5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
1992 Ford Mustang - Worship Or Goodbye
Turbo Goddess Christina Eldert's Competition Prays She Doesn't Leave Them In The Dust
Some nicknames stick to a person like Tech Editor Houlahan to a buffet line, and the Mustang scene has its share of characters with nicknames to match. There's Wild Bill Devine, John "Fireball" Urist, Mike "Punk" Trimandilis, and Chip "Chris" Havemann to name just a few. In our January '00 issue (p. 36) freelancer Chris Hemer gave Christina Eldert a nickname that will most likely last a lifetime. Chris titled Christina's feature "Turbo Goddess," and to this day everyone knows who you are talking about when that name is mentioned.
In that article, Christina owned a clean and fast '92 Calypso coupe, and with its twin-turbo setup the car ran a best of 8.70 at 160 mph. The car was eventually parted out and sold. Christina then headed to school to get her real estate license. With her future in hand, she once again turned her focus toward getting back into drag racing.
Christina went to LaMotta Performance in Longwood, Florida. Owner Jake LaMotta is heavy into the modular Mustang market, and he convinced Christina to let him help build her a new modular-powered car. The two thought a Four-Valve, turbocharged car would be an ideal Drag Radial combination, with the Four-Valve's relative lack of bottom-end power to aid trac-tion and with rpm and breathing capabilities up top to give the car a stout top-end charge.
In the meantime, Jake threw Chris-tina the keys to his Four-Valve, twin-turbo Mustang SVO so she could get back in the drag racing groove. She posted a best of 9.63 at 143 mph and won several races, including one at the '02 Modular Shootout (Four-Valve Power Adder) and a Fords at Englishtown (Real Street) event.
As for her new car, Christina found a $200 blue-on-blue four-cylinder coupe with a busted transmission. With help from the LaMotta crew, the car was stripped and sent to Samuels Auto Body. Brad Samuels straightened out the body and applied '02 Lincoln LS silver, but not before a Kaenen 211/42-inch cowl hood came aboard. At the same time, a Takash Racecraft 10-point cage was welded in the car. With the paint and cage done, Jake LaMotta set out building the car. Nestled between the bars is a classic black interior fitted with Auto Meter gauges.
With Jake's ever-growing Four-Valve engine experience, the car started out with a stock 4.6 Cobra aluminum block with a Cobra crank, Manley rods, and CP pistons. The car had the 4.6 when Christina made her debut at last year's Fun Ford Weekend Virginia race and throughout the '03 season.
For 2004, Christina's ride received a VT Competition Engines-built Four-Valve stroker engine. VT also used an aluminum 4.6 Cobra block, but instead of the factory 281 cubes, the shop stroked and poked the Four-Valve modular out to 308 ci. From there, Al Papitto worked on a pair of '96-'98 Cobra heads, fitting them with FR500 camshafts and valvetrain pieces, along with porting a Cobra intake to reside up top. With LaMotta's turbo experience, the power adder of choice was a no-brainer. Although Jake and Christina tested several ITS single-turbo impeller units, the duo settled on a GTB 76mm single-turbo setup. With this design, Christina says the car has 22 pounds of boost with help from a Spearco air-to-water intercooler, which makes the car good for a best of 8.79 at 157 mph.
Even with the Four-Valve's inability to make torque at lower rpm, Chris-tina's main issue remains getting the car to 60-foot with the drag radials-but then, that's every drag radial racer's issue. Even though she has won and runner-upped a ton of times, her main goals now are to run 8.50s (or faster) and-like everyone else in Drag Radial-to beat Big Daddy Dwayne Gutridge. That sure would be some kind of return.