Pete Epple Technical Editor
November 3, 2010
Photos By: Steve Baur

Jason Putnam of Albemarle, North Carolina, is extremely proud of his '90 GT, and after hearing of its condition when he purchased it, we can see why. This two-tone Fox didn't always look as good as it does now. In fact, Jason bought the car for $100 and a set of used Flowmaster mufflers.

"It was nothing but a rolling shell when I picked it up," explains Jason. " It did not have any interior, motor or trans, hood, bumpers, or ground effects."

The car was an original GT, but had suffered from severe neglect and had even been in an accident, which required repairs. Once Jason got the car home and unloaded, he began acquiring parts to build this Fox into something better than it had ever been. He started with the interior, and piece-by-piece, the black interior began to take shape.

Once it was complete, paint and body was the next step. Jason's father, David Putnam, handled the task of improving the aesthetics. After fixing the problem areas, the father and son team decided on a color scheme for the GT, and from there the car began to take shape. David layered the body with Toyota black and Laser Red from PPG, giving it a slick, unique look.

Several months later, Jason finally got the car back from paint. "At this point, I had decided not to spend too much time on the engine bay," Jason adds. "We just had it painted flat black. With the help of my friend Tim Poole, we then installed a basically stock 302. The engine had an E cam in it, with a stock transmission and Flowmasters."

After about six months, Jason decided he didn't like the engine bay in flat black. So it was back to his dad's shop to bring the exterior into the engine bay. Once the engine bay was empty, Jason added a set of steel inner fender covers to add the smooth look under the hood. Then the engine compartment received the same two-tone treatment as the exterior.

Being that the engine was out of the car, this was also the perfect time to make more power. For this round of power improvements, Jason once again enlisted the help of his friend Tim. The two added a set of GT-40P cylinder heads with a GT-40 intake manifold, a Trick Flow Specialties Stage 1 camshaft, and 1.7 roller rockers from Ford Racing Performance Parts.

About a year later, Jason decided it was time for a fresh combination. So in the winter of 2009, the motor came out once again. This time the short-block was shipped to HP Engines in Norwood, North Carolina, where it was given the full treatment. The bores were opened up and the stock crank gave way to an Eagle stroker crank, increasing displacement to 347ci. With nitrous in the plan, Jason filled the bored with Ross pistons and Eagle H-beam rods, then topped off the combo with a set of RHS aluminum cylinder heads. After the heads were ported, the engine produced 10.3:1 compression.

A custom-grind Comp Cams bumpstick handles the valve actuation, allowing the air/fuel mixture in and exhaust gasses out. The long-block was topped with a Holley Systemax intake manifold and 60-lb/hr injectors to supply plenty of air and fuel to the combination. As the engine build was heading toward completion, Jason found a deal of a Vortech supercharger that he couldn't pass up. The V1 S-trim bolted right up and force-feeds air to the new powerplant.

Knowing the new powertrain would produce significantly more power, Jason shifted his attention to the rest of the driveline. The stock T5 transmission was tossed aside for a stronger Tremec 3550 five-speed gearbox. The 8.8-inch rearend housing was fortified with aftermarket axles and 3.73 gears to get things going in a hurry.

Once the combination was reinstalled in Jason's GT, he loaded up and headed to Stable Performance in Greer, South Carolina, to have the car tuned. Once all was said and done, the Fox ran on the rollers to the tune of 522 rwhp and 499 lb-ft of torque.

Jason Putnam took a Mustang that was otherwise destined for the scrap yard and turned into something special. With the help of his family and friends, he not only has a powerful Pony, but his Fox is a survivor thanks to his hard work.

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