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1990 Ford Mustang GT - Strike Fighter
When An F-18 Aerospace Engineer Builds A Mustang, You Can Bet There's Going To Be A Turbine Involved.
Roger Feldman of Jacksonville, Florida, is a self-proclaimed "boost addict." His experience with unnaturally aspirated automobiles began with a Vortech-blown '90 GT, and his daily transportation uses a Roots-blown V-6 for motivation. If you haven't already scanned the engine shot of his Kandy Tangerine colt, then you'll want to, as Roger's hot rod is a turbocharged terror with a bit of stealth technology incorporated into the design.
No, this Mustang doesn't use radar-deflecting gold tint or saw-tooth body seams, nor does it employ temperature masking to hide its infrared signature. In fact, its eye- searing hue is anything but inconspicuous. It is, however, as quiet as can be and blistering fast at attack speed. With a road-race sus-pension, it performs exceptionally well in a multitude of tasks.
Roger purchased this '90 5.0L Mustang in the fall of 2002, and it had already been modified with your basic bevy of bolt-on ordinance. It was good for 13.50s at 103 mph on the dragstrip, but the following spring brought a set of AFR 185cc cylinder heads, an Erson cam, a Trick Flow Street Heat intake manifold, and long-tube headers. Speed and power improved until the fall of 2003, when the oil pump called it quits on the way home from a car show.
With the engine coming out of the car, Roger embarked on a full restoration of the black Fox-body Mustang, starting with a custom paint job by Visual FX in Orange Park, Florida. He was hoping to have the car painted in Saleen's Beryllium Orange Metallic hue, but when Saleen wouldn't give up the color formula, Roger and Visual FX's Paul Holman came up with their own version using House Of Kolors Kandy Tangerine over a gold basecoat. Several coats of clear later, they achieved the desired result.
"Thankfully, I made it into the driveway before some serious metal-on-metal screeching and stalling let me know the engine wasn't happy," Roger says. An inspection of the 306-cube motor revealed some toasted main/crank bearings, two torched rods, and one bent valve. It also wiped out the camshaft.
The body of the GT was modified with a Cervini's Designs 3-inch cowl-induction fiberglass hood, a Saleen replica rear wing, and '93 Cobra ground effects. The front fenders were also changed to the wider '91-'93 versions. Holman logged more than 120 hours in the project, and while he was busy block-sanding the flanks and smoothing the engine bay, Roger was hard at work researching turbocharger systems for the 5.0 Mustang.
In December 2003, Roger ordered a Pro Turbo Kits 5.0L super-saver turbo system, and aided by his buddy Dave Pfister, installed the freshened 306 as well as the hairdryer and its accompanying components. HP Performance had the short-block machined for new bearings, replaced a couple of rods, and installed a Ford Racing Performance Parts E303 camshaft. To cope with the added heat under the hood from the turbocharged mill, Roger added a Lincoln VIII electric fan with DCC controller and a Ron Davis aluminum radiator. The Precision 67mm P-Trim turbocharger was connected to a Mental Addiction Motorsports (Mesa, Arizona) air-to-air intercooler, and vents its remaining combustion byproducts to a MagnaFlow exhaust system that does well to disguise the power beneath the hood.
The turbocharger pushes its intercooled atmosphere through a Pro-M 80mm mass air meter and past a 70mm throttle body. Matching the incoming air surge are 50lb/hr Delphi injectors that pull from aftermarket aluminum fuel rails and a pair of 255-lph fuel pumps, one in the tank and one external.
Finally, in the spring of 2005, Roger's ride was ready to hit the streets again. Before jumping on the throttle, though, he dropped by HP Performance in Orange Park, Florida, where Tony Gonyon plugged in an SCT chip and tuned the turbocharged powerplant for power and driveability.
"With a safe tune, I ran it at Gainesville to a 12.79 at 118 mph on drag radials," Roger says. "The car was a handful on the stock suspension, and the T5 was giving me fits as the heat from the turbo was killing the clutch cable. Dave talked me into an AOD, and I've never looked back."