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1991 Ford Mustang LX Hatchback - Bombs Away
Angel and Chris Francis' devilish Mustang really is the bomb.
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In World War II, the U.S. Air Force was called the Army Air Forces, and that branch of the military was responsible for the bombing attacks carried out on Germany and Japan during the war. Flying out of the Air Force hangars were legendary bombers such as the B-29 SuperFortress, the B-24 Liberator, and the B-17 Flying Fortress. While all of those planes were heavy bombers, the Air Force also had a few planes that could handle the medium bombing tasks. One given that job was the B-25 Mitchell. While known as the Mitchell bomber by the Air Force, for the few Marine pilots who flew the plane, it was designated the PBJ and referred to by its nickname: The Devil Dog.
So why the history lesson, and how does a World War II bomber relate to Angel and Chris Francis' '91 Mustang LX hatchback? Well, besides the obvious play on words between the plane's nickname and Angel's first name, her husband, Chris, is in the Air Force. While Angel works for a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer in the parts department, Chris is at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia serving his country. Though their Stang isn't a B-25 bomber, like the plane, it drops quite a bomb with its large-displacement piston engine.
Normally when talking about a Fox-body 5.0 Mustang, large displacement would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 347-408 ci, which for a small-block Ford is mighty big. Angel wasn't satisfied with a stroked-out 5.0 or a Windsor powerplant, however. For her, the payload in the bomb bay of the Mustang had to be extraordinarily large.
"The car started out as a battered and bruised four-cylinder LX that I picked up for $600," Angel says. "We dropped in a 429 big-block engine, but eventually I wanted more power. Chris opened up the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog and asked me which [engine] I wanted. I went for the biggest big-block they made."
The bomb size of choice happened to be the 521ci monster that appeared on Angel's doorstep on Valentine's Day. Featuring an FRPP crank swinging Eagle rods and forged pistons, the fat-block can handle copious amounts of power. The bottom of the block is buttoned up with a Canton oil pan, while the top end showcases FRPP Super Cobra Jet aluminum heads. Actuating the 2.20-inch intake and 1.76-inch exhaust valves are 1.7:1 Crane rockers lifted by a Crane cam. A Holley 1,050-cfm Dominator carb with 91 jets front and back feed the air and fuel into the combustion chambers via a Victor Jr. intake manifold. A Holley fuel pump supplies the gasoline at 6-1/2 pounds of pressure, and when in the cylinders, the piston squeezes the mix together with a 9.8:1 compression ratio. While all of this is going on, an MSD 6AL ignition box, in conjunction with an Accel distributor, sends the voltage through an MSD Blaster 2 coil and wires to the Autolite spark plugs. After the bomb is lit in each cylinder, evacuation of the spent fumes is funneled through Hooker headers mated to a 3-inch exhaust system complete with Flowmaster mufflers and a custom-made x pipe system. All told, the combination is good for 650 hp.
Backing the crate monster is an Edge Racing 3,600-stall converter and Performance Automatic Super Comp C4. Making the gear changes is a B&M Pro Stick shifter, while cooling the tranny fluid and keeping the transmission alive is a Transcool trans cooler. Connecting the tranny to the 8.8-inch rear is a Motorsports driveshaft. Inside the 8.8 spins 3.55 cogs, a Strange spool, and 33-spline axles.