Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
August 1, 2005

We can learn a lot from our older siblings. Some experiences are good, and yet, some we need to let them try, and see how much trouble they get into. Then we can decide if we want to repeat those same mistakes. Take Brogue, Pennsylvania's Brandon Hake for example. We're sure his older brothers did some pretty stupid stuff, but where they exceeded expectations was in their choice of transportation. They had Fox Mustangs. What a fine example they were to young Brandon. Ah, but Brandon chose a different path. Sure, he was into modifying his cars, but they were always a few sandwiches short of a horsepower picnic. Meaning, Brandon didn't own a Mustang, he was into four-banger imports, and he owned more than one. Oh, the horror.

"After years of my brothers bashing my imports," Brandon says, "I finally decided to take my brothers' advice and buy a Mustang GT." He shoots, he scores. Specifically, Brandon bought a used '99 GT convertible in January 2001. The dropper had only 17,000 miles on it, and it was silver with a black top and the right factory installed equipment. Right away, Brandon installed a high-flow H-pipe, Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers, and 18-inch Cobra R wheels wearing corresponding treads.

With the proper exhaust sound, Brandon turned to the exterior by adding a Roush Stage 3 body kit. Red Lion Body and Fender painted and installed the kit for Brandon. What Brandon liked most about the Roush kit was its side exhaust. "The side exhaust really caught my eye," he says. However, everyone knows the Flowmaster two-chambers weren't made for a side exhaust, but a local exhaust shop made a custom-bent pipe to enable Brandon to have both the sound and the look he desired.

What Brandon didn't desire was getting his tail handed to him on a daily basis by the local F-bodies. "I decided to save up and buy a supercharger," Brandon says. With so many supercharger systems on the market, Brandon couldn't make up his mind so he turned to CJ Pony Parts to help him with the decision. CJ's talked Brandon into going with an ATI-ProCharger P-1SC supercharger with a two-core intercooler. After CJ's installed the supercharger, Brandon took the car to get custom-tuned by the guys at www.fordchip.com. "At first, the car made 335rwhp," Brandon says, "but after it was all said and done, the car made an amazing 433 horsepower at the wheels. Wow, what a difference from the stock 260 horsepower."

As most of us have learned, the Two-Valve modulars weren't really built with boost in mind so we weren't shocked to find out Brandon's GT needed more upgrades when trying to put all that power to the ground. The stock clutch lasted two weeks. He torched a few pistons, the stock rearend went out, and at one time Brandon thought the tranny went out, but that was the replacement clutch so he then added a SPEC Stage 3 setup. All was not lost because those breakages presented upgrade opportunities. "I figured while the tranny was out of the car, I might as well put in a more dependable T56 with an aluminum driveshaft," Brandon says.

Along the road to mechanical bliss, Brandon contacted Brian Fox at Fox Marketing (www.foxmarketing.net) to try and get his GT out in the public eye. "Brian called and invited me to have my car in one of his booths at Harrisburg's Auto Show in Pennsylvania," Brandon says. At that time, Brandon's GT had the necessary paint scheme to get the attention, but Fox helped take it up a notch by taking Brandon's GT under his wing and adding I-Forged Aero wheels with Toyo Proxes treads, a Rockford Fosgate stereo system, an ATI-ProCharger D-1SC supercharger upgrade, SSBC brakes, a Nitrous Express kit, Recaro seats, and a Classic Design Concepts light bar.

As we went to press, Brandon had just received his wheels back from Santa Ana Plating in Fullerton, California. The I-Forged wheels received chrome plating, which should really make Brandon's car stand out. Then again, it's been a long time since Brandon's car hasn't stood out. Something else that stands out about Brandon's GT is now he's the lone Mustang owner among his siblings. Brandon's brothers mangled their Mustangs, and are pretty much out of the Mustang scene. Now they're the ones taking Mustang lessons from Brandon.

5.0 Tech SpecsEngine And DrivetrainBlock'03 CobraBoreStockStrokeStockDisplacement281 ciRotating Assembly'03 Cobra crankshaft, Manley connecting rods, CP 17cc pistonsCamshaftsComp blower camsHeadsStockIntakeStockThrottle BodyAccufab 75mm with upper plenumMass AirPro-M 90mm Univer, Steeda intake pipePower AdderATI-ProCharger D-1SC with two-core intercooler, Nitrous Express nitrous kit with purgeFuel System'03 Cobra pumps, Stock lines and rails, Precision Tuning 42-lb/hr injectorsExhaustJBA short-tube headers, MAC H-pipe, Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers, Roush side exhaustTransmission TTC-Tremec T56, SPEC Stage 3 clutch, B&M Ripper shifter, FRPP aluminum driveshaftRearend8.8, Stock differential and axles, 4.10 gears

ElectronicsEngine ManagementStock computer, reflashed by American Motorsport, two-position chipIgnitionStockGaugesAuto Meter

Suspension And Chassis Front SuspensionK-memberStockControl ArmsStockSprings Air Ride Technologies Cool RideStrutsAir Ride Technologies Cool RideBrakesStainless Steel Brakes CorporationWheelsI-Forged Aero 19x8.5TiresToyo Proxes 245/35Rear SuspensionSpringsAir Ride Technologies Cool RideShocksAir Ride Technologies Cool RideTraction DevicesStockBrakesStockWheelsI-Forged Aero 19x10TiresToyo Proxes 275/30Chassis StiffeningStock