Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
July 26, 2010

In Mustang folklore, certain colors enjoy more popularity than others. Grabber Blue, Poppy Red, Dark Highland Green, and Wimbledon White garner more fan favor than, say, Lime Gold, Pastel Blue, or Medium Brown Metallic.

When it comes to Fox Mustangs, history has repeated itself. Wild Strawberry, Performance Red, Titanium Frost, and the color of this '91 coupe, Bright Calypso, are way more desirable than Dark Gray Metallic, Cabernet Red, and Medium Yellow. (That's not beige?)

I don't make the rules, I just play by them, but it's safe to say Bright Calypso is one of the more desirable Fox Mustang colors. For Jim Tyler and Tammy Jowders, it definitely holds special value.

The car was really nice and had low mileage (58,000) when Jim and Tammy bought it, but the engine was down for the count. Like us, however, Jim and Tammy are suckers for a project, and this car was perfect. The paint was really nice, and other than the engine situation, it was exactly what they wanted. "It was just a clean car-that's why we bought it," Jim says. They bought the roller and hauled the engine home in pieces along with it.

Jim and Tammy gave the car the full once-over with it in their possession. They knew the car's history, and that the previous owner kept the body and interior in pristine condition. The engine ... well, that's another story.

Anyway, Jim and Tammy knew the body had been treated to a full sand-and-buff job, followed by several coats of clear to keep the paint in excellent condition. Plus the coupe's rare black interior was flawless. The car boasted a booming sound system, which Jim didn't care for, so that was the only thing he took out of the car.

Knowing the body and interior were in great shape, the engine and transmission were ripe for upgrades. Jim and Tammy hauled the car to Laferriere Racing, where Jim would help Eric Laferriere rebuild the hurt short-block. Jim and Eric put together a stock-block 306 with a Vortech S-Trim supercharger and an Art Carr AOD transmission. It was a stout combo, making 588 hp and running a best of 10.30 at 132 mph through the AOD.

Shortly after running the 10.30, Jim took apart the engine for maintenance. That's when he discovered two of the stock connecting rods were bent. The rods were stock so they did well to stand up to 588 rwhp. You can't expect much more than 550 hp out of the stock rotating assembly and block, but it survived for two years before giving it up.

Back to the drawing board, Jim and Tammy didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So with the next combo, the couple dropped some coin on quality parts. They wanted big power and a combo that would live. This time around, Jim and Eric started with a Ford Racing A4 block, filling it with a Bennett Racing billet steel crankshaft, Carillo rods, and JE pistons.

To complement the new 306, Jim sent a pair of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads over to Mike Curcio Race Products to get the full CNC-port treatment, Jesel shaft-mount rockers, and Manley Performance valvesprings. A Camshaft Innovations solid-roller cam puts the N in nasty, while up top, a Holley SysteMAX II intake gulps incoming air before being mixed with fuel via 96-lb/hr injectors.

Knowing they had the short-block to take power to another level, Jim and Tammy upgraded from the S-Trim to the YSi and dialed up the boost to 25 pounds. Before putting the AOD back in the car, Jim sent it to Lentech to be upgraded to Strip Terminator specs. Once back together, the combination made 776 hp and 690 lb-ft of torque, which certainly qualifies for big-steam status.

'91 Coupe
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Ford Racing A4
Displacement 306 ci
Crankshaft Bennett Racing steel billet
Rods Carillo
Pistons JE custom, Hellfire piston rings
Camshaft Camshaft Innovations solid-roller w/Isky Red Zone lifters
Cylinder Heads Mike Curcio Racing Products CNC-ported Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 205cc w/Jesel shaft-mount roller rockers, Manley Performance valvesprings
Intake Manifold Holley SysteMAX II, MCRP-ported
Power Adder Vortech V-7 YSi supercharger, 25 pounds of boost
Throttle Body Accufab 75mm
Fuel System Weldon 2025 fuel pump and regulator, -10 feed, -8 return, Holley Performance fuel rails, 96-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Kooks headers and X-shape crossover, Bassani Xhaust Race mufflers
Transmission Lentech Strip Terminator AOD
Rearend Stock 8.8 w/Eaton differential, 3.55 gears, Moser Engineering 33-spline axles

Electronics
Engine Management
ACCEL Gen 7 DFI with crank trigger
Ignition MSD Digital-7 Plus w/HVC-2 coil, Ford Racing spark plug wires, Autolite spark plugs
Gauges Auto Meter Pro Comp

Chassis and Suspension
Front Suspension
K-member PA Racing tubular
Control Arms Stock
Struts QA1
Springs Stock
Camber Plates Stock
Brakes Wilwood five-lug
Wheels Bogart D-10s
Tires Mickey Thompson Sportsman Front
Rear Suspension
Shocks QA1
Springs Stock
Control Arms Wolfe Racecraft uppers and lower, and antiroll bar spherical billet bushings
Brakes Wilwood disc
Wheels Bogart D-10s
Tires Mickey Thompson E/T Street radials
Chassis Stiffening Wolfe Racecraft subframe connectors, six-point rollcage

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