Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
November 9, 2006

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
Mmfp_0612_01z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Front_view_passengers_sideMmfp_0612_02z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Passengers_side_viewMmfp_0612_03z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Engine_view
While nearly everything else on the car has been improved over factory, the stock cylinder heads and camshafts are still employed and help (or hinder) the motor produce 435 rwhp.
Mmfp_0612_04z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Replica_fr500_wheel
Behind the Wheel Replica FR500 wheels are Baer Racing brakes with 13-inch rotors.
Mmfp_0612_05z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Rear_view_drivers_side
This Mustang wears super-wide 315/35/17 BFGoodrich rubber out back, and thanks to the perfect offset from the wheels, Tony reports no issues with clearance.
Mmfp_0612_06z 1999_ford_mustang_gt Interior_view_gauges_and_shifter

With the performance of factory production cars increasing by leaps and bounds these days, there's an awfully high bar to jump over if you want to rule the old-timers and the young guns. Heck, even Nissan Altimas and Honda Accords have more power than some Mustangs of recent vintage, so to stay current with the times and be able to safely merge in traffic (and not be passed by Mom's grocery getter), we need to bolster our Pony's power.

Back in the much-heralded musclecar era, automobiles possessed something called torque, thanks to their rather large engine sizes that ranged anywhere from 350 to 455 ci. While the venerable 5.0 packed just 302 ci of displacement, it made great torque due to its long-runner intake, and excellent camshaft and head combo. The low 3.35 First gear found in the T5s also helped, but then Ford went with the 281-inch modular engine, and our latest Pony lost quite a bit of engine displacement. It also porked up by a couple of hundred pounds. Not even a long-runner intake can cope with that one-two punch. But SVT's "Terminator" Cobra of 2003-2004 brought back those fun days of being planted in the seat thanks to its Eaton Roots-style supercharger, which provided stump-pulling torque.

Tony Marcotullio of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, remembers what torque felt like, so after taking time out of the hobby to raise a family, he wasn't going to settle for 281 measly cubes of no-torque technology. Purchased in 2000, his '99 GT was gently modified in the looks department, while Tony conducted his research into late-model Ford performance. The Stang received numerous billet-aluminum accents both in and outside of the car, while a Cervini's Auto Designs Stalker hood muscled up the front end. A Steeda spoiler was bolted on and modified with some home-whittled aluminum end plates to add flair to the backside. Soon thereafter, the 8.8 axle was stuffed with a 3.73:1 ring-and-pinion gearset, and a set of short-style headers were added along with a Bassani midpipe and MagnaFlow mufflers.

Looking for the low-end grunt of yesteryear, Tony purchased a Kenne Bell supercharger with water-to-air intercooler, Boost-a-Pump, and Boost-a-Spark. The Lysholm twin-screw blower huffed its 14 psi of pressurized atmosphere into stock Two-Valve cylinder heads actuated by the factory camshafts.

About six months post blower install, Tony felt the rear axle needed to be fortified, so the axle tubes were welded up and A&D Performance tub braces were installed. A Ford Racing 31-spline diff was installed to rotate the Moser 31-spline axles, and a set of 4.30 gears multiplied the torque a little faster.

The factory five-speed transmission was heaved in favor of a Viper-spec, T56 six-speed gearbox from D&D Performance in Wixom, Michigan. "I like the double Overdrive," Tony says. "The car is my daily driver for most of the year. We take it on lots of trips, and the six-speed knocks the 4.30s right down." A Spec Stage 3 clutch clamps down on a Fidanza billet-steel flywheel, and power is transferred through a Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft with upgraded U-joints.