Frank H. Cicerale
February 1, 2009
Photos By: Michael Galimi

Per Super Street Outlaw rules, an automatic transmission was a must. Perry went the conventional route, as he slung a Performance Automatic-built two-speed slushbox behind the mod motor, but not before laying in a Performance Automatic flywheel and Neil Chance 4,300-rpm stall converter in the bellhousing. A B&M trans cooler keeps the fluid cool under race conditions, and Perry makes the single gear change via a B&M shifter. Linking the trans to the rearend is a custom-built carbon-fiber driveshaft.

While on the topic of the rearend, the venerable Ford 8.8-inch rear still resides, showing that a serious amount of power can be handled by the 9-inch's little brother, although Perry beefed it up with a set of 3.55 gears, C-clip eliminators, a spool, and an aluminum rearend girdle. When it comes to the suspension, strip only was the thought process. A pair of D&D Motorsports upper control arms and a manual steering conversion get the front end to shed some weight off the nose and transfer the heft rearward upon launch.

Since our photo shoot, Perry has revamped the entire front end with help and parts from Skinny Kid Race Cars. A set of upper control arms and SSM lowers suspend the rear and get it to hook along with Strange shocks, Moroso Trick springs, an antiroll bar, and custom subframe connectors. After a bit of trial and error, Perry relocated the rear to aid in traction on the starting line, as well as having thrown on a set of wheelie bars after hiking the wheels at the Columbus NMRA race and coming back to planet Earth hard enough to crack the oil pan. The rolling stock consists of Weld Pro Stars sized 15x3.5 fore and 15x10 rear. The bow rides along on Moroso DS2 skinnies, while the rear hoops are Mickey Thompson 28x10.5 gumballs. Braking duties are handled by Aerospace Competition brakes up front, stock drums out back, and a Simpson parachute.

The Fox-body was originally black and in rough shape, so a new look was obviously needed. A new hood and hatch were lowered on the flanks, followed by the application of numerous coats of Medium Canyon Red Metallic, an '86 SVO Mustang color. Once the paint was dry, an Ed Quay strutless aluminum wing was bolted on, and a hole was cut in the front bumper so the turbo could suck in copious amount of air.

The interior of the Pony is all business. The stock gray and black color scheme remains, though the cabin has been made legal for sub-7-second laps thanks to an NHRA-certified 25.2 chromoly rollcage. A pair of race seats and five-point harnesses keeps Perry and the invisible passenger secured tightly, and a window net is clicked into place right before he fires up the car for a trip down the strip. A bevy of Auto Meter gauges and an Auto Meter tach clue him in to the engine's vitals, and a shift light blinks on at the 7,300-rpm shift point.

Since our photo shoot, a couple of things have changed on Perry's four-eyed flyer. The exhaust is now routed out the side, and the aforementioned suspension changes were made to make the car more competitive and easier to handle. They must have worked as Perry made it to the final round at the '08 Columbus event, despite breaking the motor. All told, the car is good for solid 8.40-second e.t's, with trap speeds approaching 164 mph. This is all accomplished with a 60-foot time of 1.23 seconds.

"I love the fact that the car has a stock appearance, and has the mod motor," Perry comments. "Running a supercharger on a mod motor at this level doesn't work with the stock internals too well, and you just can't make enough power on nitrous with these small cubic-inch engines. I'm happy with the turbo/mod motor combination, and am really striving to be competitive in Super Street Outlaw with the car."

If the Columbus final-round appearance is a glance at things to come, the SSO field better look out. This Master of Arms is about ready to lay down the law.