Dr Jamie Meyer
October 1, 2004
Photos By: John Roper

Horse Sense:
Want to make 1,000 hp with your 5.0 Mustang? Don't forget the fuel system. Will runs a big pump, properly sized lines, a quality regulator, and whopping 160-lb/hr injectors.

Have you heard the news? It appears that musclecars are making a comeback in popularity, especially when compared to the import market, which is more than a little flat right now. In the July '04 issue of Hot Rod magazine, writer Drew Hardin details the sudden attention that musclecars, especially Mustangs, are drawing from Hollywood, serious collectors, and-most importantly-average, everyday hot-rodders from across America.

The line that we like best from the aforementioned cover feature is a quote from Keith Maney, director of special projects at musclecar restoration specialists Year One. He says, "It's hard not to appreciate a 13-second Camaro when you're driving a 15-second Honda." Keith, we'll take that one step further:

It's real easy to appreciate an 8-second 5.0 Mustang when you're driving a 15-second Honda. It is this obvious lack of understanding of what is fast and what is not that has left many of today's youth stuck with a crawler four-pot for daily transportation and weekend "fun."

Perhaps working on Hondas all day is what kept William Hendricks of Plano, Texas, from being consumed by the same pitfall. Sure, it would be easy for Will to order up (or resurrect) a lightweight, four-cylinder Honda with the personality of a can opener, but that wasn't his style. On top of that, he didn't feel like dropping an additional $30,000 to make a commuter car run 13s. Instead, Will likes musclecars-especially 5.0 Mustangs that are clean, powerful, streetable, and able to decimate anything the import scene has to offer short of a $150,000 tube-chassis car that runs high 7s. "This is my third Mustang," Will says. "I don't do Hondas-too much money and not enough speed. You spend twice the money to go half as fast as a Mustang!"

Will's first Mustang was a '96 Saleen look-alike that he loved to cruise in. The only problem with the car was that it was too slow. How slow? Well, let's just say that the night Will got beat by a stock '96 GT, the writing was on the wall for the look-alike. The other lesson Will learned that night was that from that point on, he would race only at a track and no longer on the street (good move, Will).

His next car was a runner-a '92 hatchback with stock 302, heads, a Novi supercharger, and slicks. It ran 7.28 in the eighth (about 11.30 in the quarter). But Will had visions of something even nastier, so the '92 was stripped of its speed goodies and parted out.