Dale Amy
August 1, 2008
Derek Riopelle, Larry Lindenmuth, and Andy Reichenbach (from left) stand proudly beside one of their babies-a ready-for-shipment Roush P-51A. Five such teams of three technicians are responsible for building P-51As out of stock '08 Vapor Metallic Mustang GTs. They're assisted in this formidable task by an interior trim department that rebuilds and reskins the GT seats, as well as a joint-venture engine division that upgrades stock Three-Valve rotating and reciprocating hardware and adds the intercooled Roushchargers.

Horse Sense: If you're like us, you can't help but take note of the "A" suffix. If you missed your chance to acquire one of the squadron of P-51As, we wouldn't be surprised to see a P-51B model take flight some time down the road.

Lately, the public relations crew at Roush Performance has been exhausting the office supply of coffee and midnight oil, with press releases of new products and models popping up seemingly every time we open our e-mail.

The latest and greatest special edition from the house that Jack built is the Roush P-51A.

It's an almost inevitable model for the company, given the Cat in the Hat's personal affection for what's recognized as the greatest and arguably most beautiful long-range fighter aircraft of WWII: the P-51 Mustang. It's no secret that the indefatigable Jack Roush owns and flies a skillfully restored D model of the P-51, and he's in the long, pricey process of returning the tired hulk of an earlier and even more rare P-51B to flying condition-but maybe we should talk about the car.

At 510 hp and an equal amount of torque, the P-51A is the most powerful Roush Mustang to date, and it's the first to include a fortified short-block as part of the deal. Similar to its airborne counterpart, it uses forced induction-in the form of an intercooled Roushcharger, naturally-to squeeze out as much as is safely possible from each power stroke. The P-51A benefits from a larger blower and higher boost than Roush's Stage 3, 427R, or 428R, thus explaining the rationale behind the muscled-up bottom end.

Only 151 examples of the P-51A will be built, and apparently all of them are already spoken for. Construction began at Roush's Livonia, Michigan, production facility-known as the Plymouth Road Technical Center, or simply Roush building No. 50-in late February. Knowing what an inquisitive group our readers are, we thought you might be interested in what it takes to transform a stock S197 GT into Roush's ground-superiority fighter.