Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 19, 2007

Horse Sense: Joe Charles made the transition from pushrod to modular between the '99 and '00 racing seasons. The car was completed a week before the Bradenton race, which he ended up winning. He tested the car at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, Georgia, the Saturday before Bradenton. It also happened to be the same day he found out he would be a father. What a week!

When you shop for a product, you hope the salesperson knows something about what they're selling. Regardless of the place or product, a salesperson is there to help you make an educated purchase-not just for the sheer enjoyment of purchasing something, but also for the reason you need the item in the first place. In the Mustang realm, we have to go fast, but sometimes we need help along the way to reach our speedy goals. Not everyone is a mechanical genius, so sometimes we need to be told that 4.88 gears are probably not the best idea for a daily-driven 5.0 Mustang, and we should take a step back and try 3.73s or 4.10s. We need someone who knows what he's talking about and can educate us on a product or combination.

Arguably one of the nicest factory Mustangs ever, '03 Mach 1s look great stock. Joe's is devoid of the rear spoiler and wears a set of CCW Classic 18x9 front wheels, while 18x10.5 rear wheels take the factory Mach 1 exterior several levels up. For rolling stock, the CCWs are wrapped in BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD treads, 265/40 front and 295/35 rear.

A place that does that is Parkway Ford, its performance center [(888) FORD-SVT; www.parkwayperformance.com], and the owners of the Mustangs you see here. Joe Charles owns the '03 Mach 1 and Paul Dishroon pimps the '92 LX coupe.

Joe's Mach follows in the footsteps of a highly competitive LX coupe and an aborted attempt at building a race car. In 1999, he competed with the coupe in the old NMCA's EFI 11 class, an index class in which you couldn't run quicker than 11.0, so reaction times were of the utmost importance. Joe won six races in a row, and in many of those final rounds he competed against current modular Mustang racer Rick Doern when Rick ran a Fox GT with pushrod power. Joe used nitrous to tune the car into the 11.0 range with pushrod power and a C4 transmission. He then made the jump to modular power with a Two-Valve under the hood of the coupe with a Vortech T-Trim supercharger.

It was in this form Joe raced Mike Murillo at the Fun Ford Weekend 2000 opener in Mod Motor. Wanting a more entertaining race, Joe and Mike agreed to race heads-up in the final. Both guys ran in the 10s, which was astonishing because there weren't too many 10-second Two-Valve modulars at that time-much less full-weight street cars such as Mike's. Joe won the race because Mike was DQ'd for the lack of safety equipment, but the two agreed to split the purse, which was $7,500.

After racing the coupe for a while, Joe decided to sell the car and start from scratch with a car to be built at MV Performance. Life got in the way, however, and Joe abandoned that project, but the car did make it on the track in a big way. The car was purchased by MV's Tim Matherly and was turned into his current and successful NMRA Real Street car. After taking a step back for a couple of years, Joe re-entered the Mustang foray with the '03 Mach 1 you see here.

With MV Performance only an hour away and Joe already having a good relationship with them, it's no surprise the Mach underwent instant modifications. With MV's Tim Matherly tuning the car with DiabloSport software, it picked up impressive horsepower, and Joe had the car running 12s on street tires. Steeda Autosports is one of Parkway Performance's main suppliers, so it didn't take long for the Mach to have the Steeda catalog bolted on the car. Since Parkway Performance is a division of Parkway Ford, Ford Racing Performance Parts goodies practically fell from the sky, and Joe has capitalized on getting first dibs on performance parts. Furthermore, the tech information Joe is able to gather has been instrumental, not only for Parkway customers, but also for his own performance goals.

The exterior of Paul's coupe is simple yet timeless. One would never know he started with a "very used" four-cylinder coupe (or notch, for our Northeast boys). Paul didn't have to tell us the car's color is PPG Hot Red, as we could tell from the photos.

On the Fox side of the coin, Paul has owned a couple of fast cars with Bennett Racing powerplants underhood. As with his Parkway Performance counterpart, he has taken the race-car route but decided to build one for the street when he rescued his '92 LX coupe from a salvage yard. Paul describes the car as a "very used" four-cylinder automatic. With help from his dad, Gene, Paul rebuilt the car and converted it to V-8 specs-but he didn't stop there. The duo performed the paint and bodywork and the mechanical changes except for any machine work, which was handled by MG Race Engines and Bennett Racing.

Although the coupe sees regular upgrades, it took Paul and his father two months to get it on the road. But Paul faced an automotive conundrum when the car was finished. His idea for the coupe was to bridge the transportation gap between his shoes and his 9-second GT. "I originally intended to use the car as daily transportation," Paul says, "but I changed my mind when it turned much nicer than expected." Paul says the coupe is a car he can jump into and drive anywhere, and it's still somewhat fast and comfortable.

Speaking of fast, both Joe and Paul are known to take their cars to the dragstrip, where Joe has run in the 12.30s and Paul in 11.80s. Paul's coupe has made a best of 335 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, and Joe's has made 363 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

Judging by Joe's and Paul's performance past and future, it seems that your Mustang's performance future is in good hands at Parkway Performance.

Of course, Joe's Mach would look silly with factory springs, so he added Steeda Autosports' progressive-rate springs up front and specific-rate springs out back. Taking a few parts from other Mustang models, Joe added '00 Cobra R Brembo brakes up front, '03 Cobra rocker panels, and '01 Bullitt sidescoops.

As part of the Mach 1 package, the interior is Mach-specific, which means it's special and unique in its own right. As such, Joe left well enough alone with only a Raptor shift light sticking up from the gauge cluster and a Steeda Autosports shifter coming up through the tunnel.

As performance parts specialist at Parkway Ford in Adairsville, Georgia, Joe is always on the cutting edge of modular performance. The engine currently wears Boss 330 Racing-prepped heads from Al Papitto, but FR500 heads and cams await installation. An FR500 intake already sits atop the Four-Valve, and a ported throttle body with a K&N AirCharger kit handles air intake duties. Bassani mid-length headers and X-shape exhaust crossover and a MagnaFlow MagnaPack after-cat with Mustang Racing Technology-rolled tips provide the exhaustive route. While fully operational, Joe's Mach put down 363 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque at MV Performance under the DiabloSport Revolution tuning prowess of Tim Matherly.

ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINIgnition
BlockStock Mach 1
'03 Mach 1Gauges
DisplacementStock
281ci 
Rotating AssemblySUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Stock '03 Mach 1Front Suspension
CamsK-member
Stock '03 Mach 1Stock
HeadsControl arms
Boss 330 Racing-prepped Stock
'03 Mach 1 Springs
IntakeSteeda Autosports
FRPP FR500progressive-rate
Throttle BodyStruts
Ported stockTokico Illumina five-way
Mass Airadjustable
StockCaster/Camber
Power AdderSteeda Autosports, offset
Joe's right footA-arm bushings and bumpsteer kit
Fuel SystemBrakes
Stock'00 Cobra R Brembo
ExhaustWheels
Bassani mid-length headersCCW 18x9
and off-road X-shapeTires
crossover pipe, MagnaFlowBFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD 265/40
MagnaPack after-cat exhaust,Rear Suspension
Mustang Racing TechnologiesSprings
3 1/2-in rolled exhaust tipsSteeda Autosports
Transmissionspecific-rate
Stock T3650, Spec/FidanzaShocks
SFI-approved aluminum flywheel,Tokico Illumina five-way
Spec clutch, Steeda Tri-Axadjustable
shifter and firewall adjusterControl arms
DriveshaftSteeda Autosports lower
FRPP aluminumcontrol arms
RearendTraction Devices
8.8, FRPP 4.30 gears, 31-splineSteeda Autosports five-link
Traction-Lok, aluminum axle Brakes
girdle, Moser 31-spline axles,Stock Mach 1
Royal Purple fluidWheels
 CCW 18x10.5
ELECTRONICSTires
Engine ManagementBFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD 295/35
Stock computer, DiabloSportChassis Stiffening
Revolution chip tuned by MVStock
Performance 

Steeda Autosport springs reside at each corner to bring the coupe closer to earth, helping the chrome '99 Cobra wheels fill the gaps. Nitto 555 Extreme ZR 245/45 radials ride shotgun, while Mickey Thompson E/T Street radials bite for traction out back. The Cobra wheels hide Cobra brakes with Mach 1 calipers up front and Cobra brakes out back.

The interior of Paul's coupe boasts '94-and-up GT cloth seats, Steeda Autosports white-face gauges, an FRPP shift knob, and a leather parking-brake boot. Like Joe's Mach, Paul's coupe also has a Steeda Autosports Tri-Ax shifter protruding through the tunnel.

MG Race Engines built a sweet 306 with D.S.S. Trick Flow-specific pistons to mate the short-block to Twisted Wedge heads, which Paul's dad, Gene, treated to a port job prior to being flowed and assembled by Bennett Racing. The heads feature 2.02/1.60 valves and Comp valvesprings, and Comp Pro Magnum 1.6 roller rockers. Paul paired the Trick Flow heads with a Holley SysteMAX II intake with a BBK/Edelbrock 70mm throttle body and a C&L Performance 76mm mass air meter with a Trueflow intake pipe.

ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINELECTRONICS
BlockEngine Management
Stock 5.0Stock A9L computer
DisplacementIgnition
306ciMSD 6A, Blaster TFI coil,
Rotating AssemblyFRPP 9mm spark-plug wires,
Stock crankshaft andAutolite spark plugs
connecting rods, D.S.S.Gauges
Racing Engines Trick Stock, Steeda Autosports
Flow-specific pistons,white-face overlay
Sealed Power piston rings
CamSUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
Comp Cams custom groundFront Suspension
to Bennett Racing specsK-member
HeadsStock
Trick Flow Twisted Wedge,Control arms
owner-ported, flowed andStock
assembled by Bennett Racing,Springs
2.02/1.60 valves, Comp CamsSteeda Autosports Sport Comp
Pro Magnum roller rockersStruts
and valvesprings, FRPP liftersKYB GR-2
IntakeCaster/Camber
Holley SysteMAX IISteeda Autosports, and bump-
Throttle Bodysteer kit
BBK/Edelbrock 70mmBrakes
Mass Air'94-up 13-in Cobra, '03 Mach 1
C&L Performance 76mm withcalipers
Trueflow inlet pipeWheels
Power Adder'99 Cobra 17x8 chrome
Paul's right footTires
Fuel SystemNitto 555 Extreme 245/45/17
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump,Rear Suspension
stock fuel lines, rails, andSprings
injectors, Aeromotive fuel-Steeda Sport Comp
pressure regulatorShocks
ExhaustKYB Gas-a-Just
JBA Headers 1 5/8-in short-Control arms
tube headers, MAC 2 1/2-in Steeda Autosports
ProChamber H-pipe and Brakes
after-cat'94-up 11.65-in Cobra
TransmissionWheels
Stock T5, Ram clutch, '99 Cobra 17x8 chrome
Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, Tires
FRPP shifter knobMickey Thompson E/T Street
DriveshaftChassis Stiffening
FRPP aluminumSteeda Autosports full-length
Rearendsubframe connectors
8.8, 4.30 gears