Roger C. Johnson
March 1, 2000

Step By Step

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P76939_large Ford_Mustang Front_Passenger_SideP76940_large Ford_Mustang EngineP76941_large Ford_Mustang Rear_View

Raymond Berry spent most of his 20 years in the Air Force working with nuclear weapons, so it should be no surprise to learn that he wanted a street car with atomic performance. But he also wanted what we all want: insane performance in a real road-worthy car, with working air conditioning, comfortable suspension, killer brakes, and an ear-bleeding sound system. Oh, and it can’t cough, stumble, or overheat—no matter how miserable the weather.

To make this dream a reality, Ray commissioned Tommy Higgins of Ford Performance Specialists in Atlanta to build the car. The resulting Mustang meets the goal, with a parts list that reads like the Who’s Who of Mustang performance: an A4 block stuffed with a Keith Kraft 347 stroker kit (billet crank, 5.400-inch Eagle rods, and JE pistons); a Lunati hydraulic roller cam; a set of TFS Street Heat heads that have received a Stage 3 porting job by JDS Induction in Atlanta; and a Vortech intake. Feeding this combination is an R-Trim Vortech generating 15 pounds of boost, a Pro-M 77mm mass air meter, a 70mm BBK throttle body and EGR spacer, and a Paxton/Cartech fuel system.

As if that’s not enough, an 80hp NOS dry manifold nitrous kit was brought to the party, complete with a purge line, a remote bottle opener, and a nitrous pressure gauge mounted in the console. An MSD 6BTM makes sure the fire doesn’t get blown out, and the EEC IV was equipped with a Motorsport Extender. MAC full-length headers, a 2-½-inch cat H-pipe, and Borla mufflers get it out. The combination is estimated at 650 hp, without the nitrous, and it’s kept in check with a Motorsport aluminum radiator and an electric fan. The trans is a Tremec with a Pro 5.0 shifter, Centerforce clutch disc, and King Cobra pressure plate. The stock 8.8 rear was set up with 3.55 gears and an SVO girdle.

Before dropping the drivetrain between the fenders, Tommy tied the chassis together with custom subframe connectors, added Global West rear control arms, Koni adjustable shocks and struts, and 17-inch BFG radials on Speedline wheels (245s front, 275s rear). After these photos were taken, an eight-point cage was installed for more rigidity and the obvious safety aspects. The cage also keeps the car from getting kicked off the dragstrip after a full- throttle pass. To fulfill the braking goal, Tommy bolted on Cobra brakes.

Raymond’s Atomic Mustang certainly is an explosive performer, and one that runs without a hitch. The only problem lies in foot control—too much throttle in the first three gears turns forward motion into clouds of tire smoke. But when Raymond drops the hammer in Fourth, you’d better not be in front of him, because your street fighter will get knocked off the road. This atomic Mustang will hit you like a scud missile locked-in on an Iraqi warehouse. We’ve all dreamed of having a nuclear-powered Mustang. Raymond Berry drives one anytime he feels like it, and considering how it performs, the fallout could last for decades.