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1994 Ford Mustang GT - Au Naturel
Drew Wallace's '94 GT Gets The Job Done Without The Aid Of Performance Enhancers.
Anyone who tunes into ESPN's Sports Center and pays attention to the baseball reports knows the controversy surrounding Major League Baseball today. With home-run kings such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and others rumored to have been taking performance enhancers to jack the ball out of the park, MLB is screening its players for steroids like never before.
While performance enhancers aren't allowed in stick-and-ball sports, one arena in which it's allowed-in certain classes-is automobile racing. Be it drag racing, road racing, or rally competition, you can, in many cases, throw on a turbo, blower, or even nitrous oxide.
Using a power adder can give you more horsepower and torque than some of the best big-blocks of the past, and you can do so with a stock-type small-block engine such as a 302 or 4.6 modular engine. Today, those running naturally aspirated are perhaps a step behind in overall power, but there is a certain simplicity to running naturally aspirated and also satisfaction when you combine the right parts to make big power. Case in point is Drew Wallace.
Drew picked up his '94 Mustang GT in 2001 with the goal of running in the 10-second zone. While getting into the 10s is easy nowadays with a power adder, Drew wanted to do it a different way-au naturel. "I've always loved racing," Drew says. "After I got my driver's license, it seemed like Mustangs were the only way to go."
A dyed-in-the-wool Ford guy, there was no question as to what car Drew would get when he was able to tear up the streets around his Cameron Park, California, home. "My first car was a '66 coupe that I attempted to restore until I was 18," he says. "I needed something more reliable, so I bought the '94 GT." The bone-stock SN-95 had only 78,000 miles on the odometer. While the mileage was low, Drew felt the power was a bit low as well. That was when he decided to bulk up the Mustang's muscles the old-fashioned way.
Drew enlisted the help of Advanced Engine Development to drop a powerhouse bullet between the fenders. The stock 302ci pushrod engine was yanked out and torn down. The cylinders were then bored 0.030-inch over, and an Eagle stroker crank was dropped in the main web of the block. Take the increased stroke, combine it with the oversized bores, and you get a newfound displacement of 347 inches. Swinging on the crank journals are Eagle SIR connecting rods, while slip-sliding away in the cylinders are custom CP pistons. A billet-steel lower-end support keeps the main caps from walking, while a Milodon oil pan and stock oil pump ensure that the stroker small-block Ford is lubricated with motor oil.
A custom Hi-Tech roller camshaft was stuck in, followed by the short-block being topped with a pair of Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum cylinder heads. The slick Vics are dressed with 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. Keeping the valves out of float are Comp Cams 917 springs, while opening and closing them are a set of Comp 1.73-ratio rockers. With Edelbrock getting the call to supply the heads, it was only natural that Vic got the nod in the intake department as well. The manifold of choice was the Victor 5.0. Before the intake was placed between the heads, the upper portion was thoroughly ported while the lower was smoothed and port-matched. Completing the induction portion of the power-plant is an Accufab 80mm throttle body. Matching fuel to the air count is a Pro-M fuel meter com-plemented with a 255-lph in-tank pump and a Kirban regulator supplying 40 psi of fuel pressure to the 42-pound injectors. Lighting the fire is a Crane HI-6 ignition box linked to Taylor plug wires and NGK plugs.
Ridding the combustion chambers of the spent air/fuel mixture is a task that is easily handled by a pair of headers custom-made by Performance Welding. The exhaust gas pulses are funneled down the primary pipes and through the collectors where a Bassani 3-inch exhaust system and mufflers wait to kick them out of the tailpipes. Residing in the transmission tunnel is a G-Force T5 manual gearbox that has been fortified with a Spec clutch and a Fidanza flywheel. Easing gear changes is a Steeda shifter, while transmitting the power from engine to rearend is a Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum driveshaft. Speaking of the differential, the stock 8.8-inch rear has been beefed up with a set of 4.10 gears, Strange axles, and a refur-bished Traction-Lok.
With so much power now available, getting the car to trot around the bases without a loss of footing resulted in an upgraded suspension package. Strange adjustable shocks, QA1 175-pound springs, and a Grigg's K-member and upper and lower control arms elicit improved front-end handling, while Strange adjustable shocks, stock springs, AED subframe connectors, a Wolfe solid adjustable sway bar, and Baseline upper and Wolfe lower control arms keep the rearend in check. Aerospace front and stock rear brakes hide behind Budnik 18x8 front and 18x10 rear wheels. Surrounding the rims are 245/40/18 BFGoodrich KDWs up front and BFG 295/35/18 drag radials out back.
The stock yellow hue was in good enough condition to be left untouched, but Drew added some body improvements nonetheless. A Cobra front bumper and Cobra R hood made their way onto the flanks before Drew turned his attention to the interior side of things. A triple-stacked A-pillar pod was installed and stocked with Auto Meter gauges. Sitting on top of the dash is an Auto Meter Monster tach accompanied by a shift light.
"I have owned several Fox-bodies, a '96 Mystic Cobra, and a '99 Saleen, but this is the only car I am going to keep," Drew says. "I love the looks of the car and the fact that it drives like a stock vehicle, but it's all business going down the track."
All business is right, as the yellow Pony has ripped off a best lap of 10.79 seconds at 126 mph. Not bad for a Mustang that goes au naturel.