Richard Holdener
October 1, 2008
Vortech Has just made it even easier for Mustang owners to abuse the asphalt. The new internally lubricated V3 supercharger eliminates the need to punch a drain hole in the oil pan.

In The beginning (of the late-model musclecar era, that is), there was the 5.0L Mustang, and it was good. Enthusiasts rejoiced at once again being able to own a real musclecar, something that offered both performance and affordability. This came a decade after the original musclecar era, and no one knew how long this second coming would last.

Amazingly, some 20 years later, it's still going strong, as the Mustang, Challenger, and soon the Camaro will do battle once again. To fully appreciate the performance cars of today, however, we have to look back at a time when things weren't so rosy. Before the advent of the 5.0 Mustang, American muscle was in a bit of a slump. Most 0- to 60-mph times could be registered in double digits. That all changed with the advent of the fuelie 5.0, but, being enthusiasts, we wanted more performance. Soon after the 5.0 was introduced, the aftermarket jumped on the bandwagon and started offering performance upgrades. It wasn't long before a now-familiar face entered the fray, and we all started running around with force-fed 5.0s.

Back in the day, the blower wars were waged between Paxton and Vortech. Eventually, the two juggernauts joined forces to provide customers with a wide variety of different supercharger options. One of the advantages offered by the early Paxton superchargers was the ability to install its system without having to drill a hole in the oil pan to serve as an oil return from the supercharger. Paxton originated the often-labeled "self-contained" supercharger with a planetary drive system that required no external lubrication source.

Though beneficial from an installation standpoint, the planetary-drive transmission actually limited impeller speed, and therefore boost and power potential. In the quest for more power, many enthusiasts installed external circulation pumps and heat exchangers to help cool these early self-contained Paxton superchargers, but the planetary drive system ultimately limited power production.

To cure this, Vortech stepped in and revolutionized the forced-induction industry by offering a gear-driven transmission that eliminated the heat buildup associated with a planetary-drive system. The gear-driven Vortech supercharger promised and delivered not only greater power potential, but also exceptional reliability. When removed from the author's '88 LX Mustang at 85,000 miles, Serial No. 001 Vortech was still pumping out some serious boost and power, despite being configured only as a lowly B-Trim (upgraded from its original A-Trim status). On seven different occasions (Silver State open-road races) the blower was subjected to over 30 minutes of wide-open throttle. Running your blower at the dragstrip or even on the street simply can't compare to subjecting it to full throttle for 30 minutes straight. Naturally, the blower was subjected to all kinds of street abuse (I was up for racing anything at any time with that car) and untold dyno testing-both chassis and engine-not to mention top-speed shootouts, open-track competitions, and even running a number of races in both the Bridgestone Supercar and SCCA World Challenge series. We oversped, overboosted, and overused the Vortech blower at every occasion, and never once did it so much as complain.