72 roller rockers, and GT-40 1.84/1.54 valves and springs
Intake manifold: '93 Cobra w/ 65mm throttle body and Pro-M 80mm mass air
Power Adder: Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger w/ 4-in pulley and 8 pounds of boost
Fuel system: Walbro 255-lph fuel pump w/ stock lines, stock rails, FRPP 42-lb/hr injectors, and Holley regulator
Exhaust: FRPP 15⁄8-in short-tube headers w/ MAC off-road pipe, and DynoMax Super Turbo after-cat exhaust
Transmission: World Class T-5 w/ FRPP King Cobra clutch and aluminum driveshaft
Rearend: 8.8-in w/ stock differential, 3.55 gears, and Moser Engineering axles
Engine management: A9L computer
Ignition: Stock w/ ACCEL coil, ACCEL spark plug wires, and Autolite plugs
Gauges: Dakota Digital
Suspension and Chassis
Wheels: Chrome Tri-Bars
Tires: BFG Comp TA 255/40-17
Control Arms: FRPP Heavy-Duty uppers and stock lowers
Wheels: Chrome Tri-Bars
Tires: BFG Comp TA 255/40-17