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.

While the '92 was tearing up the strip, Will had traded the Saleen-alike for the '91 LX hatch you see here. Really, it wasn't even a car-it came with no motor, just the chassis and a built 9-inch rear. But it was the perfect starting point for what Will wanted in a Mustang.

He wasted no time in adding a D.S.S. 396 small-block Ford to the mix, topping it off with a Vortech J-Trim Mondo with a cog beltdrive. With only 20 psi, the Mustang made more than 750 rwhp and ran effortless 6.20s in the eighth (about a 9.60 in the quarter). But Will wasn't done yet. When we caught up to him, the car was just out of the turbocharger transformation shop at Fabtech (Garland, Texas), run by Chad Klodner. Fabtech provided Will with the Kooks headers, a Precision 91mm turbocharger, a six-core Fabtech intercooler, and all the mounts, tubing, and installation to make a turbo-charger work. For the $10,000 transformation, Will got a combination that made 798.6 hp and 500.3 lb-ft at the rear wheels with 23 psi, and 1,006.6 hp and 871.7 lb-ft at 27 psi, on the Speedworks chassis dyno in Lewisville, Texas.

As for performance, this puppy has already run an 8.50 e.t. in the quarter-mile, with a leisurely 1.38-second short time (5.30s in the eighth) and lots of other little problems. When it all gets sorted out, look for Will to be riding in the 8.00 range at well over 170 mph.

When last we spoke, he had a $5,000 street race at the track. After that, he was planning on putting on some 10.5W boots and heading out to the Clash of the Titans in Houston and San Antonio, as well as getting into some Street Outlaw action at Fun Ford Weekend. One place you won't find this car is at the NOPI nationals-Will has better things to do than cook rice.

5.0 TECH SPECS
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block 351 Windsor
Displacement 396 ci
Cylinder Heads Ported Trick Flow
High Port (cast iron)
Camshaft Custom "turbo" grind
by Precision Turbo & Engine
Intake Manifold Victor Jr.
Throttle Body 90mm Accufab
Power Adder Precision 91mm
turbocharger (30-plus psi)
Exhaust Kooks headers, 5-in downpipe,
and DynoMax mufflers
Fuel System Weldon 2035 pump,
Fabtech rails, 160-lb/hr injectors,
Aeromotive fuel-pressure regulator
Transmission Sullivan Powerglide
w/5,500-rpm PTC stall converter
Rearend 9-in Ford, Richmond diff,
3.55 gears, Mark Williams axles

ELECTRONICS
Engine Management Haltech computer
Ignition MSD 7AL-2; MSD Pro Power
coil; Ford Racing Performance Parts
wires, Autolite spark plugs
Gauges Auto Meter 5-in tachometer
and gauges

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
FRONT SUSPENSION
K-Member D&D Motorsports
A-Arms D&D Motorsports
Springs D&D Motorsports
Struts Koni five-way adjustable
Wheels Bogart
Tires M/T 24x4.5x15
Brakes Wilwood

REAR SUSPENSION
Springs Custom
Shocks Custom coilover
Traction Devices Antiroll bar by J&L
Performance
Wheels Bogart
Tires 29.5x10.5Wx15
Brakes Wilwood
Chassis Stiffening Fabtech 14-point cage