Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
May 18, 2010

This magazine is littered with Mustangs that were built without any intent to appear on these pages. Not everyone plans to build a fire-breathing, pavement-eating, ground-pounding Mustang-sometimes it just happens that way.

Sure you can't accidentally build a fast Mustang. It does take effort and planning, but sometimes they take on a momentum of their own. It's definitely a snowball effect. We say to ourselves, "Oh, if it just had a little more power," or "Maybe I could add a hood and some stripes." But we add one part, and that particular part works best if we couple it with something else. And when the car responds to the modifications, we wonder how well the car will respond with more mods. Before we know it, the car is a fire-breathing, pavement-eating, ground-pounding Mustang featured in a magazine.

Case in point is Lance Pacana's '06 Mustang Pony package V-6. The sole reason he bought the V-6 was because he had no intention of modifying the car. (Where have we heard that before?) "I purchased it with the intention of Sunday cruises and nice daily drives," Lance says. He can still take those Sunday cruises and nice daily drives, but at a much faster clip.

"It all started with a set of Eibach lowering springs," Lance says, "and it went downhill from there." That's right-a set of Eibach springs led Lance to build this monster Mustang. All Lance wanted was a little added driving enjoyment. He didn't expect to fall off the stock wagon and tumble right into a pile of modifications. However, after adding the springs to his Pony package V-6 Mustang, Lance found himself shopping for more and more performance mods. "That set of springs changed everything," he notes.

We're not quite sure how you leap from springs to a turbo kit, but that's the path Lance took. It seems like a drastic step to go from nice daily drives to a single turbo, but we'll go with it. Lance ended up at the website of PowerHouse Automotive [(814) 774-4966; www.powerhouse411.com] and owner Mike Bowen. PowerHouse is one of those shops that instantly took to the S197 platform, modifying and enhancing the cars right out of the gate; finding the limits, as well. PowerHouse knew what Lance's Pony needed, and the turbo route was the way to go.

Soon thereafter a PowerHouse-built single-turbo kit with an intercooler found its way under the hood, along with the requisite suspension modifications. "The next thing I knew, I was at the track running 12.20s on 11 pounds of boost," Lance explains. Of course, by this time, going faster was Lance's obsession. Being that close to the 11-second zone, that's where Lance wanted to be. By stuffing two more pounds of boost in the cylinders, Lance crossed that bridge, but now wanted to be in the 10-second zone. With the 13 pounds of boost already on board, Lance decided nitrous was the perfect source for more power. Wanting to get everything out of the V-6, the 75 shot of juice got him painfully close: 11.02 at 126 mph.

Busting the juice made the car a blast to drive, but you know what they say: All good things must come to an end. At the 2007 Fun Ford Norwalk event, Lance's push for a 10-second slip ended with a grenaded V-6. Deep down, Lance probably knew the sixer was on borrowed time, but he didn't let the setback deter his go-fast obsession. Instead, he looked at the situation like most of us do-as an upgrade opportunity.

Of course, Lance consulted Mike on the Pony's next chapter of modifications. Assorted scenarios were considered, but the most intriguing to both Lance and Mike was a Shelby GT500 5.4 engine backed by a Lentech 4R70W auto. Since Lance was on the verge of 10s, the duo counted on the 5.4 swap to carry him into the 10s and beyond.

During the swap, Lance made the necessary changes for sub-9-second legality. PowerHouse installed a six-point rollbar, a master cut-off switch, and the like. The team also narrowed the 8.8 rear to make room for larger rear meats, and upgraded the rear suspension accordingly. To ensure 9s were attainable, a Precision Turbo 76mm single turbocharger was thrown into the mix. However, to maintain a sleeper image, the Pony package exterior remains unchanged save for a Steeda Autosports cowl hood. "I decided to keep the V-6 bumpers to retain the appearance, as well as the heritage of the V-6 roots," Lance says.

With the car boasting the turbocharged Shelby GT500 combination, Lance has run a best-of 9.93 at 140 mph-all the result of adding a set of springs. Go figure.

5.0 Tech Specs

2006 Ford Mustang Pony Package V-6

Engine and Drivetrain

Block Shelby GT500 5.4 Iron
Bore 3.552-in
Stroke 4.165-in
Displacement 330 ci
Rotating Assembly Stock crankshaft w/Oliver I-beam connecting rods and Diamond Racing pistons
Compression Ratio 8.4:1
Camshafts Stock Shelby GT500
Heads Stock Shelby GT500
Intake PowerHouse Automotive custom sheetmetal
Throttle Body Stock Shelby GT500
Mass Air HPX with DiabloSport MAFia
Power Adder PowerHouse Automotive single-turbo kit w/Precision Turbo 76mm, 17 pounds of boost, air-to-water intercooled, custom sheetmetal reservoir
Fuel System Shelby GT500 fuel pumps w/60-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Stock Shelby GT500 exhaust manifolds w/PowerHouse Automotive custom Y-pipe, Bassani Xhaust race mufflers
Transmission Lentech 4R70W Strip Terminator w/transbrake, Precision Industries 3,200-rpm-stall converter, Baumannator transmission controller, and PowerHouse Automotive 4-inch aluminum driveshaft
Rearend Narrowed 8.8 w/ Ford Racing Performance Parts 3.55 gears, Detroit Locker differential, and Moser 31-spline axles

Photo Gallery

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Electronics

Engine Management Stock w/ SCT XCal2 tune
Ignition Stock
Gauges Stock w/Auto Meter boost gauge and Dynojet wideband air/fuel gauge

Chassis and Suspension

Front Suspension

Struts Tokico D-Spec adjustable
Springs Eibach Pro-Kit
Brakes Stock V-6 w/Hawk brake pads
Wheels Bogart Welded GT
Tires Mickey Thompson

Rear Suspension

Shocks Tokico D-Spec adjustable
Springs Eibach Pro-Kit
Control Arms CHE solid lowers, adjustable upper, and anti-squat brackets
Brakes Stock V-6 w/Hawk brake pads
Wheels Bogart Welded GT
Tires Hoosier 325/50-15 D.O.T. drag radial
Chassis Stiffening PowerHouse Automotive six-point rollbar