Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
August 31, 2010
Photos By: Peter S. Linney

Flexing his skills as an accomplished attorney, Chuck was able to get a suitable settlement that would allow him to rebuild his pride and joy, starting with a fresh repaint of the factory Medium Titanium Metallic two-tone paint. Chuck also added a Cobra R/SVO fiberglass hood and Saleen wing. The front and rear bumper covers were swapped for '93 Cobra pieces, and the GT cheese grater taillights were ditched in favor of clear LX aftermarket pieces.

From the snug fit of the Sparco bucket seats, Chuck's hands rest comfortably on the Momo competition steering wheel, while his eyes are directed towards the A-pillar-mounted TurboSmart eBoost2 electronic boost controller, and the column-mounted FJO Racing Products air/fuel monitor. Behind the scenes, Snow Performance's Safe Injection system quietly monitors the water/methanol system.

The interior has also been significantly modified with an eight-point rollbar, five-point harnesses, and two Halon fire systems-essential to preserving this Fox from further peril. The controls for the NX wet nitrous oxide system are housed where the ashtray once resided, though the system hasn't been activated in a long time. Finally, a Pro 5.0 shifter stirs the cogs in the Viper-spec T56 six-sped gearbox.

Under the hood, the engine was pulled and replaced with a Kuntz and Company-built 408-cube bullet. Based on an FRPP 351 block, the Scat/Oliver/JE rotating assembly was topped off with Stage 3 ported Trickflow High Port cylinder heads from Total Engine Airflow, and a custom Comp Cams solid-roller profile actuates the Jesel shaft-mount rocker arms and Crower lifters.

The 408 was fitted with a Vortech YS-trim centrifugal supercharger and a Reichard Racing billet upper intake manifold, with a Trickflow 351 lower intake. At this point, Chuck realized how important the aging Fox-body was to him, and seeing that there was much newer technology available, he set the Mustang aside and bought another high-powered ride to get his thrills in on track. That didn't stop him from continually refining the Mustang though, and his search for the perfect Fox-body Mustang led him to the turbocharger that presently sits beneath the hood.

Domestic Performance and Restoration in San Diego, California, fabricated the turbo system, based on a GT47R 88mm ball bearing turbocharger, and an air-to-air intercooler. The Reichard upper intake manifold was flipped to the driver's side to reduce the number of twists and turns on the cold side, which often lead to poor throttle response, and increased turbo lag and intake charge temperatures. As for the exhaust, the downpipe descends beneath the unibody where it splits into two 3-inch pipes featuring straight-through mufflers and complete 3-inch tailpipes. Yes, you can have you torque arm, panhard bar, and tail pipes, too.

Chuck, who performs all of his own engine management tuning via an Accel Gen VII DFI computer, tells us that the turbo is much easier to tune for pump gas than the supercharger. They're also quieter, which makes for a nice street car. The tuning issue becomes important when you live out West, as the majority of the states are stuck with a mere 91-octane at the pump.

Not wanting to feel the hit in the pocket book for race gas every time he drove the car, Chuck installed a Snow Performance water/methanol injection system. "The methanol injection system has been modified to work with a three-gallon fuel cell in the car, "says Chuck. "It's a dual-nozzle setup with a progressive controller and features several fail-safe mechanisms, including a real-time flow monitor and electronic wastegate valve that is activated if the flow of methanol falls below a preset amount. A low-level warning light is not enough."

One of the benefits of owning a car for so long is that you have plenty of time to work out the bugs and find the weak links. Over time, everything has been engineered to the point of overkill. "I don't want anything to break, overheat, or fail, so every component is beefed up beyond what is necessary, with a large margin of safety factored in," comments Chuck. "You can drive this car over 100 miles in the heat of southern California and beat on it all you want, and it won't miss a beat or overheat.

What's probably more impressive is the power that this combination has generated. At 20 psi of boost, the turbocharged 408 Windsor has laid down a startling 1,055 rwhp and 1,013 lb-ft of torque. Chuck tells us that it will put down over 1,000 hp during back-to-back pulls with no cool down-a benefit of the water/methanol injection system.

"I found a combination after all these years of trial and error that starts right up every time no matter how long it sits, and it idles perfectly. I can drive by a cop and not get hassled, and you can have a nice conversation inside without having to yell," says Chuck.

It sounds like the verdict is in.