Ro McGonegal
September 14, 2016
Photos By: Robert McGaffin

Loyal readers of this rag know that Editor H concentrates his thrust on modified street-driven Mustangs, regardless of model or year. While the younger contingent gravitate to the S197 or S550 platform, the older force seems bent to the earlier incarnations—the SN95, SN97, and New Edge, and the diversity of the Fox-bodies in particular.

Case in point: John Fields is a 60-year old hydraulic engineer (a specialized civil engineer who works with issues concerning the flow of water and other liquids) in Riverside, California. He is a tech guy and so his hardcore 2002 GT is loaded with it. Since it isn’t expected to go to the mall or the taco shop or grandma’s house, Fields has surely invested heavily in a real racer, not a compromise between hell and high water.

Perspective: His previous 1986 Fox wins two West Coast Outlaw 8.5 championships and sets several records. According to Fields, his New Edge “has lots of potential for a small nitrous tune-up.” Let’s see what happened.

Fields got a real deal on this character. A pal of his with a tow yard had the animal he sought, a perfect body and interior, but the motor was fractured beyond redemption. He dropped a grand on the pile—and spent plenty of coin transforming it into the race car you see here.

Experience told him to get a hot-shot engine builder to make the 1,000hp motor he envisioned. John likes BES Racing Engines in Guildford, Indiana, so Tony Bischoff’’s crew did the measuring, the CNC operations, and attendant machine work. BES commenced with a 9 1/2-inch deck height block that they had bored and decked. They pin-fit the rods to the pistons, prepped the lifter bores, and enlarged the cam tunnel diameter to 55 mm to accept the more stable camshaft.

Fields began his journey with a rotating assembly comprised of a Callies Ultra Billet crankshaft (4.125-inch stroke), Callies Ultra connecting rods, and 13.0:1 Ross pistons (4.150-inch bore). The combo yields 448 ci. He sealed the bottom of the block with a Stock Car Products oil pump and a Moroso sump. The Comp camshaft is a solid-roller with a 116-degree centerline, 0.865/0.860-inch lift, and 286/310-degrees duration at 0.050.

Fields also charges BES with the cylinder head modifications. They CNC-ported the Edelbrock Glidden Victor 1 15-degree castings and endowed them with 47cc “soft” combustion chambers. BES inserted Victory 1 Performance titanium one-piece 2.225/1.60 valves and bumped them with T&D 1.8:1 shaft rocker assemblies. Vibrant spark and copious fuel are especially critical for the high cylinder pressure generated by a nitrous application.

Fields began the sustenance with a MagnaFuel ProStar 500 pump and a Holley regulator set at 6 psi. Fuel enters the Book Racing Enterprises 1,050-cfm Holley carburetor on the Edelbrock 2868 Glidden Victor SC-1 single-plane manifold. Then Fields planted the landmine: a Neal Performance Innovations single-stage wet nitrous kit running a No. 38 jet. MSD reigns: Grid Box, HVC2 coil, Pro Billet distributor, and Moroso 8.5mm wires hype NGK spark plugs. Deeds Performance headers in Burbank extracted hydrocarbons via mondo 2 1/4-inch primary pipes. Crew chief and tuner Fields twisted 1,015 hp from it and is quite satisfied with the result.

Fields likes a two-speed; herewith a Mike’s Powerglide abetted by a CSI flywheel and a Mike’s 9-inch 4,800-stall Ultimate torque converter. A B&M fluid cooler services the operation. The vital link, a 4-inch Inland Empire aluminum prop shaft, turns 4.10:1 cogs in the Racecraft fabricated 9-inch housing. Ancillaries include the Strange Engineering spool and 40-spline axleshafts.

Since this is a strictly drag race mentality, Fields used the most efficient components for the straight-line approach. Over in the valley, Deeds Performance built the monumental SFI spec 25.3 spider-web rollcage, installed minitubs, notched the framerails, fabricated the torque boxes and plates, and summarily tied in the suspension. Fields based the front end on a tubular K-member and control arms, Menscer Motorsports (AFCO) double-adjustable struts, Hypercoil springs, and an antisway bar. The steering is a Stiletto manual box. The dirty end sees tubular upper and lower control arms, Menscer dampers, and Hypercoils.

This thing runs exclusively on racing rolling stock. Fields put Holeshots and Hoosiers all around: Drag Front 26x4.5 low-resistance skins on Holestar 3.5x15s and Holeshot 10-inch-wide wheels and 26x8.5 Drag slicks. Fields burns off the energy with Strange Engineering 10-inch discs at both ends.

When it came to the envelope, Doug’s Auto Body out in Barstow, California, tended to the sheetmetal. Fields specified a carbon hood and Racecraft wing. Doug’s blew on that warm, rich coating of House of Kolor Sunset Pearl and three shots of clear.

The Mustang’s work room is a busy place in practice and in setting. Fields’ driver, 30-year veteran Mark Washington, screws himself into the Kirkey aluminum bucket and pulls down the RCI five-point so tight he can barely breathe. He puts X-ray eyes on the Racepak display dash. His left hand is on the Swiss-cheesed steering wheel, and his right works the ratchet shifter just one time. At Las Vegas early in 2016, Washington piloted the orange rocket to a best of 5.02 at 141 mph, skating on a 1.20 60-foot time.

“I bought a new house last spring and haven’t really had the time to get serious with the tune-up but I know these figures will improve,” says Fields. We have no doubt that they will.

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