August 1, 2004

In 1989, Vinnie bought his '88 LX notchback at a local auction for $7,200. It came with cruise control and power locks-that's it. You could order Mustangs without air conditioning and other heavy options then, which really set the lightweight LX trunk models apart. Vinnie has done nothing drastic to drop weight, but even with a mild steel cage and a heavy, iron 351 engine up front, the car weighs in at only 3,020 pounds with driver. Still stock and with 15,000 miles on the clock, the Mustang was good for 14.20s at close to 100 mph with the stock 2.73 gears. With the typical gear, slick, and nitrous additions, the car was a 12.50 thorn in the side of anyone who wanted some action. But Vinnie quickly tired of filling bottles every Saturday night (and Sunday morning), so he began planning his next big move. He went for a cheap 408-inch stroker kit in a stock 351 block, and he topped it off with heavy, iron Trick Flow Street Heat heads. With a Tremec five-speed to increase the fun factor, the car ran 11.40s on pump gas and no sign of the spray.

It was about this time that Vinnie began experimenting with the nitrous system he had onboard (about the same time the above story took place). But after one too many shots of the good stuff, the weak six-cylinder-rod stroker kit decided it had had enough good times in the LX. The catastrophic engine failure finally sidelined the LX.

It took a couple years for Vinnie to recover from that meltdown, but he's back with a new edge. His current combination is based on a solid Eagle rotating assembly, Edelbrock Victor aluminum race heads, and a Dynamic C4. As for performance, it's right there-10.20s on muscle, and a best e.t. of 9.48 at 142 mph (1.32-second short time) with a 150hp shot. The car is good for 9.70s with the 100hp "stun" setting.

As for the future of this ride, Vinnie will be happy to put on some new brakes (he says his legs shake at the end of the nitrous passes with the stock brakes), a wing for looks and top-end stability, and more nitrous. Long-term, look for this thing to be wearing a turbocharger someday. Until then, Vinnie is just happy to have had such a successful run with this car. From the street to the track, Vinnie says to "always bet on black!"

5.0 TECH SPECS
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block Stock 351 (’77 vintage) w/FRPP
reinforcement girdle
Displacement 408 ci
Cylinder Heads Edelbrock Victor
Camshaft Comp Cams, 0.700-in lift
Intake Manifold Edelbrock Super Victor
Power Adder NOS Big Shot Plate System (100-150 hp)
Exhaust Kook’s 2-in primary long-tube
headers w/3.5-in collector, Dennis Raulli
custom exhaust featuring
Flowmaster mufflers
Fuel System SX pump and SX regulator
Carburetor Holley 1,025 cfm
Transmission Dynamic C4, 9.5-in
Precision Industries converter (3,500-stall)
Rearend 8.8 {{{Ford}}} w/Strange spool,
33-spline axles, and 4.10 gearing