April 1, 2005

What is it about Mike Murillo that makes every Mustang he touches so special? Even semi-retired from the rigors of NMRA Super Street Outlaw racing, he still finds time to crank out inventive, creative, clean, trick, stirring 5.0 Mustangs that transcend the hobby. Perhaps what makes Mike so special to the 5.0 faithful is his dedication to the street scene. We all remember his "Star Car" tearing up drag strips across America, but his taste for fine Mustang street cars seems even sweeter.

Some 5.0 Mustang super fans will remember his stint with a Vortech-blown modular GT that left the San Antonio street racers breathless. Before that, he built a titanium GT that ran high-8s in True Street trim. And, after being pressured by the locals who stop by Murillo Motorsports [(210) 946-1199] just to see what Mike has going on, he's built another street car that is sure to leave you breathless. So, here, in all of its high-tech, fast wonder, is the story of his latest creation-a turbo-charged GT that's as nice as they come.

Mike's formula for winning, street 5.0 Mustangs (and his formula for attracting the eye of Mustang magazine editors) goes a little something like this: Take one near-original Mustang, lay out your plan for the finished product, and then don't stop until that car is a reality. Above all, Mike doesn't ever get sidetracked with add-ons and doodads that don't really do anything for the car. Of course, his years of experience wrenching on Mustangs of all variations has a great deal to do with his success, but his eye for what hits the hobby is where he's a winner. In this car, he's showcasing his skills with a street-style turbocharger system-something that is still hard to do, no matter how many shops bring out turbos.

Mike's kit is sourced from Pro Turbo Kits, a local San Antonio house of speed. Mike's kit consists of custom headers, a Precision Turbo 76 GTS turbo, and 18 psi of boost. Top that off with a 125-horse, "in case it's close," nitrous shot, put it on a good 310-incher, add a custom Murillo tune with a FAST system, and you've got some magic happening. At the time of our photo session, the car was making 784 hp and 760 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, but Mike had the Trick Flow High-Ports ported, and the exhaust changed, so that the latest combination increases those numbers by a conservative 100 hp and lb-ft.

So, what do you do with a street car that makes over 800-rear wheel horsepower? Well, Mike drives this thing-a lot! "I'm having so much fun with this car," Mike proclaimed. "It's so innocent. People don't believe what it has. I built the thing for a match race here in town-it's called Midnight Madness. It's the street scene brought to the track. I promise, there will be no street racing this car. I had a lot of people talking about racing me, but since I built this car-since it started running eights-they've stopped talking! But, tell your readers, I do drive this car on the street, mostly cruises and just having a lot of fun."

About the only problem Mike faced with this car was that it was shockingly fast already. He's run 8.90s at over 153 mph with 1.33-second short times, but the little GT wants to stand on its back bumper something fierce. "I built the car to have something on the scene," Mike told us. "People kept asking what I was going to build next, so I tried to show them something. The car looks innocent, but, man, it's as wild as all hell. But, this thing will always be a street car-no wheelie bars. [laughs] My back bumper has been my wheelie bar lately!"

Mike's goal of running 8.60s with a legitimate street car is within reach. He's started to work the bugs out of his hellacious launches by moving some of the suspension pieces, but, mostly, he's just working on easing out of the hole. He reduced launch rpm to 4,300, while bringing shift points in at 6,000 rpm. Mike says the nitrous comes on at 5,500, but we think we heard wrong when he told us this one. Yet on a pass without the juice this car ripped of a 9.13 at a blistering 147 mph.

Perhaps the best thing about Mike's latest Mustang is that he says it can be reproduced for $25,000-$30,000, and that's including the car (you supply the labor)! It is also a truly perfect example of what Murillo Motorsports can do for its customers. Mike wanted to thank his crew: Ed Fahrenkrug, Mike Neace, Shawn Jackson, Josh Henry, Chris Williams, Dean Adams, and Kirk Prewitt. We'll also thank Mike's wife and his many children for their motivation-you've got to sell a lot of car parts to feed all those mouths!

5.0 TECH SPECS
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block FRPP {{{A4}}}
Displacement 310ci
Cylinder Heads Trick Flow High-Port
Camshaft Custom turbo cam by Murillo Motorsports
Intake Manifold Holley SysteMAX II
Throttle Body Accufab 70mm
Air Filter UPR Big Mouth
Power Adder Pro Turbo Kits with Precision 76 GTS turbocharger
Nitrous Edelbrock 125hp shot
Exhaust Pro Turbo Kits headers with single DynoMax Bullet 3-inch
Fuel System Aeromotive A1000 pump and rails; 83 Siemens Deka injectors; Weldon regulator
Transmission Tranz King C-4
Rearend 8.8-inch w/ 3.55 gearing and 31-spline axles
ELECTRONICS
Engine Management FAST tuned by Murillo Motorsports
Ignition MSD 7AL ignition and coil; FRPP 9mm wires; NGK #9 spark plugs
Gauges FRPP tachometer
SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Front Suspension
K-Member Stock
A-Arms Stock
Springs UPR coil-over kit
Caster/Camber plates UPR
Struts Koni
Wheels Bogart
Tires Skinny
Brakes Stock
REAR SUSPENSION
Springs Stock
Shocks QA1 adjustables
Control Arms Wolfe Racecraft
Traction Devices Wolfe Racecraft
Wheels Bogart
Tires 28x10.5
Brakes Stock
Chassis Stiffening Wolfe Racecraft installed by Bill at Prewitt Racing