June 1, 2003

In April 2002, I traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, with my fiance, Tina Wolanin. I was fortunate enough to have been invited by the American Heart Association to present my National Institute of Health-funded research efforts at the AHA's First Annual Asian Pacific Scientific Forum. While Tina was playing in the sun and surf, I was presenting my work titled "Decreased Blood Pressure and Vas-cular Smooth Muscle Tone in Mice Lacking Basolateral Na-K-2Cl Cotransporter." [Yeah, whatever he just said. - Ed.] The data was well received, and I quickly joined Tina in touring the amazing sights of Oahu.

Months before this trip began-as we planned the adventure-I wondered what kind of Mustangs one could encounter on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I contacted Bob Cosby, an acting moderator at www.corral.net, and he put out a post looking for Hawaiian Mustang enthusiasts who would like to have their cars considered for a magazine feature. As you've already figured out, we had some awesome Mustangs show up at our photo shoot. And, on a gorgeous Saturday morning on the amazing Lanikai Beach, I had a chance to shoot some of the best Mustangs in the islands.

One of the things you have to appreciate is that speed parts are considerably more expensive for the Hawaiian automotive enthusiast. It's not that vendors jack up prices on these folks-it's that shipping, which must be overnight air express, is outrageous. For example, a small $100 part can typically carry a $100 shipping cost to the islands. That adds up quickly when you're building a 10-second car!

Also, if you happen to visit Hono-lulu, you'll be interested to know the local police force authorizes its officers to use their own personal vehicles if they meet accepted guidelines. It's not unusual to see Mustang GTs and Cobras with light bars and radio equipment, if you know what to look for.

We also ran into Ernie Lum, president of the Hawaii Ford Performance Club (www.hfpc.net), and promised him we'd give his club a plug. In all, it was quite surprising how advanced some of the cars were that we found during our stay. We think you'll enjoy this sampling of the best the Pacific has to offer to the world of Ford performance.

Henry TabiosThe Fastest 5.0 Mustang in HawaiiIf you've been into Fords for a while, Henry Tabios' '90 LX may look familiar to you. It has appeared in magazine features, and it still wears the crown as the fastest 5.0 Mustang in Hawaii. Henry is a 44-year-old service advisor at Honolulu Ford. He has worked at the dealership since 1979, so it's obvious that Fords-fast Fords in particular-are a part of his life. His wife, Merle, his five sons, and his daughter (we still think he has more kids than reported here due to the crowd of juveniles that showed up with him) are all active participants in several forms of automotive competition-most notably, drag racing.

Henry's white hatchback has only 32,000 miles on the clock, but it has a ton of performance enhancements. The original short-block (yikes!) has been bolstered with the addition of Edelbrock Performer heads, a Lunati camshaft, a Cobra intake, a 75mm throttle body, an MSD ignition, 42-lb/hr injectors, Vortech fuel rails, a Vortech R-Trim supercharger, and an Aeromotive fuel pump. The drivetrain consists of a C4 automatic transmission with a tranny brake from Performance Automatic, a 4,500-stall converter, 3.73 gears, and an Auburn Pro differential with 31-spline Moser axles. The suspension modifications consist of 90/10 front struts and 50/50 shocks from Lakewood, a Griggs coilover conversion and K-member, and rear lower control arms from South Side.

The record for Hawaii stands at a 9.89-second e.t. at 135 mph with a 1.34-second short time. If you can beat that, let us know. That way, Henry can begin building something even nastier for us to share with our readers!