Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 24, 2010
Photos By: Jerry Heasley

With chassis, handling, and braking duties checked off the build list it was time for Jason and Lonnie to tackle the drivetrain. Knowing their track-based coupe needed to haul the mail as well as look show-car ready, they called upon Roush Competition Engines to build GCM a 368ci small-block with enough horsepower to do stupid things with your right foot. The 548hp engine is based off of a Dart block and stuffed with billet hardware from Eagle swinging Wiseco coated pistons and topped with CNC-ported AFR 205 cylinder heads, which is cooled by an aluminum Be Cool radiator. A road-race-prepped TKO-600 from American Powertrain backs the Roush mill with a Quicktime SFI bellhousing and a Modern Driveline hydraulic-release bearing situated between the two. A chrome-moly driveshaft from Fast Shafts connects the engine's output to the aforementioned 9-inch out back. Finally, a set of Ford Powertrain Applications long-tube headers route the exhaust fumes rearward.

Inside, GCM wired the car with American Autowire's updated Mustang chassis harness, filled the dash with Auto Meter gauges, and hooked up the MSD 6AL-2 and MSD ignition coil to the Roush powerplant. An Optima yellow top absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery provides the starting power. Davis Technologies digital traction control was also utilized to maximize traction both on the track and during street use. While race car spartan, the interior does feature a pair of Scat Procar Xtreme bucket seats and Team Tech five-point restraints to hold the driver and passenger in place during track use and spirited street driving.

Leading up to the reveal in Tulsa last year, many a late night was spent getting the coupe "just right" for its debut. Burning the midnight oil right up until the Mustang was pushed into the GCM hauler was the only way the coupe would make it to Tulsa on time, but we've been guilty of the same problem with our projects as well and understand those last-minute thrashes are part of the build process. Once unloaded, the coupe was sorted out and track tested by Vince LaViolette, who is the R&D "hot shoe" for Shelby American. The Screaming Yellow coupe proved its mettle that day, running track session after track session with nary a hiccup. Even more recently the coupe performed admirably in Optima's Ultimate Street Car Challenge, which happened right after last year's SEMA show, where it placed Seventh overall in a field of 57 cars. Truly, GCM has built a car to dominate the track or handle any street use it may see between track days.

The Details
Gateway Classic Mustang's '68 Mustang Coupe Track Car

Roush Competition Engines 368ci small-block
Dart iron block
4.155-inch bore
3.400-inch stroke
11:1 compression ratio
Eagle 4340 billet steel crankshaft
Eagle 4340 billet H-beam connecting rods
Wiseco coated pistons
Airflow Research 205cc CNC-ported aluminum heads
2.08-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves
Comp Cams solid roller cam, 0.621/0.627 lift, 254/260 duration at 0.050-inch
Jesel Sportsman 1.6:1 roller rockers
Holley HP 830cfm race carburetor
Edelbrock Victor intake
MSD Pro Billet distributor
MSD 6AL-2 ignition
Be Cool aluminum radiator
Royal Purple synthetic oil
548 hp at 6,900 rpm
461 lb-ft torque at 5,600 rpm

Tremec TKO-600
Road-race-prepped by American Powertrain
Quicktime SFI bellhousing
Modern Driveline hydraulic release bearing

9-inch Factory 9-inch rear
Aluminum center section
4.30 gears
31-spline axles
Fast Shaft chrome-moly driveshaft

Ford Powertrain Applications long-tube headers

Gateway Performance Suspension strut kit, Koni double-adjustable struts, power rack-and-pinion steering
Rear: Gateway Performance Suspension 3-Link, Watt's link, QA1 double-adjustable shocks, Eibach coilover springs

Baer Brakes disc, 14-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, six-piston caliper
Rear: Baer Brakes disc, 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, six-piston caliper

Vintage Wheel Works V45, gray center, 17x8
Rear: Vintage Wheel Works V45, gray center, 17x9.5

BFGoodrich R1 competition radial, P245/45R17
Rear: BFGoodrich R1 competition radial, P275/40R17

Painted light gray, Scat Procar Xtreme bucket seats, Team Tech five-point harnesses, Auto Meter Pro-Comp gauges, 1 5/8-inch DOM steel tube custom rollcage

DuPont Chromabase basecoat/clearcoat in Ford Screaming Yellow, Hotrod satin black painted hood and taillight panel, Gateway Classic Mustangs quarter scoops, Dynacorn fiberglass hood and front valance, Dynacorn replacement sheetmetal

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