Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
June 27, 2011

If automotive history has taught us anything, 30 years from now someone's going to find Tommy Godfrey's old Factory Stock car sitting behind a shop, on flat BFGs, wearing black primer paint. Its heritage will only be discovered thanks to little hints of Atomic orange, Bogarts, and a weather-beaten NMRA windshield banner. Maybe a tech card will still taped be to the cage, but by the time it's unearthed, its engine compartment will be void of Rich Groh Racing's 311ci of hurt feelings.

That powerplant led to four straight Factory Stock championships, 18 final round appearances in 27 events, 15 top qualifiers, 12 wins, 6 runner-ups, and numerous records. It was the first Factory Stock car in the 10s, and the quickest and fastest naturally aspirated GT-40-headed car period--with a 10.40 at 128 mph--and that still doesn't cover it all. If it's a racing pedigree you're looking for, you'll find it in this LX coupe.

In the future, if you happen to be the lucky person to discover the car, please restore it to how it's shown here, because, as Tommy tells it, "This is the first car I've put so much time in how it looks." It doesn't ever deserve to sit outside in black primer with flat BFGs.

Whoever discovers this historical gem, please track down Rich Groh to build an authentic engine packed with 311ci. After all, according to Tommy, "Rich supplies the best engine the class has seen and is the god of horsepower!" Hopefully Rich will still have a couple sets of GT-40 heads and Cobra intakes to outfit a vintage Dart iron-block. We're sure he'll know exactly where to find a custom "stock" cam from the shelf to slide in and make the engine run like it did when Tommy raced it.

Next track down Jay Tucker and see if he has any Fox cold-air kits still lying around so you can top it off right, and don't forget that JLT sticker on the door. You'll also need a period-correct MSD 6AL to light the engine's fire.

Good luck finding an original Pro-M 80mm mass air meter, though. By that time, you'll probably have to settle for a reproduction because no one in their right mind is going to sell you theirs.

Likewise we wish you luck finding some new-old-stock Kooks stainless long-tube headers, but maybe someone will have a pair in the attic. And since the car's X-shape crossover pipe is a custom Insane Racing Fabrication piece, we hope you know how to weld or that your dad still has a killer set of tools. The car was wearing Bassani Xhaust stainless mufflers at the time these photos were shot--if you're lucky, they'll still be hanging under the car and in good shape.

If the car is a roller, you'll need a T5 transmission reinforced by g-Force Transmissions. Then get a SPEC clutch and a Pro-5.0 shifter, and hope you can shift it as quick as Tommy. That's doubtful--as we remember it, the Cervini's Stalker nose didn't drop during shifts. In order to come close to Tommy's 10-second times, you'll have to do the same.

If past discoveries are any indication, Tommy's Kirkey Racing seats will be long gone by the time you come across the car. Someone will already have pilfered them prior to your discovery.

Maybe you'll find the car with its built rear still under the car. However, we bet you find the car rolling on a stock 8.8. Maybe the vintage HP Motorsports upper and lowers are still there, but again, we doubt it. Most likely, you'll have to track down an 8.8 rear, and outfit it with Moser axles and rambunctious 4.30 gears.

And the differential--Tommy is rather secretive about its mechanical identity. You'll definitely need the 4.30s to even hope to match Tommy's record-setting 10-second runs, but maybe the mystery diff is the difference. Good luck with that.

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Finally, if you're able to track down even half of all that stuff, to complete this piece of NMRA history, you will have to enlist someone to replace the black primer with Atomic Orange. By that time, we're sure there will be robots capable of sanding, prepping, and spraying a car, so maybe that will be easy.

Plus, not only do you have this feature to reference for sticker placement, design, and color, you have countless NMRA race features--oh wait, we cut our race coverage at Real Street during Tommy's Factory Stock reign--our bad. Anyway, to replicate said stickers, you'll need to call Hall Signs in Glen Burnie, Maryland, which made the originals.

If you've exhausted every resource and are still coming up empty, maybe one of the following people are still around. Look on Facebook 3D for Michael Washington, Justin Burcham, Rich Groh, Eric Holliday, Ryan Hecox, Bruce Hemminger, Gary Windsor, Donnie "Burndown" Burton, Shannon Murphy, and Tommy's best friend, Ryan Miller. Of course, Tommy thanked his wife, Chrissy, and children, Baeleigh and Gavin, most of all for making his championship run possible.

Since Tommy is 34 as of this writing, he may still be around by the time the car makes its grand debut after its restoration. Maybe he'll autograph the dash for you. If you're lucky, he'll jump behind the wheel and give you a 10-second history lesson..

Horse Sense: Tommy should be at the wheel of an X275 car by the time you read this. Once that program is up and running, he'll decide what to do with this car. However, he also says the proposed Coyote-engine class looks interesting...

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5.0 Tech Specs

'89 Mustang LX

Engine And Drivetrain

Block RGR-prepped Dart Iron w/4.060-in bore
Crankshaft Stock, RGR-prepped
Rods Steel I-beam
Pistons Ross, RGR-spec flat-top
Camshaft RGR custom hydraulic-roller
Cylinder Heads RGR-prepped factory stock-spec GT-40 w/Harland Sharp roller rockers and Manley valvesprings
Intake Manifold '93 Cobra, unported
Throttle Body Holley 70mm
Mass Air Pro-M 80mm w/JLT Performance cold air
Fuel System Walbro 255-lph w/stock lines and rails, 30-lb/hr injectors, and Kirban fuel pressure regulator
Exhaust 1-5/8-in Kooks long-tube headers w/Insane Racing Fabrication custom 2-in X-shape crossover pipe, Bassani mufflers and tailpipes
Transmission g-Force T5 w/SPEC clutch and Pro-5.0 shifter
Rearend 8.8-in w/4.30 gears and Moser Engineering axles

Electronics

Engine Management A9L computer w/DiabloSport chip
Ignition MSD, Brisk spark plugs

Chassis and Suspension

Front Suspension
K-member Stock
Struts QA1 single-adjustable
Springs Moroso
Caster/Camber UPR Products
Brakes OEM five-lug conversion
Wheels Bogart 15x3-in Welded RT
Tires Kuhmo 165/R80-15

Rear Suspension
Shocks QA1 double-adjustable
Springs Moroso w/airbag
Control Arms HPM w/solid bushings
Brakes Stock drum
Wheels Bogart 15x10-in Welded RT
Tires BFG drag radial 275/50-15
Chassis Stiffening Insane Racing Fabrication eight-point cage and subframe connectors