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2003 Ford Mustang GT - Breaking Away
NASA Engineer Rob Breakfield Dreamed Up Something A Little Different
What would the world be like if Ford had never designed and sold the amazing '03-'04 SVT Cobra or Mustang Mach 1? The obvious answer is that we would be lavishing a lot more ink, money, and time on the Mustang GT. In fact, the story may go something like the one we are about to tell.
It's the story of a guy who loved his stock '03 GT-until he added some new rims and was saddled with a Mustang that was a "fast-looking slow car." Once that realization set in, he became determined to do something about it. That "something" turned into a raucous free-for-all through the pages of a Mustang owner's dream-car parts catalog.
Chances are good that if we only had the modular Mustang GT as a starting point, Rob Breakfield's '03 GT would be one of the baddest in the land. As it sits, it takes the factory hot-rod concept, established by the GT, Mach 1, and Cobra, to a whole new level.
"I bought the car in September 2002," Rob says, "and my plan was to leave it completely stock and just drive it. That plan lasted almost one year, but I just couldn't leave it alone any longer. I started researching my power-adder options. I knew that adding a power adder to a stock engine would be a mistake for this buildup because I wanted more power than the stock bottom end would take."
We suspect that Rob's job as an engineering technician for NASA added to his ability to plan out a project and bring it to completion. Once you realize how involved this car is, we think you will be impressed with how much has been accomplished in so little time. After studying his options, Rob purchased a complete motor from VT Competition Engines. It included the entire long-block, made up of a modular stroker kit within a stock block, forged internals willing to take the ravages of a supercharger, ported Two-Valve heads, and blower-specific camshafts. Rob chose to top this all off with a Kenne Bell Twin Screw supercharger for its low-rpm torque capability.
T&J's Performance in Atlanta got the nod for the entire installation of the new, supercharged modular engine, as well as the related drivetrain gear. T&J's also got the job of the final tuneup. Of course, there are a ton of custom touches in this car that make it all work together seamlessly, including a custom intercooler reservoir, an eight-rib pulley/serpentine belt system, a cold-air inlet, a PCV evacuation system, a heat exchanger mounting arrangement, and a Snow Performance Boost Cooler system.
The Snow system has allowed the tuners to raise initial timing from 15 to 22 degrees initial, as well as raising horsepower by 26 and torque by 43 lb-ft at the tire to a final reading of 500 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque! Rob reports that the methanol-injection system completely eliminates detonation on 93-octane pump gas.
The true potential of all that power is far from realized. Rob has slipped his way to a best of 12.65 e.t., but the trap speed was more than 120 mph-indi-cating big things in the future of this car. He ordered a set of Weld rims on which to mount his 11.5x15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets. At press time, Rob managed an 11.93 at 119.4 mph pass with only a 1.8-second 60-foot. With work on his launch, mid-11s are in the offing.
Of course, with all of that low-end grunt, this thing really hauls the mail. Rob reports that the car is a blast to drive on the streets and reminds us that it still has power windows and door locks, power seats, air conditioning, and a booming Mach 1000 stereo system. As Rob puts it, "Ford made a great car. I just made some minor changes to personalize it more to my liking."