Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1989 Ford Mustang LX - Dr. Pepper
Gary Brandt's '89 Mustang LX Does More Than Pop.
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Depending upon where you live in the United States, soft drinks are called different names. In the South and the Midwest it's "pop," in the Northeast it's "soda," and in some places it's "soda-pop." However you refer to it, these carbonated beverages have been a part of American culture for more than a century.
One of the first soft drinks to hit the shelves was Dr. Pepper in its burgundy can. Originating in Waco, Texas, in the late 1800s, the soda had a unique flavor.
The same can be said about Gary Brandt's '89 Mustang LX-it's unique, it's burgundy, and it really pops if you shake it hard enough. Much like Dr. Pepper, which was first formulated in a drug store, Gary's Fox-body was brought to life in his shop, Brandt Racing Enterprises, with help from just about everyone in his family. "This car was built from the ground up, with virtually every part being replaced," he says.
What started out as a run-of-the-mill LX Mustang was quickly transformed into a barn-stormer. Gary added carbonation to the mix by working some serious magic under the hood of the Pony. The stock 5.0L small-block Ford was yanked and sent off to QMP Racing Engines, where the crew bored the cylinders an extra 0.030 inch over before taking the Scat forged stroker crank and entire rotating assembly and balancing it.
Once everything was in check, the parts and pieces were sent back to Gary, who promptly dropped the crank in the block before filling the cylinders with a strong combination of Scat H-beam rods and JE pistons. Once the bottom end was buttoned up with a Canton oil pan and a Melling high-volume oil pump, Gary went topside. He stuck in a custom hydraulic bumpstick, then slapped on a pair of ported Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum cylinder heads. Actuating the valves on the 347 stroker are FRPP lifters and rockers, topped by FRPP chrome valve covers. Filling the combustion chambers with outside oxygen is a task handled by a ported Trick Flow intake manifold, a 75mm Accufab throttle body, and a 76mm mass air meter. The thumping small-block ingests fuel sent from a dual-sump tank built by Gary, through a set of FRPP 30-pound injectors. Supplying the fire is a full-on MSD 6AL ignition system that gets its signal from a custom tune. The depleted air/fuel mixture is piped out of the engine thanks to MAC 1-5/8-inch long-tube headers that are linked to a 2-1/2-inch stainless steel exhaust system of the same origin. Adding a bit more spice to the already tasty beverage is a 150 shot of go-juice.