Eric English
July 1, 2004

For those of you who spent your time in geography class daydreaming about Mustangs, it's likely you don't know that the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada, lies in the upper reaches of the Pacific Northwest. No matter the time of year, it's an area rich in outdoor sporting opportunities-hunting, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, boating, skiing, and snowmobiling.

Ask Rashpal Dhaliwal what kind of outdoor activities he enjoys near his Vancouver, B.C., home, and the answer is liable to be short, sweet, and even surprising considering the beautifully rich environ. While many Canucks get their thrills in a more natural setting, Rashpal is immersed in the world of 117-octane fuel, pressurized atmospheres, and wailing 9,000-rpm small-blocks-a passion he readily recognizes as his "disease."

Such drag-race endeavors are shared by a number of other devoted local go-fast types, though the comparative numbers are nothing like they are in other parts of the continent. Nevertheless, we've caught up with plenty of high-powered Mustangs that make their home in the greater Vancouver area, of which this '90 LX may well be the most impressive straight-liner. The fact is, the 7.84 at 179 turned in August 2003 appears to make it the quickest small-tire 5.0 Mustang in Western Canada at the time of this writing. The road to impressive e.t.'s is an interesting one as well, as Rashpal is the original owner of this formerly Strawberry Red notch. Follow along as we chronicle the transformation of this once showroom stocker to 7-second screamer.

In August 1990 Rashpal purchased his new 5.0 LX from Vancouver's Brown Brothers Ford, and started turning wrenches within the first week. Not anticipating how far the mods would eventually take him, the first tweaks were typical stuff-underdrive pulleys, a K&N filter, and an off-road exhaust. A quick trip to the track demonstrated the worth of these basics, clicking off 13.80s on street tires. Before long, a 150-horse nitrous hit shaved nearly a second off the prior best, resulting in 12.90s at 112 mph.

Plenty of laughing gas soon put the hurt on the factory head gaskets, and with the top of the motor opened up for repair, cast-iron GT-40 heads and a B303 cam-shaft got the nod. Soon after came a GT-40 intake, at which time Rashpal reports the combination was tough to beat on the local street-race scene, with help from typical supporting hardware such as gears, a throttle body, and an aftermarket mass air meter. This was in 1992, and there would be no turning back.

Rashpal stayed with nitrous rather than a blower, but a ride in friend John Siderfin's Paxton-equipped '92 was a real conversion experience. A Vortech A-Trim quickly replaced the nitrous, and when teamed with a set of slicks, it netted a 12.10 e.t. right out of the box. Further tuning and additional boost worked the LX into the 11s at 120 mph, whereupon the need for a safety enhancing/chassis stiffening six-point rollcage became mandatory. Danny Beaudry at Pro Gas Engineering performed the task, and with the car legal again, yet another round of upgrades began.

Twisted Wedge heads and a custom blower cam took up residence, and the nitrous system that had been shelved in favor of the Vortech was now stacked on top. Double power adders weren't allowed at Rashpal's Mission, B.C., home track, so he returned to the mean streets of Vancouver with a vengeance. As you might imagine, plenty of parts breakage began to occur-mostly in the way of T5 trannies, but also with a resumption of head gasket issues. In time, the A-Trim/nitrous double team was abandoned in favor of the ubiquitous Vortech S-Trim, while transmission reliability was resolved with an All-Tech Transmissions-built C4. By the summer of 1998, the described combination had been good for 10.50s, but the real fun was just beginning.