It's sometimes hard to fathom how many muscle Mustangs and fast Fords the MM&FF team has come across over its 25 years of non-stop delivery.
Some might say we have an unhealthy obsession with the Mustang hobby, and we certainly accept that as truth, but out of all the "kicks" we get from various all-out drag monsters, and road race behemoths, we are always looking for the next big thing.
While out in Houston, Texas, associate editor Marc Christ was covering the NMRA True Street event. Photographing from the sideline, Christ focused his camera onto each Ford or Stang to pull up to the starting line. Without as much as a second thought, he watched as Billy Reicher and his stock-looking GT pulled up to the starting line. As the Tree dropped—and with Christ watching through his lens, ready to capture the perfect shot—the GT catapulted forward and hurled itself towards the finish line. Christ took note—surprisingly, a 10.32 lit up the board. "I wasn't expecting that at all," Christ says. "I saw a plain-looking S197 with 20-inch Bullitt wheels and thought it was just another 13-second Mustang. I was wrong."
After the race, Christ walked over to the GT and was greeted by its owner, Billy Reicher of Bullard, Texas. Billy popped open the hood; surprised by its powerplant, Christ stepped back, set up his camera gear, and got to work.
Billy acquired his Stang in a unique way. He originally purchased the '05 Mustang GT for his wife in 2005. Enthralled at first, she eventually realized she needed more room for her family. Gracious husband that he is, Billy obliged her and purchased a new Ford Expedition. Not willing to part ways with the GT, Billy then took ownership. "It was all a part of the master plan," Billy tells us, snickering at the thought of what he had done. (The gift that keeps on giving. Right, Billy?)
Seeking out a 500hp daily driver, Billy decided to add a Procharger P-1SC supercharger. Running 12 pounds of boost, Billy drove his GT for a couple of months, but ultimately the stock engine internals just weren't strong enough.
The most enjoyable part of the car is not the amount of power his Stang makes, but rather the amount of time Billy gets to spend ...
Randy Ortigo, owner of Ortigo Performance, built Billy a stout engine to replace the stocker. Inside the aluminum block rests a Kellogg 3.75 stroker crankshaft, attached to Manley billet pro-series connecting rods and 18cc dished pistons. Livernois Stage 3 heads feature Comp Cams (PN 127550) cams, and a JPC sheetmetal intake helps bring in cool air. A Moroso 7-quart oil pan houses a GT500 oil pump and feeds the necessary lube to the rest of the internal engine components.
While the engine was being built, Billy ditched the P-1SC in favor of a new F-1A supercharger. Innovators West built Billy a custom billet 12-rib pulley setup and crank support. His new 302ci engine and F-1A blower, tuned by Manuel Pazo at TUDyno on 16 psi and a 93-octane street tune, yield a modest 688 rwhp and 595 lb-ft of torque. With C16 race fuel, power drastically increased to 807 rwhp and 635 lb-ft.
"I choose the F1A simply to make more power," Billy said. "I got used to 500 horsepower very quickly and I just needed more. I don't consider myself a racer, but I do like going fast and pushing the limits."
It wasn't long after Billy's new engine build, however, that a strike of bad luck would occur. A faulty fuel pump caused a lean mixture and a piston was damaged. The engine came out again and Billy replaced what was broken. This and all the other performance modifications were done by Billy in his home garage.
With everything back up and running, he just couldn't leave it alone. He turned his attention to the cosmetics of his Stang.
Keith Hodges Collision Paint and Body Shop gave it a fresh new coat of paint. Underneath the Cervinis cowl hood, Billy couldn't stand the look and placement of the factory wiring harnesses.
"I contacted the local Ford dealer and ordered all the necessary wiring diagrams," Billy explained. "The wire tuck was the most challenging part of the entire build. I modified the stock harness and slowly traced and extended every wire. I took a six-month break just because I was spending so much time working on it and got tired of not being able to drive the car."
With the amount of power Billy's GT was cranking out, an upgraded transmission was in order. A Lentech strip 4R70W was built with a 3,800 stall, a Derale 16-pass trans cooler, an Outlaw shifter, and a one-piece steel driveshaft.
The suspension was also significantly upgraded, receiving Eibach springs, Tokico D-spec adjustable shocks and struts, and a full-line of BMR race suspension parts including, upper and lower control arms, Panhard bar, K-member, and subframe connectors. Braking is increased thanks to Baer 14-inch front rotors and braided stainless steel brake lines. Inside the cabin Billy has also added a Jegs five-point rollbar and RCI harnesses.
According to Billy, the most enjoyable part of the car is not the amount of power his Stang makes, but rather the amount of time he gets to spend with his 14-year-old son, Mason. "He comes with me to every show and race, and I honestly enjoy that the most," Billy said.
Billy's future plans are to go one second faster at the strip. He wants to put his Stang on a diet, perhaps use a bit of laughing gas at his next outing, and also increase boost from 20 pounds to 27.
He tells us he's hoping to hit the four-digit mark on the rollers. We won't underestimate you next time, Billy.