KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
March 3, 2010
Photos By: Courtesy Of Sutton High Performance

Horse Sense:
We've received several reports of S197 owners' taking advantage of Ford Racing Performance Parts sale of Cobra Jet parts through Ford dealerships' parts departments. The practice is a direct throwback to drag racing's heyday (the late '60s), when enthusiasts literally could transform their brand-new Mustangs into race cars before taking delivery by simply checking the appropriate boxes on an order sheet. The GT is capable of running mid-12s at the dragstrip, but of course, going quicker and faster is usually the priority for 'Stang drag racers As one would expect, the pieces worked well on the street, providing the low and mean stance that makes Mustangs look hot, and improving cornering and overall handling

There are hundreds of variables that have some type of an influence on our Mustangs' performance before, during, and after we run them down the quarter-mile. Some of these influences are minor and some are fairly major.

One particular factor ranks near the top of the importance chart, for each and every 'Stang that hits the strip. Care to guess what it is? If "traction" is your guess, you're 100 percent correct!

Basically, horsepower, reaction time, and weather conditions all contribute to a Pony's on-track situation. The truth of the matter is, none of them really matter all that much if your horse has a hard time getting out of the gate and covering the first 60 feet of the dragstrip.

While Randy Mohrbach's '06 GT isn't one of the project Mustangs in our lineup, we have been monitoring its progress as a street/'strip, R&D vehicle, and business card of sorts, for Sutton High Performance; the go-fast subdivision of Sutton Ford Lincoln Mercury in Matteson, Illinois. Randy is the store's general manager and founder of its high-performance extension, and he has been diligent about keeping us abreast of the Pony's upgrades, and how they affect its performance.

Prior to this exercise, installing Ford Racing Performance Parts Cobra Jet drag suspension for '05-'10 Mustang GTs (PN M-5649-CJ; $995), the crew at Sutton has methodically transformed the red S197 from stone stock, to moderately hopped-up. Its performance features include cams, long-tube headers, Sutton's-own CNC-ported heads, and several other bolt-ons. It's currently producing 380 rwhp without using a power adder.

The GT is capable of running mid-12s at the dragstrip, but of course, going quicker and faster is usually the priority for 'Stang drag racers. "Right now, we're trying to get into the low 12s or high 11s with this car," says Randy. "I bought this Mustang to use as a car that we could present to enthusiasts who visit Sutton High Performance, and to demonstrate the different mods that are possible for S197s."

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