A little south of Austin, not far off the I-35, you can find a specialized Mustang shop called Allies Automotive. From there, it's only an hour and a quarter run to Marion, TX and the San Antonio Raceway. That particular journey is one that Michele Kato knows very, very well. She and her husband, Chris, have gone back and forth on many weekends for the past decade, participating in the local IHRA points series. Three years ago, Chris convinced Michele to try her hand at it. Now, she runs this 1995 Mustang and in her own words, she's "hopelessly hooked."
As owners of Allies Automotive, their on-track efforts effectively demonstrate what the shop is capable of doing for their customers. Michelle's 10-second car is an able ambassador that started coming together one weekend after her first-hand experience with bracket racing. "We bought, actually traded it for an old Wagoneer we had back in 1999. It was barely running - missing some body parts - but I fell in love with it the first time I saw it," she told us. Before this Mustang made it into the Kato corral, Michele had others, including a 1986 silver 5-speed GT with a 308 cid engine, an 1985 V6 convertible and a beloved black on black 1984 GT 'vert. "I needed a little change, so I guess that's why I fell in love with my SN95," Michele mused.
Most of the competition parts came from Chris' 1985 Fox racer, but a lot of blood, sweat and cussin' was needed to get it all to fit properly in the SN95 car. An unfortunate engine fire afforded Michele the opportunity to fit a 331 cid stroker into her car. That engine served for a time, running back and forth to the track, but last year she felt the need to more speed. Respecting the old adage, "There's no replacement for displacement," the Katos opened up a 460 cid Ford big block, rolled up their sleeves and got to work.
Performance Crankshaft in Austin, TX helped out with decking the block and boring the cylinders .030-over. Now, a 466 cid, 11.5:1 compression ratio powerhouse began to emerge. Once fitted with Eagle forged connecting rods and pistons on the stock crankshaft, a Wieand Stealth high-rise intake manifold and Holley 850 CFM 'double pumper' 4-barrel carburetor were latched on top of the stock cylinder heads. After installing a Meziere electric water pump, the only remaining belt-driven accessory on the front of the engine is the alternator. A brace of MSD Ignition parts look after keeping things alive, including their billet distributor, Blaster 2 coil and ignition controller. A Ford Racing high torque mini starter motor is tasked with getting the ball rolling on cue.
Now, talk about old school! This 466 cid monster is hooked up to a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission that's been kitted out with a billet servo, Kevlar bands, race-grade clutches and a 1.76 ratio planetary gear set. The Hughes 5000 rpm stall torque converter successfully handles all negotiations between the engine and driveline. The SN95's standard 8.8" rear axle is now blessed with a full spool, 33-spline axles and a 4.10 ratio gearset to keep the engine happily inside its power band.