Eric English
March 1, 2007
Photos By: Steve Turner, Dale Amy
Bullitts originally sported a low-key presence due to the subtlety of their dark original hues. We're afraid Joey has blown his cover with the 4-inch H.O. Fibertrends hood and 10-inch-wide rear rims, yet we suspect the ammo under the hood is enough to fend off virtually all assailants.

Horse Sense: To any purists who might be concerned about Joey taking liberties with a rare collectible Bullitt, we have one thing to say: get a grip! Sure, we think these cars are cool in both stock and modified form, but the fact of the matter is, Ford made plenty to go around. According to the Yellow Mustang Registry (www.yellowmustangregistry.com), the production numbers are 3,041 for Dark Highland Green, 723 for True Blue, and 1,818 for Black.

You might say that Memphis, Tennessee's Joey Buquoi is the kind of guy who won't stop until he's satisfied. After seeing what such an attitude brings in the form of his '01 Bullitt, it's the kind of demeanor we want to promote at every opportunity. Joey put together what many consider a nice package when he bought his '01 in 2004. When it didn't perform as he'd hoped, he went back to the drawing board and started the whole thing again.

When Joey acquired his completely stock Bullitt in Dark Highland Green, the initial plan was for a centrifugal blower, exhaust, and a steeper gearset. Having performed similar mods to pushrod Mustangs in his past ownership chain, Joey was fairly certain it was a plan that would leave him with a hot street machine that could defend the Blue Oval honor and still allow frequent real-world driving. After the fact, Joey longed for more, explaining that the small-cube 4.6 had minimal oomph on the low end, even with the extra atmosphere crammed inside.

While we normally don't call engine failure a good thing, when Joey cracked a couple of pistons in the Bullitt's stock bottom end, the opportunity to go back to square one was staring him right in the face

Seizing the day, Joey handed the wounded short-block to nearby BB&T Racing for a modular build that would make and handle the kind of power far beyond a simple blower and exhaust job. The stock block and crank were prepped as necessary and fitted with Eagle H-beam rods and JE Pistons. Up top, Patriot Performance was tapped for a set of Stage II CNC-ported cylinder heads, teamed with custom Comp Cams bumpsticks as specified by friend and Comp employee Matt Summerfield. On top of this sits the aforementioned intercooled Kenne Bell Twin Screw blower, fed by Siemens 60-lb/hr injectors and an Accufab single-blade throttle body.

If this weren't a Bullitt, we'd be championing the Kenne Bell Twin Screw supercharger on looks alone, as the blower replaces the intake apparatus we find to be rather lame looking on a stock Two-Valve 4.6. Conversely, the stock Bullitt induction is an attractive setup, but it must also find a spot on the shelf when KB's boost comes calling. Joey couldn't say enough about the 2.2-liter huffer's prodigious low-rpm power production, while also assisting the 281-incher to as much as 620 rear wheel ponies up top-and that's without the nitrous.

More hardware comes in the form of a 90mm SCT BigAir mass air meter, Bassani headers and X-shape crossover, a fuel system consisting of an Aeromotive pump and regulator, -8 and -6 stainless lines, and Steeda billet rails. The ample heat exchanger, built as a Lightning upgrade, and custom intercooler water reservoir are the handiwork of Memphis, Tennessee's Four Seasons Radiator.

All the goods in the world won't make things tick without a top-notch tune. The right place to get it turned out to be 10 minutes down the road from Joey's home. The crew at DynoSpeed Racing went to work with a Superchips Custom Tuning XCalibrator 2 flash tool. In conjunction with their Dynojet chassis dyno, the car dialed in 550 hp and 477 lb-ft of torque. Did we mention Joey isn't easily satisfied? He also put together a 150-horse nitrous system, including Nitrous Pro-Flow solenoids, a Nitrous Express shark nozzle, and a custom billet bottle bracket by Speed of Sound. When the dust cleared, the laughing gas pushed the horses up to 702 on the dyno, and had us thinking that a forged-steel Cobra crank might have been some nice insurance.

Joey is the first to say he didn't build this car for the quarter mile; he has succeeded in building a dominating street car that remains docile enough to drive on a regular basis. The fact is, Joey explained he'd recently round-tripped the car from Memphis to New Orleans-a journey of at least 800 miles. In case any of our more critical readers doubt the claimed all-around abilities of Joey's ride, we should also report that he competed in our King of the Street competition at the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While there, he upped the ante by cranking up the boost; we witnessed more than 600 hp on the engine/blower combo and 752 hp with the juice flowing. This one's for real, and Joey reports his few dragstrip visits have resulted in a best of 10.37 at 137 on 26x10 Mickey T slicks-in the "lower" 702-horse state of tune. We'll keep mum on how Joey finished in the KOTS competition until our full coverage of the event, but you can probably predict he did fine

Proving Joey isn't completely unreasonable, he says he's satisfied with his Bullitt and considers the project complete. It has been quite a change from the simplistic initial idea of blower, exhaust, and gears, and yet the results are worth all the time, effort-and yes, dollars. Joey is quick to credit the crew at DynoSpeed-John, John, and Joe-for their expertise and tireless efforts in getting the car dialed-in just right. After witnessing the results in the flesh, we'd call it a job well done all the way around