Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 1, 2009
Photos By: Peter Linney

The '64 1/2 Mustang galloped onto the pages of almost every magazine, into our living rooms on prime-time TV, and into the hearts of millions, turning the automotive world upside down. With its attractive styling and versatility, this new and innovative machine entranced men, women, and children alike.

Mustangs of the '60s are still some of the most recognized and sought after vehicles on the road. To this day, many people still dream of sporting a '67 Shelby GT-500 or putting the top down on a 289-powered '65 convertible.

Mark Kauffman of North Hollywood, California, is no exception, but being part of a family of unyielding Bow Tie enthusiasts, he kept his love for the early Ponies on the down low. Then in the fall of 2004, a strikingly familiar car began to grace the showrooms of Ford dealers. Mark rushed down to buy one of the first '05 Mustangs on the lot: a Sonic Blue Roush Stage 1.

With an arsenal of Chevy-powered Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars, Mark and his family have been racing (and winning) on the NHRA circuit for over 10 years. So when he purchased his first Mustang in January 2005, the upgrades quickly ensued.

Mark's original plan was to transform the Roush into a 500-rwhp everyday driver, so he started by bolting on a Vortech S-trim centrifugal supercharger. Even though the 527 rwhp and consistent 11.60 e.t.'s were pretty impressive for the new S197, Mark was bored within the first year. "I quickly became obsessed with more power. I began plans to build a street car that I could drive to and from the track in full factory trim, and compete with trailered race cars," he tells us.

So Mark raised the bar and started the mission to build a 700-rwhp daily driver that could dip into the 9s. To tackle this seemingly insurmountable task, Mark turned to Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) of Van Nuys, California. Steve Carpenter and the GAS team began the build by gutting the entire car to make way for a custom rollcage NHRA-certified for 8.60-second e.t.'s, and a custom sheetmetal rear-seat delete for weight reduction.

Though the Three-Valve mod motor was quite an improvement over the Two-Valve design, it still couldn't handle big power. So Mark turned to Adam Montague of ST Motorsports in San Bernardino, California, to build a powerplant that was up to the task.