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500hp Fox Coupe - Pick a Number
With A 5.0 Mustang Collection Like This One, Where Do We Begin?
Horse Sense: Reef Blue was a one-year paint option for 1993. Without question, it's one of the most rare and desirable paint colors you can get on a 5.0 Mustang. When it comes to an original 17,000-mile fresh notchback such as this, you have something special.
Standing amidst a collection of 14 premium 5.0 Mustangs, the problem wasn't which car to shoot-it was where to begin. I was invited to visit Ray Duncan's home in Norton, Ohio, by mutual friend and former owner of a 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine feature car, Tim Stockwell. Tim works on Ray's cars from time to time, and the promise was to see several rare 5.0 Mustangs, as well as check out the more modified among Ray's collection.
Although most people would question if a man who works 12-hour days at his Eastern Pools Company in Barberton, Ohio, is truly retired, Ray maintains that he is. "When I retired, my wife said I should get a hobby," 68-year-young Ray says. "I've always liked cars, but when my business took off, I had to give them up. So I began buying Mustangs. I've always liked them-I can't remember all of the ones I've had, but I've owned a lot. I bought one 5.0 Mustang, and from there, it went to a dozen."
The other interesting story we got from Ray was the reasoning behind the blue '88 sedan he built. That car-one we'll likely feature at some point-was built to show his grandkids how slow their Hondas were. Ray ended up putting a 347 stroker motor into the car with a Trick Flow top end and a Vortech blower. The car ran effortless 10.80s at more than 131 mph with Tim at the helm. All the grandkids drive Mustangs now.
Now we come to the '93 coupe in question-a striking car regardless of the performance it offers. Ray built this one as a mild version of the '88 coupe, which he drives to cruises, puts into car shows, and basically just enjoys the lifestyle of owning a 5.0 Mustang.
As with the "race car," Ray went with a Vortech S-Trim supercharger as the foundation of the combination. Pullied to make 12 psi, it accounts for roughly a 50-percent increase in horsepower and has been the standard in the street-blower market for years. Ray also kept the stock bottom end intact, except the addition of a Trick Flow Stage I camshaft.Keeping with that theme, he bought the complete Trick Flow induction kit, including the Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads and Trick Flow Street intake. He also added a Ford Racing Performance Parts 65mm throttle body and a 73mm Vortech mass air calibrated to work with the 30-lb/hr injectors.
This is one classic combination of parts, and even though the bottom end is all stock Ford, you can still expect much more than 400 rwhp from such a setup. The stock clutch and T5 five-speed are in place, coupled to a set of 3.73 gears through an aluminum driveshaft. This is one impressive ride. Still, these cars are more than just a collection of thrown-together parts bought with a credit card. These combinations take time to develop and perfect.
"I've spent hours on the driveability problems it had," Tim says. "Some folks can't understand that with a stick shift and a lumpy cam, you can't keep it from bucking and jumping around when you idle in Fourth gear at 30 mph. Of course, Ray has been with these cars enough to know that performance comes with some concessions. The snow kit let me back down the fuel pressure to about 30 psi, so the car ran much better in the low rpm and didn't buck so hard. The methanol injection richened it up on the top end, and that let me give the engine about 18 degrees base timing. As an added precaution, Ray always keeps his boost retard knob at 2, so it takes it all out anyway. Regardless, it's a strong car, and it will bust the M/Ts loose at 50 mph in Third gear at will. It's a fun one!"
"I just love the way this car handles," Ray says. "We put those M/T ET Street tires on it, and it doesn't spin the tires anywhere near as bad as it used to. I wouldn't get rid of that car for anything."
Estimates on the performance of the Reef Blue coupe put it conservatively into the low-11-second zone. We have no problem believing that number, given that it's pushing out close to 500 horses. But the real beauty is that its owner wants nothing more in a car. It combines the graceful, attractive lines of the 5.0 coupe with an almost insatiable appetite for speed. That's what this hobby is all about.
It's nice to see the 5.0 Mustang already being treated the way a collectible car should be. With folks like Ray around, the legend of the 5.0 Mustang will live on for generations. Thanks, Ray!
Ray's combination is relatively simple, yet potent. The 5.0 Mustang will always be popular because the bottom end can take a lot of power-around 500 horses-before running into problems. Ray had Trick Flow heads, intake, and a Stage 1 camshaft installed, and topped it off with an S-Trim Vortech blower making 12 psi. A Snow Boost Cooler, MAC exhaust, fuel system pieces from Vortech, and an MSD 6AL ignition support the 450-plus horses.