Michael Johnson Associate Editor
September 1, 2008
No doubt due to a lot of help from Edgar's son Cheo (Little Edgar) and friends Carlos, Dave, Pilcher Automotive's Johnny Pilcher, and the guys at www.street stangs.net, the engine has seen its fair share of changes. Its current iteration is a 363ci short-block with a Cam Motion solid-roller cam, Joe Crain-ported Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads and Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, and an Induction Solutions Fogger nitrous system. BB&T's Don Bailey helped Edgar dial in the Pro Systems IV 780-cfm carburetor for his combination. With times in the 9.50s at more than 143 mph, we'd say Edgar's combo works.

While stationed in Korea in 1997, Edgar ordered an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a pair of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads from Panhandle Performance, and a Nitrous Works nitrous system. When he returned stateside in 1998, he bought a truck for a daily driver and started in with "heavy" mods on the GT. Out came the GT-40 long-block, and in went a 347 with the aforementioned top-end components. The rebuilt T5 was relieved of its duties in favor of a Transmatic Transmission's C4. In that form, the GT ran in the 10.80s at 125 mph-until 2001, when Edgar jetted-up the nitrous to 225 hp with catastrophic results.

Making sure that would never happen again, Edgar stepped up to a Ford Racing Performance Parts R302 block. Compression came in at a power-making 11:1, and Panhandle Performance designed a custom hydraulic-roller cam for the combo. These changes resulted in 10s at more than 135 mph, still with the untouched Twisted Wedge heads.

In January 2006, it wasn't the block disintegrating: This time around, crankshaft failure derailed further track time. Pilcher Automotive, Edgar's machinist of choice, checked the block and said it was OK, but he suggested installing new sleeves. Edgar saw this as an opportunity to go big, so the bores were taken out to 4.125 inches to arrive at 363 ci. Joe Crain then treated the Twisted Wedge heads and Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake to a long-overdue port job. A Cam Motion solid-roller stick went inside, along with a set of 13:1 Ross pistons.

To make sure he legally runs 9s, Edgar's GT utilizes an S&W 10-point rollcage while safely harnessed into a racing bucket seat. An Auto Meter Monster tach lets Edgar know when to hit the B&M Hammer shifter toward the next gear.

The first time at the track with this new combo resulted in an 11.02 at 124 mph on muscle alone. Using an NOS cross-plate for the nitrous system, the GT blacktracked to a 9.81 at 139 mph.

Edgar says he had to lift three times on the pass. To remedy that issue, he had G&S Custom Fab and Suspension in Athens, Alabama, mini-tub the car, allowing for bigger meats out back. At the track, Edgar's friend Jimmy Dickerson set up the suspension and said, "It's either going to run or go on the bumper."

Jimmy was right on both accounts because the GT laid down a 1.40 60-foot time and almost went on the bumper, too. Edgar had to pedal it twice in route to a 9.73 at 139 mph. His incremental times suggested a 9.60 pass, but the pedaling kept the car in the 9.70s.

As part of Edgar's most recent changes, he added an Induction Solutions fogger system, and he knew the car liked the fogger right off the bat. On his first pass, he shut it down at the eighth-mile mark, and his 6.10 at 114.50 mph get-acquainted hit was more than 0.2 quicker and 3 mph faster than his previous eighth-mile best. After checking the plugs to make sure the air/fuel was on point, Edgar let it fly all the way to the big end and was rewarded with a 9.53 at 143 mph. For those scoring at home, that's 0.2 and 4 mph better than his previous setup.

There are two lessons we can learn from Edgar's story. First, when someone questions your sanity because you brought home a junker, show them Edgar's GT. Edgar has once again shown us that crusher candidates can be revived. Second, this story tells us to go big-or go home.