Frank H. Cicerale
June 1, 2008
Photos By: Michael Galimi

Whenever the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is mentioned, a discussion of the Civil War and the 1862 battle that occurred there isn't far off. A scant year and a half into the bloody conflict between the Union (North) and the Confederacy (South), the armies of Robert E. Lee and Ambrose E. Burnside battled for five days in the cold December climate for battlefield supremacy of this little Virginia town. While the Union forces greatly outnumbered the Confederate army, when the smoke of conflict cleared, the battle of Fredericksburg ended up being the most lopsided fight of the war. The Union casualty figure was more than double the number of Confederate soldiers killed or wounded, and while the battlefield was littered with the carnage of war, the Confederate soldiers were heard screaming a victorious sound, later named the "rebel yell."

While Craig Guido feels the need to uphold the legacy of the South, he doesn't get involved with Civil War reenactments, nor does he fly a Confederate flag. He simple puts "Fredericksburg, Virginia" on his tech sheet before sending out a damaging cannonade at the track every time he pulls up to the line in his '05 Mustang GT.

Take the Mustang's retro look, throw on some tough-looking hoodpins and Shelby-style black vinyl stripes, and this Pony is ready to take it to the competition.

A former circle-track racer, when Craig first laid eyes upon the then-new S197 body style, he decided to forgo turning left and embrace the straight and narrow path of drag racing. "When I saw the '05 Mustang on the road for the first time, I knew I had to have one," Craig says. "I bought the car brand-new and left it stock, but when I decided to stop racing dirt late-models in late 2005, I started to modify the car."

Craig put a "for sale" sign on his dirt-track car, and when the right amount of cash was agreed upon, his beloved car was sold. The money didn't languish in his pocket for long, however. "The day I sold my race car, I took a portion of the money and bought a supercharger." Soon, the tone from the Pony would start to increase from a whimper to a rebel yell.

The wheel and tire package is an aggressive setup consisting of Blingz 20-inch rims and Nitto 555 meats. Up front, a rugged Baer brake package gives this Pony enough whoa to match its go.

Craig didn't want to break the seal on the Three-Valve sitting between the shock towers, but he desired as much power as the engine could handle with the help of the blower. After the local freight service dropped the intercooled Vortech S-Trim on his doorstep, Craig promptly put the box of goodies in the trunk of the Pony, fired up the car, and cruised to Glen Burnie, Maryland, where Justin Burcham of JPC Racing waited for him.

With the motor remaining untouched, the boost level and the tune had to be reworked carefully to keep the 4.6L mod motor alive, well, and happy. Once the blower was installed, Justin swapped out the stock injectors for a set of 40-pound pieces, and raised the fuel pressure to 40 psi to match the 10 pounds of boost the Vortech huffer would create. He then installed a set of JPC Racing fuel rails and twiddled the keys of his laptop to create the perfect tune, which was promptly uploaded into the stock ECM. The car then went up in the air on the lift, where the stock exhaust system was ditched in favor of a full-on JBA exhaust system that includes a set of headers, an x pipe system, and mufflers.

Knowing the stock clutch and flywheel assembly would have a difficult bit of business handling the increased power and torque, said clutch and flywheel were replaced with Fidanza pieces. Craig's task of shifting the stock five-speed transmission was made easier thanks in part to the Steeda shifter that went in next. As for the 8.8-inch rear, the only change made was the installation of a set of 4.10 gears.

In addition to going for power, Craig also wanted the car to have that killer stance and slot-car-like handling ability. To accomplish that task, the front and rear suspension were overhauled. BMR Fabrication upper and lower tubular control arms mate with Koni single adjustable shocks, Eibach lowering springs, and a BMR sway bar to get the front end down and handling right. Saving a good chunk of weight off of the nose is the BMR K-member that replaces the heavy factory piece. Out back, Eibach springs, a set of BMR tubular upper and lower control arms, and a sway bar of the same manufacturer allow the power to be transferred to the ground effici-ently. With the lowered stance of the Mustang, the stock wheels had to hit the road, and that is exactly what Craig had them do. Replacing the factory shoes are Blingz chrome rims, sized 20x8.5 front and 20x10 rear. Wrapped around the shiny new kicks are Nitto 555 meats, sized appropriately for the front and back at 255/35/ZR20 and 275/35ZR20, respectively. If you take a peek behind the spokes of the front wheels, you'll see a set of Baer stoppers. The four-piston calipers clamp down on 14-inch cross-drilled rotors to haul the Pony down after each 12.48-second, 118 mph pass.

Craig left the Three-Valve powerplant alone, instead going for a power increase via a Vortech S-Trim blower stuffing in an adequate, yet reliable, 10 pounds of boost.

With Craig absolutely head over heels in love with the exterior appointments of his yellow Mustang, it can be expected that only minor changes were made. A pair of black Shelby-style stripes run from the front of the car to the back. Inside the Mustang is a different story, however. A set of Auto Meter gauges were put in to allow Craig to monitor the blown powerplant, while the look of the center console stack was enhanced further with a carbon-fiber inlay, a push-button starting system, and the addition of billet HVAC knobs. Craig didn't want all of the Mustang's power to come out of the tailpipes, though, so he had a custom stereo system installed, starting with the removal of the rear seat and its replacement with a custom-made subwoofer and amplifier enclosure. Once the box was in and finished to match the rest of the interior, a pair of 12-inch subwoofers and MB Quart amps were installed and wired. Complemented by a Pioneer touch-screen head unit, this Mustang thumps whether the engine is running or not.

"With the BMR suspension, the car works flawlessly," Craig says. "I love the fact that it has the retro look and is really easy to modify. But while I love how the car is now, I'm always looking for different ways to improve it."

One thing that won't change is the muscular tone of the car. Chalk it up to a modern-day version of the rebel yell.