Joe Greeves
May 31, 2005

Kevin Toothman from Yulee, Florida, is a Goodyear master automotive technician with a passion for fast cars.

When we asked him how long he's been involved in the sport, he smiled and said, "Forever!" As a kid, it started with three-wheelers, minibikes, and go-carts, always making them go faster and enjoying the adrenaline rush.

Kevin progressed to working on friends' cars, then refined his skills as an aviation mechanic in the Navy. When it came time to build a project car, the choice was easy, having always favored Mustangs. The old adage of "I can't leave anything stock very long" applied when he purchased his '93 Mustang LX hatchback. He had less than 200 miles on the car before he began making major modifications. The goal was to create a quick street racer, but he shifted his attention to the strip after a highly publicized local street racing incident resulted in the death of a child. Kevin took a step back, rethought his approach, and decided to become active in sanctioned Fun Ford Weekend competition.

The transition from street to strip meant several changes were appropriate. Teaming up with Parker Chassis in Columbus, Georgia, Kevin began by beefing up the Mustang unibody with a 10-point rollcage and subframe connectors, adding 32-inch Chassis Engineering ladder bars, wheelie bars, a FAB 9 rear with a Moser centersection, and either 4.86 or 5.14 gears, depending on the track. He added 35-spline Strange rear axles and AFCO 14-inch coilover shocks, with a spring rate that's adjustable from 90 to 130 pounds.

The front suspension uses HAL lower control arms, a Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering, an AJE K-frame, and HAL short-body struts with HAL coilover springs set at 130 pounds. A drag chute and an Aerospace 10.25-inch Disk Drag kit with Wilwood adjustable valves converts the go into whoa. At about 6 gallons per mile, the weight-saving JAZ 2-gallon gas tank is just enough to get the car down the strip. The Mustang rolls on Weld Aluma Star wheels--15x3.5s up front and 15x10s in the rear. Hoosier skinnies (26x4.5) create directional stability, while the fat 28x10.5 Mickey Thompson ET Drag racing rubber in the back provides traction for the monster motor.

Under the hood is where the real action begins, with the original 351 SVO V-8 now boasting 399 ci with a 4.145 bore and stroker crank. After blowing the engine in the first year of the Fun Ford Weekend competition, Kevin decided to get serious about horsepower and contacted Tony Bishoff of BES Racing Engines in West Harrison, Indiana. Kevin wanted a top performer in the Street Bandit naturally aspirated class and Tony was the man to deliver the goods.

One look and you can see this is not a stripped-down, no-frills,racer.