Huw Evans
November 1, 2006
Photos By: Tracy Stocker

When it came to the engine, Richard decided, that since the original 302 appeared to be in reasonable health, it would receive a few 'enhancements' culminating in a Powerdyne centrifugal supercharger, set up for 7 lbs of boost. Some of the other motor performance bits included a pair of Edelbrock Performer aluminum cylinder heads with 1.90/1.60-inch intake/exhaust valves, but with Ford Racing rockers and hydraulic lifters, plus Crower valve springs. The heads were given some additional lovin' by Custom Performance in Concord, NC who ported and flowed 'em. An Edelbrock Performer upper and lower intake help feed the boosted air from the blower directly into the engine, while Ford Racing 36-lb injectors squirt in the fuel, fed from the stock gas tank and along the lines via a BBK 255 lph in-tank electric pump. Spark chores are handled by the stock Motorcraft distributor and coil, though instruction is provided by a good ol' MSD control box and Ford Racing wires replace the gray stockers. There's a pair of MAC 1 5/8-inch shorties bolted up to those Edelbrock heads, while mated to those stubby exhaust pieces is a Bassani X-pipe and 2 1/2-inch catback.

"After a while" Spradling said, "I noticed I was getting a bit of blow-by. I've driven the car a lot over the last 17 years - it's been on a lot of road trips up into the mountains, with my mother and also with my grandkids, so the miles were getting up there. I searched around for an aftermarket block and settled on one from DSS, in St Charles, IL - it was a 306 shortblock and what I did, was get Custom Performance to install a custom Crower camshaft and then remove all the speed parts from my old engine, install them on the new one, then drop it into the car and tune it." Considering the upgrades to its heart, it might be surprising to learn that Spradling still runs with the original Borg-Warner World Class T-5. "Yes I still use the same trans - I've put in a Ford Racing 10.5-in clutch, but it still works just fine - proof if any that it maybe perhaps always isn't a high power engine that will grenade a T-5 - and yes, Spradling still drives his rare ragtop as often as he gets the chance. Although it hasn't been modified on the outside it has been repainted.

"Unfortunately, one day my lovely wife had an incident while backing out of the garage, knocking off the driver's side mirror and denting the door." Richard got Speedway Paint in Concord, NC to handle the chores and a cracking job they did. As you might imagine, now that Spradling has come this far with his ASC McLaren, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. "It's a great car - my family all love it too. To me it shows what a Mustang can be. It's kind of interesting because I also used to own a late 1980s Mustang GT ragtop and there's a sizeable difference between this car and that one. The steeper, 60-degree windshield angle on the McLaren really reduces wind noise and buffeting when you're out on the highway, plus it just feels more exclusive - the profile just looks a lot cleaner - they really did their homework. So, it looks like this rare, modified ASC McLaren will continue to prowl the North Carolina countryside for many years to come and though Spradling is almost content with the car the way it is; there are of course a few things still to do. "It's the seats you know. I love the custom upholsterty and stitching, but if I'm being honest, they need re-doing, so I'm currently looking for somebody to assist." Any takers?

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