5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
1995 Pro Millenium QuikStang Convertible
Summit Coins A Term, And Spends A Lot Of It, On A Mustang For Y2k And Beyond
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A couple of years ago, Chevy High Performance magazine coined the term Pro Touring to describe a new style of car--one that accelerates like a dedicated drag racer, turns corners like a road racer, has brakes that would stop a locomotive, and a trick trans and gearing to allow insane top-speed velocities, yet can still idle in traffic on a 105-degree, Arizona summer day, with the stereo and air conditioning cranked to the max without overheating. And it would be nice if it was highly detailed and could win a show here or there, too. Basically, a car that truly can do it all. Of course, we all know that the late-model Mustang is the perfect car to turn into a Pro Tourer--we've seen numerous examples of well-done 5.0 and 4.6 cars that could be considered Pro Touring cars, and we've even hatched a few plans to build our own for the magazine. Summit realized the enormous potential of the Mustang, and decided to take it one step further.
Dean Blum, the head guy in charge of project cars for Summit, coined the term Pro Millenium, to represent a merger of Pro Street, Pro Touring, and other classic hot rodding techniques. A few of the things that makes Pro Millenium different than Pro Touring is that a Millenium car must be a late-model bodystyle and pack a big-cubic-inch engine, a power adder, electronic fuel injection, and the biggest front and rear tires that you can cram under the sheetmetal. To illustrate what they're talking about, Summit commissioned several builders to create the QuikStang, one of the most radical cars we've seen in a long time.
QuikStang started out as a beat-up '95 Mustang convertible that was taking up space at Tim McAmis Race Cars in Hawk Point, Missouri. McAmis' first duty was to strip it down and get the chassis ready for the obscene power they planned to throw under the hood. A pair of rigid, through-the-floor subframe connectors were welded in place, and when combined with the 8-point roll cage, make the car's backbone very stiff. The suspension on a car this trick requires top-notch components, so McAmis decided on a Griggs Racing setup using solid control arms with spherical rod ends, a torque arm running from the rearend to the transmission mount, an adjustable upper link that allows adjustment of the pinion angle, a panhard bar to locate the rearend laterally, and a pair of Koni coilovers to allow ride height and valving adjustments. The rearend is a narrowed 9-inch with a Strange aluminum center section, a Detroit Locker differential, Richmond 3.25:1 gears, and Moser 31-spline axles. Bolted to those axles are some mammoth BFG skins. How do 335/30s on 18x12-inch OZ wheels hit ya? Mini-tubs were required to fit that much meat under the sheetmetal, but it looks killer! Up front, the stock underpinnings were tossed to make way for a Griggs tubular K-member, GR-40 tubular control arms, a Koni coilover conversion kit, and a set of Baer Pro Race brakes with 13.5-inch rotors and Alcon four-piston calipers. The brakes do a damn fine job of filling the void behind the 18x8.5 OZ wheels and 245/40ZR-18 Comp T/A tires.
With the chassis work completed, it was time to figure out just what engine would power QuikStang. As Summit's Marketing Manager Joel Fishel explains, "Everybody is doing five-liters, and 400 to 500 horsepower with those engines is commonplace today, so we decided to show what can be done on 'The Wild Side.'" Their definition of wild turned out to be 525 ci of all-aluminum big-block, force fed blimp-loads of atmosphere with a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger.
Again, such a special car deserves only the best, so engine god Kenny Duttweiler got the job of building the monster motor. Kenny started with an SVO aluminum block and took the bores out to 4.500 inches, then dropped in a 4.125-inch-stroke Crower crank, Crower rods, and JE pistons to create all those cubes. On top of old smokey is a set of heavily worked Trick Flow A460 heads with TFS 1.7:1 rockers. Dictating the torque curve is a Crane hydraulic roller cam with .590/.614-inch lift and 228/238 degrees of duration at .050 lift, driven off the crank by a Danny Bee belt drive. The mild nature of the cam (especially when combined with so much displacement) allows the engine to satisfy the requirement of being streetable and capable of a real-world idle.
The compression is likewise very conservative at 8.5:1, but then you must consider that the Novi is set up to deliver 15 pounds of boost. It does this pressure-act through a custom Hogan sheetmetal intake and a custom throttle body. Fuel is supplied with a set of MSD 72 lb/hr injectors, and an ACCEL/DFI electronics package controls it all. How much power, you're no doubt asking? Sit down, pop open a cold one, and hang onto your shorts. How's 'bout 958 hp at only 6,000 rpm, and a stump-pulling 857 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. Oofdah! Just looking at the throttle of this thing turns those mammoth rear tires into rubber chunks and white smoke.
With the engine buttoned-up, it came down to J.R. Granatelli at Granatelli Motorsports (Reseda, California) to drop it in the car, and finish the rest of the assembly. To fit the engine to the SN-95 shell, J.R. whittled up a billet aluminum motor plate, attached to the engine where the timing cover used to be, and hung the engine accessories off this plate as well. The belt drive and an electric water pump makes the timing cover unnecessary. J.R. also fabricated the radiator and modified the Pro Mustang 2-inch primary headers to snake carefully through the Griggs K-member. From the headers, the rest of the exhaust system uses oval tubing (to tuck up against the floorpan for more ground clearance) connecting to 3-inch pipes and four Borla mufflers. The entire exhaust was also HPC coated.
As special as the engine is, the real jaw-dropper on this car is the transmission. You may have noticed in the photos the multiple shift levers jutting from the console. Those aren't the Hurst Lightning Rods from the early '80s, baby! That's a full-boogie race trans. Summit wanted to really shock some people, so they decided to use a Jeffco four-speed, and to make it fit, they had to cut most of the tunnel out of the car. The Jeffco is similar in operation to a Lenco, the trans of choice for most of the 6-second Pro Street and Pro Stock race cars. It's a planetary unit that uses bolt-together sections; each section represents one gear, and each has its own shift lever. The internal function is similar to a traditional automatic, with separate planetary clusters, but it's hooked to the flywheel with a clutch, in this case a Ram unit. You have to use the clutch to leave the line, but once the car is moving, you just yank a lever to get the next gear. The unit in the QuikStang is the Saturday Nite Special, which Jeffco claims is fully streetable. Summit found out otherwise.
These types of transmissions cannot be downshifted, and there is no engine braking except in high gear. In fact, Summit tells us that if you try to downshift it at all, even using the clutch, it'll tear the trans up internally. And the same allegedly happens when you back off the throttle. Like a Lenco, you must keep a constant load on the trans or it'll kill itself, according to Summit. In Dean Blum's words, "It's definitely not user-friendly, but hey, you've gotta try new things." Waving the white flag of sanity, Summit removed the Jeffco and replaced it with a Tremec TKO five-speed after our photos were taken.
The trick engine/trans combo situated between the fenders presented some unforeseen challenges. First, a traditional brake booster wouldn't fit, so a Cobra hydraulic assist booster was used. And after some measuring, J.R. learned that the Hogan intake was too high for the style of hood they wanted to use, so he had to do some cutting and welding on it. Then, of course, came all the typical jobs required with a ground-up car--wiring, plumbing for the fuel system, and setting up the oiling system for the blower. The fuel system uses a pair of Paxton Kamakazi pumps, two filters, two Paxton regulators (each bank of the engine has its own fuel system), #12 feed lines and #10 return lines. In the trunk, sandwiched between a pair of Optima batteries, is a Triangle Engineering fuel cell. With all this work done, the car was trailered to Euro-Body in Reseda for the body work and paint.
The first step was straightening all the door dings and Kmart rash on the '95, but then the fun began. Euro-Body fit the Mustang with a complete Cervini's Stalker body kit, which consists of the Stalker front and rear fascias, side skirts, rear wing, and 2-inch cowl hood. The perfect complement to the Cervini's stuff is a Saleen Speedster tonneau cover, modified to fit around the roll cage. The color is Lexus Bright Ivy Pearl in Glasurit urethane. Euro-Body also painted the valve covers, intake manifold, blower, and plumbing Silver Jade Metallic, a slightly different shade to throw in a little contrast.
The interior was likewise treated to a ton of work. Summit's Manufacturing and Engineering department built the center console, and Dan Hupp Upholstery covered it and a pair of Cobra buckets with luscious black leather. It all lies on top of a new set of ACC rugs. All the stock gauges were replaced with a full set of VDOs, including the tach and speedo, a pair in the dash center pod, and a trio under the ventilation controls. The lowermost part of the center cluster houses an Alpine head unit. The car is scheduled to be taken to Alpine's headquarters in Southern California for installation of the rest of the stereo system, but as we write this story it hasn't made it yet, so details of all the individual components are still undecided. Also still left to do is installation of the convertible top, and some fine-tuning that's necessary with any new car.
How does it run? This writer can't tell you from personal experience, but Terry McGean, one of Hot Rod's goons, got some seat time behind the wheel (with the Jeffco still in the car) and reports that it idled smoothly at 1,100 rpm, was just as smooth at speed, had ungodly torque that annihilates the tires at any speed, in any gear, and had a ride that was stiff but not at all uncomfortable. The trans was the only thing that took some getting used to, because you have to be into the throttle pretty heavy to shift it, but Terry had fun playing with it anyway.
A car like this just begs for thrashing on the dragstrip, but those numbers are not available yet. Summit would like to get the car completely finished before taking the risk of bouncing the thing off a guardrail, but after some less-than-subtle badgering, we got Dean to commit to a dragstrip session--with 13-inch-wide slicks! As soon as we get the car in our hot, sweaty, little hands, we'll let you know what it does. Kenny Duttweiler claims that if the car will hook, the horsepower will put it deep, deep into the nines. Of course, if it hooks, the trans might not want to take that kind of power. But we'll see.