My love for Mustangs started in high school when my best friend bought a 5.0 LX hatchback the summer before our senior year. I was lucky enough to live in South Florida at a time when the street racing scene was out of control, back in the early ’90s.
After high school, we attended the University of Central Florida and lived 15 minutes away from Orlando Speed World. I helped him install basic bolt-ons onto his hatch, including nitrous. We had a blast up there with the likes of Dennis Lugo, Racing Jason, and the infamous Super Trooper car from Powered By Ford. It wasn’t until the end of my college career I realized how dangerous street racing was and how lucky I was to be alive.
It would be almost eight years until I was able to buy my Mustang. In 2001, I bought a ’93 LX coupe. It had all of the basic bolts-ons. I rented a set of slicks and headed to the dragstrip; low 14-second passes were the norm. That was fun for a little bit—until I realized it was slow. That’s when I bought a used NOS dry kit; it got me to 12.20s. The car stayed in this state for a long time due to family issues and a lack of money.
As a father and watching my son get older, my family issues lessened and I was finally established at my new job. Around this time, I was introduced to the Beat The Heat racing program. Beat The Heat is a national organization of police and firemen who drag race police-inspired-looking vehicles to encourage both young and older racers to race on the track and not the street. Wanting to become proactive in the BTH program, I focused my build towards a street/strip setup that could also be suitable for bracket racing. I wanted to drive to events/shows and not have to worry about a trailer.
Tim Eichhorn at Mustang Performance Racing laid out an entire build for me. We started with a Dart 363ci block, ported Twisted Wedge heads, Diamond pistons, and Eagle crankshaft and H-beam rods. I made a compromise with compression to keep it pump-gas-friendly. MPR also set me up with a C4 automatic transmission and beefed up the 8.8 rearend. To complete the revamping of my Fox, I had The Body Spot in Pompano Beach, Florida, give it a whole new repaint.
As the car was being finished, I started my local Beat The Heat Broward Chapter. I started attending as many car shows, charity, and local drag events as I could to help represent BTH. I’ve been lucky enough to make it to 50-70 events per year over the past three years. During this time, people like Tim Eichhorn at MPR, Chris Jones and Steve Gelles at Blow By Racing, Jeremy Martorella at UPR Products, Ryan Lewis at Nitrous Express, Bama at The Body Spot, Marcous at the Idea Box Studios, Dave at TIG Vision Welding, and Ultimate Converter Concepts, have really helped and shown their support for the program.
When Fun Ford Weekend visited us this year at Palm Beach International Raceway, everything finally came together and our program won our first event.
I am completely hooked on the Fox-body Mustang. I asked my son, who is 8-years old now, if he was going to start racing my Stang for me when he gets his driver’s license so dad can just work on the car. His response? “No, I’m going to have a red one with a turbo.” That’s my boy!