5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
1994 Ford Mustang GT - Around The Block
Bob Lunner Returned To His Street-Car Roots To Build The 5.0 Mustang Of His Dreams
It can be difficult to figure out what kind of Mustang you want. Some enthusiasts are content to keep their car stock, wax it a few times a month, and show it off at the local cruise spot. Others are lured by the ridiculously easy modifications that can take a stock 5.0 Mustang from a nice, 14-second daily driver to the deep-10-second range where just a few years ago only tubbed-out big-block musclecars dared to tread. Yes, times have changed, and making a Mustang fast is limited only by your budget and your creativity. The problem is, there's a line where the streetability of your Mustang begins to deteriorate, and the fun factor that drove you to buy the car in the first place is but a distant memory.
Such is the case with Bob Lunner, a 41-year-old equipment mechanic from Middle River, Maryland. You see, Bob has done the "Mustang thang!" He had no problem screwing together an '86 LX that ran close to the nine-second zone. In fact, he spent five years of his life on that car-swapping out interiors, cherry-picking three short-blocks, trading five-speed transmissions for an AOD, rebuilding the rearend-a few times-adding different rim and tire packages, and going through NOS bottles like they were underwear.
Bob eventually settled on a Vortech YS-Trim combination (after a Powerdyne, an A-Trim, and an S-Trim) that landed the car squarely in the low-10-second range. Oh, yeah, it was a bad little Mustang that could hold its own on any street in America. The only problem was that as the car progressed through all of these changes, Bob had slowly taken the "street" out of his street car. It was now a bright-purple race car that needed to run on race fuel and had to be trailered from shop to track.
"I laid in bed many a night trying to recall when the car was the most fun to own," Bob says. "That time was back when it was without a rollbar ... without ET Streets on it all the time ... without the need for race gas. That time was when I drove to the track, let some air out of the drag radials, raced six or eight times, then drove back home with the A/C cranked up. I miss those times.
"Rather than detune my low-10-second 5.0 Mustang, I decided it was time to make a change-a big change. Most everyone I know tried to talk me out of it. I actually wanted to get rid of the car and replace it with something slower!"
That is exactly what Bob did. After a little negotiating, he traded his tricked-out, 10-second '86 for the Chrome Yellow '94 GT pictured here (well, after a custom paint job, it's the one pictured here). Using what he had learned from the time spent working on the '86 made things easy for Bob. He knew exactly what he wanted-a nicely worked out head/cam/ intake package that could take a good snort of nitrous when the time called for it. He also had a goal of being able to drive the car to the SuperStallions of the Net events, mix it up with his friends, and then drive the car home without having the thing hurt itself.
The biggest obstacle Bob ran into was the inherent streetability problems that '94-'95 cars have when you try to cam them up. He used two separate, custom chips in the car, but he finally installed a PMS system on the stock ECU. After tuning it up with the PMS, Bob's '94 was back on the street. Just before the car's true SuperStallions debut, however, he decided he wanted to add flames to the factory yellow repaint. But Bob's paint man Keith Beaudet couldn't let him drive around in such an unattractive ride. So, Keith stripped the car to the shell, repainted it with loving attention, and proceeded to the final assembly you see here. Bob worked out a deal wherein he'll be wrenching on Keith's car for the rest of his life, but he did get a $6,000 show-car paint job out of it!