Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
May 1, 2003
Photos By: Michael Johnson

Horse Sense:
J.R. Heuring is no stranger to drag racing. He has competed with an IHRA mountain-motor Pro Stock Ford, covering the quarter-mile in 6.85 seconds at more than 203 mph!

There is something so basically evil about black 5.0 Mustang coupes-simple in design, devastating in performance, and a color that fits their purposeful, nondescript attitude. They're all mean, but this one stands out from the crowd.

We'll begin by saying that J.R. Heuring has put together one of the nicest Mustangs you will ever see. There are so many custom tricks, so many hand-fitted, one-off pieces, and so many hours spent on things that really don't need to be there that the whole package comes off as a flowing, 146-mph work of art. While we have some great pictures of the car, you will never see it all. In fact, after an up-close tour of the car with J.R. as our guide, we walked away boggled by the attention to everything. We had to make a mental checklist just to realize how "top-to-bottom" this thing really is.

J.R. and Ken Misun painted the $50 beater DuPont Base Clear Black with racing stripes over the 4-inch cowl hood and Next Generation Race Cars' rear wing. Next Generation's Eric Miller and Chris Chalkey are responsible for the suspension, which provides J.R. with a 1.34-second kick in the rump to the 60-foot line. In the rear, custom ladder bars hang a 9-inch Ford rearend with a Strange Ultra Case, 5.43 gears(!), and Strange 40-spline gun-drilled axles. Next Generation also installed the rear sway bar, the frame connectors, and the K-member/A-arm arrangement in the front. QA1 struts with Hypercoil springs in the front work with Strange double-adjustable rear shocks to plant the 28x10.5-inch M/T slicks. The brakes are from Strange, while the rims are from Holeshot.

But the best part is, it's not for show. The bulk of the custom items we'll tell you about make this a better race car too.

This car started life with J.R. as a $50 junker that he took in on trade at his family's dealership, Paul Heuring Ford. Eric Miller and Chris Chalkey of Next Generation Race Cars (Streator, Illinois) went with a full-on, chrome-moly cage to prepare the little black war wagon for the ravages of Hot Street. They also fabricated the 9-inch rear, the weight box, the rear spoiler, the ladder bars, the headers and exhaust, the K-member, the control arms, the sway bars, and countless other components on the car. The majority of these items are handmade pieces, custom to J.R.'s application. Working with Ken Misun, J.R. did the body repairs, preparation, and paint. Each mirror-finished piece on this car has been hand-buffed by the two of them.

Every Hot Street Mustang is a rolling billboard for the creator of the beast that lies under the hood. This one carries a Cliff Moore (of Jon Kaase Racing Engines) small-block that rocks the house past 10,000 rpm and carries this 3,200-pound car through the traps at almost 150 mph. Combine that power with a Ram clutch and a G-Force five-speed, and you have some magic happening. Along with his dad (aka Big-D) and his wife, Amy, J.R. seems poised to challenge the best in NMRA Hot Street. With the off-season ahead of him, he has enough time to regroup, study all the data logged into his Race-Pak Data Acquisition system, and prepare for the '03 Hot Street season.

So, is this is the baddest black notchback in the country? It sure comes close. There are faster examples, but none of them bring the total package to the starting line like J.R.'s basic black bomber.

5.0 Tech Specs

ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block FRPP R302
Cylinder Heads Edelbrock Victor
Intake Manifold Edelbrock Super Victor
Camshaft L.S.M.
Power Adder N/A
Exhaust Next Generation with Kooks stainless collectors and DynoMax Bullet mufflers
Fuel Pump MagnaFlow
Carburetor Holley 4150 by C.F.M.
Transmission G-Force five-speed
Clutch Ram 10-in billet
Rearend 9-in with Strange Ultracase,Strange 40-spline axles and 5.43 gears