July 1, 2002
Sure doesn't look like a mid-10-second car, does it? And that's exactly the look Scott Bailey is going for. Nothing beats a clean, straight Fox-body GT for street respect. The paint is factory Ford red, circa 1988, except for that area covering the 2.5-inch Harwood hood. Add in the Weld Pro Star rims with an unfamiliar sound under the hood, and you've got a winner. The car's best performance has been an easy 10.67 e.t. at more than 125 mph.

Horse Sense:
Where can you get the best street turbo systems nowadays? While there are several good choices, Scott recommends you place a call to Turbo Technology [(253) 475-8319] in Tacoma, Washington. The company's street turbo systems start at around $4,000.

Scott Bailey, a commercial electrician from Huber Heights, Ohio, is an old-school 5.0 Mustang fanatic. He's been around the block with this little red GT, and we don't mean just to go cruising. He has a group of friends who look to him for help with their weekend projects. With a car like this, we can't blame them.

The story of how Scott came to own the GT picks up in 1994, shortly after he crashed his '67 Mercury Cougar in-of all things-a street race. He was lucky to even survive that mistake. His girlfriend at the time had a roommate whose dad was looking to unload an '88 GT. The ad read "1988 GT, red, 56K, Cartech turbo, 400 horsepower, $7,500." Scott bought it for $7,300, and once he got it home realized he had a nice car. "The car was so strange. Cartech had installed their turbo system, but the entire car, even the exhaust system, was completely stock."

Having been versed in the 5.0 Mustang and its abilities, Scott did only simple things in the beginning. With a performance exhaust system, 3.55 gears (which reside in the 8.8-inch rearend to this day), and underdrive pulleys, he was going 12.10s with slicks. Porting the stock intake, adding iron GT-40 heads, upgrading to the mass air with a C&L housing, installing 30-lb/hr injectors, and upgrading the fuel system put him well into 11.50s. "Once I figured out what the boost knob was, it really started to move," Scott jokes. With 13-15 psi, the GT went 10.90s in 1995.

The engine is about as simple as it gets with a D.S.S.-prepared, 306 stock block taking the beating in the bottom end. Compression checks in at a turbo-friendly 8.8:1. Ron Robart at Fox Lake did a mild port job on the Edelbrock Performer heads that house 1.90-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. Fox Lake also provided the custom Cam Motion hydraulic-roller camshaft that pumps up 1.7:1 Ford Racing Performance Parts roller rockers and the stock Edelbrock valvesprings. The intake is a Trick Flow R unit with an Accufab 75mm throttle body allowing the boosted air down the pipe. The turbo system is comprised of mostly Cartech components, although Scott has done a little reengineering on his own. Being the hard-core 5.0 nut that he is, Scott put the whole thing together in his garage. By our slide rule, the entire deal is good for about 525 horses to the rear tires.

Looking to increase both the consistency and the performance of the car, Scott began experimenting with different intakes and larger fuel injectors. The GT did respond with 10.60s, but the tuning of the turbo-charger, especially with the future addition of low-impedance injectors for more fuel to the motor, started to max out the stock computer system.

Enter the FAST fuel-injection system and a trip to Paul's Automotive Engineering for the installation of same, with a date on the chassis dyno for fuel and timing-curve verification. If you've built a similar combination and are looking at upgrading the stock EEC IV system with larger mass air sensors and computer add-ons, it may be wise to sit down and write out the economics of the whole package as Scott did. Besides a laser-accurate, engine-management tune-up, these stand-alone systems do not incorporate any air-metering device in the intake tract, which may hamper your horsepower potential. The results speak for themselves.

Scott has chosen his spots to race this car, usually making the Norwalk FFW as does every Ford owner in the state of Ohio. He finished seventh overall in the '01 True Street class with a strong, 10-second, three-run average. For a car this fast, its 1,000-miles-per-year use seems generous. The original pipe-work that came with the Cartech system has started to wear out-most likely from eight years of use and so many heating cycles. Recently, Turbo Technology provided Scott with all-new tubing to breathe some life back into the turbo-charger system as well as increase the flow of the entire system in hopes of even more power-although the stock-block bottom end will become a concern shortly.

With these upgrades, Scott will be ready for a full season of racing in 2002. He's looking to get into the NMRA's Drag Radial class if the car can consistently qualify in the mid-10-second range. We don't think he'll have any problem.