July 1, 2003

Horse Sense: David is a rising superstar at The Clash of the Titans outlaw heads-up streetcar drag racing series run at San Antonio Dragway. While this series invites all brands of race cars to participate, the majority of competitors are flying the Blue Oval. If you're into Deep-South street racing, you should check out this series at www.theclashofthetitans.com.

5.0 Mustang such as the one here owned by David Marroquin reinforces what we already know about these cars-they're here to stay. And new race cars are constantly coming out of the construction phase to challenge the established teams.

We first ran into David while attending the San Antonio version of The Clash of the Titans. His car looked great and performed well with 8.30s on a stock suspension. This was David's home race in his hometown. He hasn't traveled all over the United States as have his NMRA/FFW/WFC brethren. And it struck us how so many of these cars are out there, built to compete with any Mustang or Brand-X machine-we just haven't seen them. In fact, for years it's been estimated that for every race car you see at the track, there are 100 of them that are either street raced or used so infrequently at the track that they basically don't even exist. While it may have been luck that we "found" David's Mustang, you'll be seeing much more of it on the national circuit.

David was 18 years old and had just graduated high school when he and his father attended an auction in Austin. "Without realizing it at the time," David says, "my life was about to change. The night of the auction, I was driving home in my new, used car-a '90 Mustang 5.0 LX that was a former D.P.S. highway-patrol cruiser."

While the bright paint is the first thing to grab you, it soon becomes apparent this puppy was built to roll! Rims are Monocoque (15x3.5-inch front runners and 15x10-inch rear steamrollers), wrapped in Mickey Thompson 26x5.5-inch front tires and 28x10.5x15-inch slicks. The front suspension consists of QA1 adjustable struts; Ford Racing Performance Parts caster/camber plates; AFCO 14-inch, 175-pound springs; D&D A-arms and K-member; and Aerospace brakes. The stock-style rear suspension is made up of QA1 single-adjustable shocks; Wolfe Race Craft control arms; Wolfe Race Craft through-the-floor subframe connectors; and a Wolfe Race Craft sway bar. David Wolfe also constructed the nice multipoint rollcage, while The Hot Rod Store installed the custom wheelie bars. The driveshaft is a steel unit by Driveshafts Unlimited in San Antonio, Texas.

While attending his local community college, David was able to slowly build up the potent little coupe. Flowmaster mufflers, underdrive pulleys, and Mickey Thompson ET Street rear tires helped him run 14.40s the first time on the track. From that point on, he was hooked. With 95,000 service miles on the odometer, a rebuild of the stock short-block was in order. A fresh mill packing a Ford Racing Performance Parts X303 camshaft helped David run 12.50s, with the Mustang still serving as daily transportation to work and school. Next up was a 331-inch stroker motor that resulted in 12.20s. Then, a Vortech T-Trim supercharger went on top of a 377-inch motor with all the trimmings. Good friend and modular standout Tim Palmer helped assemble the car at this point. While still main-taining good street manners, the car ran 10.50s at the track, and David could drive it anywhere he wanted.

"That was when I decided to really get crazy," he says. "I was hearing about all of these bad-ass turbo Mustangs, and I just had to have one. I stripped down the car to bare bones and started selling all my old combination. It was a long and expensive project, but I had a lot of help from people in the know. Keith Campbell of The Hot Rod Store did so much for me during the duration of this project that I feel I owe him the most. Mike Murillo of Murillo Motorsports handled the tune of the beast. My engine builder, Doug Verstuyft, did a great job for me. Mike Clark, who runs the chassis shop at The Hot Rod Store, is the one responsible for making the car go so straight on the track. And Angel Padilla of Automotive Special-ties thrashed through the midnight hours with me to help make it all come together."

If you like what you see here, get ready, because David is taking his show on the road. As this goes to press, he is in final negotiations with Mike Murillo to help put himself on the map in NMRA Super Street Outlaw action. Mike, the reigning SSO champion, has agreed to provide all the tuning and engine design. This will be invaluable information, as Mike's proprietary tune-up will likely give David the power to run with anyone in the class. The chassis is also being updated by The Hot Rod Store with a 25.1D cage and ladder-bar rear suspension to handle the increase in power. But David will have to supply the skills behind the wheel to go 7.80s at more than 180 mph-something no one sells in a box.

One thing's for sure. No matter how fast he goes, you'll be able to see David's Mustang from at least a quarter-mile away.

It's clear that David has invested wisely in engine-component initial public offerings. There are at least 1,600 horses here just waiting for the twist of the boost knob. Engine builder Doug Verstuyft of Performance Machine Shop built the bottom end from an FRPP W351 race block with a 4.060-inch bore and a 3.700-inch stroke to displace 389 ci with the Scat billet steel crank, Carrillo billet rods, and custom JE 8.8:1 compression pistons. Victor Jr. heads (which will be upgraded shortly) have received a complete porting from Joe Craine. The heads work 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves and T&D 1.66-ratio rocker arms on Comp Cams valvesprings and lifters. The 0.678-inch-lift cam is from Terry Williams at Cam Motion. The standard intake for big-gun Outlaw racers using the small-block Ford is the Edelbrock Super Victor. David's has been ported and modified for fuel injection by Axis Industries.