Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1986 Mustang GT - Carver Carolina
It Came As A Sweet Stocker,But Now It's A Silver Bullet.
While Bob intended the car to be set up for driving on the twisties, he did make a couple of visits to New England Dragway after the motor was done. The dyno ratings for the completed mill were 309 RWHP and 326 RWTQ, which rewarded him by breaking into the twelves, with a 12.86 second trip, passing through thetraps at 108 mph.
However, these motor mods fueled Bob's ambitions for more open track excitement, the most recent of which was a local SVT club event at Carolina Motorsports Park. Central to his approach, though, was to maintain the car in a broadly usable form. When it came time to upgrade the suspension, his approach was pretty simple. Just about everything from the Maximum Motorsports' catalog went into the car. That means panhard rod, torque arm and all. The only thing missing from making his car a rolling catalog for the company, is a tubular K-member. Bob told us that the K-member "makes it necessary to convert to coilovers and I don't want to go that route, at least at this time."
The route Bob has taken has loaded the car up with MM's full length subframe connectors, strut tower brace, 4-point K-member brace, solid steering shaft and solid rack bushings. Those bushings support a rack and pinion steering gear transplanted from an SN95 Pony. For other parts, Bob has largely followed Maximum's explicit recommendations, which include adding H&R lowering springs, Bilstein's sport-valved struts and shocks, as well as Factory Five lower control arms. Other suspension related contributions come via Global West caster/camber plates, Steeda front and rear tubular sway bars and PST polyurethane suspension bushings.
The result, in Bob's words is a car that is "still quite streetable, has fairly good ride quality and yet it literally handles like a go kart. Unfortunately, I did sacrifice quite a bit of ground clearance... Oh, well, can't have everything."
Some of that go kart capability comes from the fact that Bob now keeps separate wheels and tires for street and track use. When running around town, this Pony is shod with the 16 x 8-inch Centerline Champs you see here. Those shiny rims are wrapped in Avon ZZ-series 245/45R16 radials, which can look after just about anything that Massachusetts roads might throw at them. Once past the gates to the open track, his car wears a set of 17 x 9.5-inch Cobra R rims with Kumho VictoRacer V-710 tires - 245/45R17 up front and 255/40R17 out back.
Much of the exterior work on this car is subtle, but the overall effect is staggering. A 1993 Cobra rear wing is the most obvious addition. However, changing the charcoal belt moldings over to body color, as well as the headlight surrounds, makes a big difference in the car's appearance. That silver metallic base/clear coat work was ably conducted by Rui Cordiero from Distinctive Autobody from Westport. MA. Coupled with the stance imparted by the lowering springs, there's no doubt that this is a serious and capable car.
The most recent target of Bob's attention was the interior. Here, an Auto Power 4-point road race roll bar was added, along with Flo-Fit seats and two sets of G-Force's 5-point, cam lock race harnesses. Prior cabin enhancements had included a brace of gauges from Auto Meter, including their Quick Shift Lite, a 2-gauge pillar pod with water temperature and oil pressure reporting added, and a 140-mph speedometer. On cool-down laps, Bob often likes to turn on the still functional air conditioning, butaround town, he'll often crank up the in-car entertainment. Cranking out the tunes falls to an Eclipse head unit with Alpine tweeters, Eclipse mid-range speakers and four 10-inch Xtant subs - all in their own custom enclosures. An Orion competition amp and Xtant sub-amp work together to raise the roof when necessary.