Dale Amy
July 20, 2010

How's it goin', eh? In the parlance of Bob and Doug McKenzie, those flannel-wrapped, tuque-wearing, ale-swilling caricatures of Canadians on SCTV's "The Great White North," a "two-fer" usually referred to a 24-pack of Canadian beer. But for our purposes, the term simply means two for one-two '88 5.0 Mustangs for one Tony Zeppieri, a real Canadian who bears absolutely no cultural resemblance to the TV McKenzies, and who not once in the course of our conversations was heard to utter that clichéd Canadian-ism, "eh?"

Tony is now a police officer, but before making that career change, he operated his own speed shop for eight years out of his father's auto repair business, catering primarily to the Mustang crowd in southern Ontario. It probably helped that his first car at age 16 was a 10-year-old '79 5.0 hatchback, which no doubt helped teach him many useful hands-on lessons about maintaining and improving the breed-as did his mechanic father, Mike, from whom he clearly inherited his gearhead genes. In total, 36-year-old Tony has owned 11 Mustangs, including three at the moment.

There was really no intention on his part to end up with a pair of '88s-it just worked out that way. He purchased the blue GT in 1990, somewhat ironically as a theft-recovery vehicle. The ironic part is that a decade later, Tony ended up spending time in the Auto Squad, where vehicle theft investigations were part of his responsibilities once he joined the police force. Anyway, the GT was pretty much a gutted shell, missing its interior, headlights, taillights, rims, and tires when he got it. As you can see here, things have improved considerably.

Underhood, as with many such projects, it's been an ongoing evolution. Once wearing 351W heads and a ported stock intake force-fed by a Paxton SN-92 blower, Tony took it to the strip on street rubber, ran a 12.60 e.t. at 121 mph, and was told not to come back until he had a rollbar or cage. These days the GT's combo consists of a Paul Silva-built 306, sporting Edelbrock heads and induction with a 12-psi Paxton Novi 2000 centrifugal. It's still without roll protection, so he hasn't tracked it in its present form, though taking the GT down the quarter is certainly on his wish list.

By the way, if the Silva name rings a bell, it's because Paul and his brother Joe once formed the well-known J&P Performance that at one time had such prominence in 5.0 Mustang drag racing.

Tony's red LX coupe is a much more recent acquisition, picked up in November of 2006, and it solved one of his quarter-mile requirements since it already had a six-point cage. As you can tell by the big-and-little rolling stock, this has become his primary drag toy, though he also has a set of street shoes for the coupe, so it is by no means restricted to the track.

Like his GT, the LX has a 3.55 gearset, so it can serve the dual-purpose role comfortably. Its 306 (also Silva-built) wears a slightly different Edelbrock head and intake setup, an FRPP E303 cam instead of the GT's custom-grind Silva blower bumpstick, and does without forced induction, relying instead on the occasional tickle of a CompuCar adjustable nitrous kit-but the giggle gas is strictly for on-track activation, because in a shining example of safety-Nazi legislative overkill, nitrous is illegal for street use in Ontario. Using the 50hp jets, the little coupe has run 12.1 seconds at 121 mph, and this year Tony plans some passes with the 125hp jets plugged in.

Both '88s are perpetually evolving projects and both are long-term keepers as far as Tony is concerned. Oh, and we mentioned that he now has a third Pony in his current stable. That one's a 10th Anniversary SVT Cobra that he bought in pristine condition last year to celebrate the birth of his first son. Tony plans to keep it that way and present the Cobra to his boy on his 16th birthday, thereby hopefully passing on the gearhead tradition that his own father passed down to him. Now that's a family tradition we can all get behind.

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'88 Mustang GT
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Stock
Displacement 306 ci
Crankshaft Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Camshaft PSP custom-grind blower cam
Power Adder Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger
Cylinder Heads Edelbrock Performer RPM
Intake Manifold Performer RPM II w/Accufab 70mm throttle body and Pro-M 75mm Bullet mass air
Fuel System FRPP 42-lb/hr injectors, Walbro 255-lph pump, Aeromotive rails
Exhaust BBK 1 5/8-in long-tubes w/2 1/2-in exhaust and Flowmaster 40-Series mufflers
Transmission Tremec TR-3550 five-speed w/Pro 5.0 shifter and Centerforce Dual Friction clutch
Rearend Stock 8.8 w/ FRPP 3.55 gears, heavy-duty Traction-Lok, and 31-spine Moser axles

Electronics
Engine Management Stock EEC-IV
Ignition MSD 6-BTM box with Blaster 2 coil
Gauges AutoMeter Sport Comp

Chassis and Suspension
Front Suspension
K-member Stock
Control Arms Stock
Struts Tokico five-way
Springs Eibach Sportline
Camber Plates BBK
Swaybar Steeda antiroll bar
Brakes Brembo 13-in (Cobra)
Wheels Polished 2001 Cobra, 17x8-in
Tires Goodyear F1 GS-D3, 235/40R17
Rear Suspension
Shocks Tokico five-way
Springs Eibach Sportline
Control Arms Steeda upper and lower
Brakes Brembo 11.65-in (Cobra)
Wheels Polished 2001 Cobra, 17x8-in
Tires Goodyear F1 GS-D3, 255/40R17

'88 Mustang LX
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Stock
Crankshaft Stock
Rods Stock with ARP fasteners
Pistons Keith Black forged, 9.5:1 compression
Camshaft FRPP E303
Power Adder CompuCar 50-150hp kit
Cylinder Heads Edelbrock Performer
Intake Manifold Edelbrock Performer RPM II intake, ported by PSP, w/73mm C&L mass air and Accufab 70mm polished throttle body
Fuel System Stock w/FRPP 24-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust MAC 1 5/8-inch long-tubes, 2 1/2-inch exhaust with Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers
Transmission Strengthened T-5 five-speed manual w/FRPP King Cobra clutch, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, and FRPP aluminum driveshaft
Rearend Stock 8.8 w/FRPP 3.55 gears and 31-spline axles

Electronics
Engine Management Stock EEC-IV
Ignition MSD Digital 6
Gauges Auto Meter

Chassis and Suspension
Front Suspension
K-member Stock
Control Arms Stock
Struts Lakewood 70/30
Springs Eibach Drag Launch
Brakes Stock
Wheels Weld Racing Pro Star, 15x4
Tires Mickey Thompson
Rear Suspension
Shocks Lakewood 50/50
Springs Eibach Drag Launch
Control Arms BBK upper and lower control
Brakes Stock
Wheels Weld Racing Pro Star, 15x8
Tires Mickey Thompson

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