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1991 Mustang LX - Sneaky Clean
Though It May Look Like Just Another Notch, Jason Borum's Clean 8-Second Coupe Will Sleep You Off Your Feet.
Last year at NMRA's season opener, the Spring Break Shootout in Bradenton, Florida, we noticed a clean lipstick-red coupe with Georgia plates that read "SPOOLYA" sitting in the pits. As we made our way around, we stopped by to take a closer look. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the owner, Jason Borum, was going to be competing in our beloved True Street class. He had made the trip all the way from Macon, Georgia with one thing in mind-take the win.
So what exactly was he packing to have such high expectations? From the outside, Jason's coupe looked like just another clean street/strip Fox. Though cleaner than most, it wasn't too wild from what we could see. Once our conversation with Jason led us under the hood of his '91 LX, which revealed a healthy Four-Valve mod motor with twin 70mm turbos, that's when we knew that Jason had something cool and unique, and best of all, it looks like it could only pull off an 11- or 10-second quarter-mile at best.
"I wanted something that had 8-second capabilities, yet still had street manners," Jason said. But it wasn't until a friend offered to sell him the Four-Valve engine that the project began. "A buddy of mine had all the parts, and I wanted to have something different," Jason tells us. So he bought everything and enlisted Pro Line Racing in Atlanta, Georgia, to bore the block 0.020 inches and fortify the engine. The now-284ci powerplant features a stock-stroke Kellogg crankshaft, Manley I-beam rods, and CP pistons. This combination produces a boost-friendly 8.5:1 compression ratio and even utilizes stock non-ported cylinder heads, though now topped off by a set of Crower cams (specs confidential).
Meanwhile Jason was in search of a donor car to purchase. He found this clean four-cylinder LX with a black interior locally and hauled it directly to Lancaster Customs in Warner Robins, Georgia. Chris Lancaster at Lancaster Customs took control of the build, from stripping out everything of four-cylinder grade to installing the new drivetrain, plumbing the turbos, and applying the paint. Lancaster prepped the body by fabricating custom subframe connectors, installing a Wild Rides cage, and smoothing the engine compartment.
With the engine in hand from Pro Line Racing, Lancaster mated it with a Neal Racing Transmissions Powerglide and a 4,000-stall Neal Chance converter. Power travels out of the Powerglide through a custom aluminum driveshaft to a spooled 8.8-inch rear, complete with 3.55 gears and 35-spline Moser axles. Centrifugal motion is translated to linear motion by a set of Bogart Force 5s wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber.
The suspension needed to be as light as possible, yet able to apply over 850 hp to the rear. Lancaster accomplished this feat by utilizing a simple-yet-effective combination of UPR K-member, A-arms, adjustable rear control arms, and front springs; QA1 struts and shocks; Racecraft 2-inch-drop spindles; and a Competition Engineering rear sway bar.
The interior is simple but functional. Lancaster swapped the stock seats for a pair of Corbeau racing seats and RJS harnesses. The stock instrument cluster was removed in lieu of a collection of Auto Meter Phantom gauges, set in a custom mounting plate by Lancaster. He also installed boost and fuel pressure gauges in place of the center A/C vents and an NLR AMS 1000 boost controller where the A/C control head once resided.
Once the PPG red was applied and the components assembled, Lancaster installed and plumbed the twin Precision 70mm turbochargers. The hot-side tubes are hidden beneath the turbines, and the cold-side tubes disappear into the inner fenders. Once the charged air passes through the air-to-water intercooler hidden behind the dash, it re-enters the engine compartment through the firewall and into the Accufab 90mm throttle body.
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An Aeromotive fuel pump supplies 93 octane pump gas to 160-lb/hr injectors, which are controlled by a FAST module. An MSD Digital 4 box triggers ignition, and NGK plugs ignite the mix. Panhandle Performance in Panama City, Florida, performed the tune, which yielded 850 rwhp and 650 lb-ft of torque on its chassis dyno at only 20 psi of boost. "There's more power there, but the tires broke loose on the dyno, so we're not sure how much," Jason said.
At Bradenton, his best run of 9.44 would've been enough to edge out Blair Brannock for the runner-up position, but a torque converter failure caused Jason to only pull off a mid-10-second third run, giving him only the sixth fastest average. Since he replaced the torque converter, however, Jason has wheeled his sneaky coupe to a best of 8.80 at 160 mph with a 1.54 60-foot.
"Everyone competing in True Street at Bradenton better watch out this year," Jason said in a recent phone conversation. He expects to take the win this year at Bradenton, which by the sounds of it, could very well happen. Though it's somewhat short notice, you can't say that we didn't warn you.