Stephanie Davies Associate Online Editor
June 9, 2014
Photos By: Bill Erdman

Joel Raghoo's passion for cars began as it does with many enthusiasts—it was spent every weekend in the garage wrenching on something.

Though he was raised by a father who enjoys brand-X automobiles, Joel luckily managed to grow into a Ford fan.

"My dad, Clarence Raghoo, really got me involved in hot rodding in the first place," he explained. But Joel truly became a fan of the Blue Oval when he was a sophomore in high school. "My buddy Anthony Bellanka had a brand-new Mustang and he took me for a ride," he remembers. "I was hooked."

Several years later in 1994, Joel purchased the Fox that graces these pages. By then, he was already the owner of International Collision Service in Englewood, New Jersey. You might recall the name of the shop, which has done work on several prior Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords feature cars.

"My Fox was purchased with 13,000 miles and it had a few modifications," he said, but it wouldn't stay lightly modified for long. Soon after buying it, Joel had the car painted a bit differently than you see it here. Unhappy with the workmanship, he later removed some of the stripes and cleaned up the design to his liking, which is how it sits today. Yes, it's a bit loud, and he says his friends give him quite a bit of slack for the design, but "I don't care. I love it," he told us. It was also fit with a Stalker front bumper, and the quarter panels were widened by 2 inches. A Cervini's 5-inch cowl hood and Saleen spoiler round out the list of body modifications.

At first, the lightly modified stock 302 was upgraded to an A4 block with TFS heads, which produced 520 horsepower and powered the car into 11.0-second quarter-mile passes at 128 mph. But by 2008, the hunt for more power was on. The Fox-body is now powered by a 306ci engine, complete with a Vortech V-4X-trim supercharger.

A Lunati custom blower camshaft, ported and polished TFS high-port aluminum heads (machined by Davis Race Engines) and a Victor E71 intake manifold, as well as an Accufab 75mm throttle body sit under the hood. Fuel is fed by Weldon pumps and 160-lb/hr injectors. Controls are managed by a Big Stuff III computer and the engine was tuned by Frank Soldridge of PSI Speed Solutions in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. The beastly combination cranks out about 902 horsepower to the rear wheels with maximum boost of 25psi.

The GT is loud in more ways than one—as the exhaust notes come by way of Kooks custom Jet Hot coated headers, an X-style mid-pipe with dumps. Power is sent through a C4 performance transmission built by Sean Wiley of Dynamic Trans in Newark, Pennsylvania, delivers the power to the Mickey Thompson-wrapped Weld AlumaStar wheels. Aerospace Components handle braking duties, and Competition Engineering subframe connectors keep the chassis stiff. Contributing to the chassis' ability to support the enormous power are QAI upper and lower control arms, springs, and shocks/struts all around and an 8.8-inch rearend, complete with 3.55 gears and Moser 33 spline axles.

"There were many late nights spent welding up every hole under the hood to get the clean look," Joel told us, "Every wire not needed was removed from the harness, and full Autometer gauges, Hunsaker seats, and custom engine harness by Spaghetti Menders were all installed, and a line-lock was wired to the horn button."

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A 10-point cage and G-Force camlock harness keeps Joel safe when he's behind the wheel, and yes, he does drive it on the street, but only short distances. "It's not really meant to be a street car," he reminded us, "but it is technically street legal."

In addition to his father and Anthony, Joel said there are quite a few people who have influenced the build of this Fox including his brother Donald and his friends Matty Gogluicci, Mike Fink, and Carlos Abate.

Joel says the next step is to get a parachute installed so that he can race it this season, as he expects the car to run in the mid-8-second range. We can't wait to find out if he gets there.