Brad Bowling
August 1, 2006

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Very little was done to the cast-iron block 302 powerplant. All the major players came from the Ford factory, including pistons and pins, connecting rods and the crankshaft. Stock heads went on the shelf to be replaced with lighter Trick Flow aluminum units housing Trick Flow valves, Crane 1.6:1 roller rocker arms and Ford Motorsports roller lifters - all of which are now stored under Trick Flow valve covers. One of Trick Flow's street-grind camshafts was ordered and installed. Mickey went with ARP main bolts and head studs and Fel-Pro composite gaskets to button everything up. One of Ron Davis Racing Products' aluminum high-flow radiators keeps everything cool, but is tucked out of sight by Mickey's handbuilt cover.

A fan-shaped Trick Flow intake manifold sits atop the stock block and works with a 70mm Ford Motorsports throttle body. The fuel system was beefed up with a Holley 255-liter-per-hour pump and Ford Motorsports 42-lb injectors. Mickey's real find was a used Paxton SN 2000 supercharger still wearing the stock pulley. On the other side of the block, long-tube 1 3/4-inch MAC headers flow into a 2 1/2-inch collector and into Flowmaster mufflers. Miscellaneous shiny bits decorate the engine compartment here and there.

The electrical system was upgraded with an Interstate battery in the stock location (Mickey fabricated his own battery box out of aluminum), an MSD Blaster 2 distributor and in the passenger's footwell - a tried and tested 6AL ignition control box. Sparkplug wires are Taylor 8mm cables.

The powertrain was finished off with a stock Mustang flywheel, Centerforce clutch, Tremec TKO five-speed transmission, Ford Racing driveshaft and drive axles.

The suspension and chassis are remarkably stock at the moment, a status the owner will eventually be changing.

"People are surprised to find out that I haven't lowered it and made some serious modifications under there," Mickey said. "The way it sits and those big tires in the back make it look like it already has the good stuff. I have installed a set of Summit ladder bars to help with traction, but that's about it for now. It's got a lot of power, but I don't drive it hard enough to need more suspension work yet."

The "big tires" are BFGoodrich 275/50R15 T/A street radials wrapped around 15x8-inch Centerline Telstar rims in a high-polish finish; up front are a pair of 185R15 Kumho radials on 15x3.5-inch rims, also Telstars. The heavier-duty rolling stock was made possible by a five-lug conversion; but brakes remain stock-style Fox-body equipment with discs in front and drums in the rear.

Inside, Mickey has created a serious but comfortable driving environment around a pair of black-and-gray bucket seats trimmed in leather and tweed. The color scheme flows along the custom door panels and ends up in the back seat. From his chair Mickey is "gauged up" with a veritable catalog of AutoMeter product: boost pressure, water temperature and voltage on the A-pillar; white-faced speedometer, factory tachometer straight ahead - a 10,000-rpm tach off to the right; and oil and fuel pressure readouts that perch like a pair of canaries on the cowl panel, just under the lip of the raised hood.

Only a small amount of billet accessories found their way into the cockpit, including the Tremec shifter's knob and a set of pedal covers. Of course, the race car fabricator couldn't resist making his own set of aluminum sill plates. Tunes are delivered by a Sony Xplod CD player and speakers.

Mickey applied his street machine-on-a-budget philosophy to the coupe's exterior too, where only one absolutely necessary modification was made.

"I wanted to keep the outside as stock as possible," he told us. "I think the notchback looks great the way it is, and you see too many running around with spoilers and fancy graphics. The only thing I spent money on was the Harwood fiberglass hood and only because I need to have that three-inch rise in order to clear the engine."