Jim Smart
November 1, 2004

Supercharger pioneer Paxton Performance has always known engines are happiest when fed comfortable, predictable doses of pressurized air. Supercharging is a time-proven performance commodity that works. And, if you follow the rules, tune your engine properly, and remember regular preventative maintenance, a supercharged small-block Ford can perform reliably for a long time.

Northern California's Mike Weldon is a Ford-dealer service manager with a wealth of automotive experience. Few people understand as well as Mike what irresponsible power management does to an engine. Remember, Mike is a Ford service manager who has seen a lot of abused Mustang GTs and Cobras come in for warranty work. He knows what putting the hammer down can do to an engine. This is why Mike opted for a Paxton NOVI 1200 supercharger on his '65 Mustang GT350 replica.

Paxton's NOVI 1200 blower is just right for carbureted classic Mustangs and other vintage Fords because it allows you to manage power responsibly. It's engineered for common-sense performance. The Paxton looks sharp, feels nostalgic, and pumps up the power.

Mike began his performance pursuit with a solid, reliable 292-inch small-block that began as a 289. He opted for 10.5:1 flat-top forged pistons, a high-volume oil pump, a mechanical roller cam and rockers, closed-chamber heads with 1.75/1.45-inch valves, an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a Holley 4150 carb (650 cfm), a Maier Racing oil pan, an MSD ignition, and a Griffin aluminum radiator to keep things cooler. Before the NOVI 1200 was installed, Mike's .030-inch over small-block made 181 rear-wheel horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 218.7 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

After the installation of the NOVI 1200 supercharger, set for 7 pounds of boost, rear-wheel output jumped to 250.5 hp at 5,050 rpm and 277.8 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. That's an increase of 69 hp and 59 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a groovy bolt-on that looks sharp and performs so well.

With a cylinder head with larger valves and ports, we're convinced the Paxton would coax a few more ponies out of this small-block powerhouse.

Because Mike believes in packaging a Mustang project, he opted for a Centerforce Street/Strip clutch, a Ford Racing T5 five-speed, and a Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.50:1 gears. Extreme Automotive in Canoga Park, California, installed the Baer disc brakes and 9-inch rearend. On the ground are 15-inch Torq-Thrust D wheels wrapped in Dunlop skins. Inside are items that simply make a Mustang better and safer, like a 15-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell from Mustangs Plus, Auto Meter gauges, a four-point restraint system, and a LeCarra steering wheel.

Mike's '65 Mustang fastback is a lesson in common-sense car building for the street and track. It lives happily on the street because it's comfortable, not temperamental, and easy to drive. When it's time to tackle a road course, it does that nicely too. Mike's Mustang works well because it was built as a package, not as a smattering of thoughts and afterthoughts. Bolting on the Paxton supercharger rounded out an already terrific package without sacrificing vehicle integrity in the process.

What else would you expect from something so home blown?