Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
January 1, 2005
Photos By: Courtesy of Anderson Ford Motorsport

Horse Sense:
The original Real Street rules specified only a stock 5.0 camshaft, which left a lot of room between the lines. The latest rules, however, specify maximum camshaft measurements. In part, the cam rule reads: "The maximum lobe lift of a stock lobe 5.0 H.O. camshaft is 0.278 inch. NMRA will not accept a lobe lift of less than 0.270 inch or more than 0.278 inch. These lobe lifts are within the parameter of a 'stock-lobe 5.0 H.O. camshaft.' The choice of rocker ratio is the racer's, with the maximum valve lift at the retainer not to exceed 0.480 inch." The rules go on to list maximum lobe lifts at a given duration, which are as follows: 0.050 inch at 211 degrees, 0.100 inch at 179 degrees, 0.150 inch at 148 degrees, and 0.200 inch at 115 degrees. Likewise, maximum and minimum lobe-separation angles of 117 and 115 degrees, respectively, are mandated.

Plain and simple, magazine project cars are double-edged swords. Every car nut would like to dream up a car and build it while on the job. Of course, magazine projects are notoriously long-lived and-in my case-underperforming cars that never quite live up to their potential. A number of factors are at play here, but the main culprit is that because they are part of the job, they become just another part of the job, so they don't receive the kind of after-hours worship that your prized projects do. After all, your project is a way to forget about work. Ours are work-enjoyable work, but work all the same.

It doesn't help that yours truly often likes to make things more complicated than they need be. Just ask Tech Editor Houlahan. In addition to performing the requisite black interior swaps, Mark likely wouldn't be surprised to hear me ask him to install two steering wheels in one of my project cars. Seriously, I have an affinity for gadgets, and you have to look no further than the number of Auto Meter gauges in Project Real Street to see that. In fact, I'm still a bit disappointed we haven't put an aftermarket stereo in the car-yet.

And the idea of a stereo in the car just goes to show you, I really wanted to build a car that reflected my original ideas about the NMRA's Real Street class. As you may or may not know, I had a bit to do with forming the concept of this class, which was built around streetable bolt-on parts and power adders. Since its inception, the class quickly evolved beyond its mid-10-second origins into an ultracompetitive, mid-9-second class thanks to some select rule changes and the unmitigated creativity of its racers. Still, I never thought my project car would be a competitive racer, rather an example of a street car that would be legal for the class-the kind to have fun with, not compete for a championship.

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