Look in David Salardino's garage and you'll find two cars: a mild street car that performs well for daily driving, and a low 9-second race car that pumps out 825 rwhp and 698 lb-ft of torque. The first is a street cruiser that logs at least 150 miles a week, and the latter has run the quarter in 9.27 seconds at over 147 mph.
What is most remarkable is that both cars are actually one in the same: a clean sleeper in the form of a '91 coupe. It's an extraordinary accomplishment considering this notch does it all on 93-octane pump gas and a single tune.
This clean coupe isn't the first sick street car that David has owned. Previously, he drove a low-10-second '93 coupe onto the pages of MM&FF (Dec. '99/Jan. '01). It was built and tuned by Jim Chahalis at the now-defunct LaRocca's Performance and featured a Vortech-supercharged stock-block 5.0L with Twisted Wedge heads. It even ran as low as 10.007 seconds at 134 mph on slicks. The Reef Blue coupe produced over 650 hp, but unfortunately, he sold the car to focus on his new house and his career as a police officer.
Fast forward to 2008: David's need for a clean Mustang returned and the plan was to build a similar machine-one that could run strong and look extremely sharp on the street.
Even with burnt rubber basted...
Even with burnt rubber basted on the quarter-panels, David's LX doesn't reveal its true colors.
For his latest creation, David wanted a high-9-second street car that looked like a 12-second car. He definitely pulled off the look, but got a little carried away in the performance department. Starting with an original, unmodified 50,000-mile 5.0L Louisiana LX, Dave turned once again to Jim Chahalis for the mechanicals. Starting with a Ford Racing Performance Parts R-302 block, Coast High Performance (CHP) built a 347ci short-block assembly to withstand over 1,000 hp. Inside, it utilized a Probe Industries forged crankshaft, 8.5:1 pistons and SCAT forged H-beam connecting rods.
Meanwhile, Total Engine Airflow of Tallmadge, Ohio, was busy assembling a pair of its Edelbrock Victor Jr. 225 Renegade aluminum heads with 2.05-inch intake valves and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. TEA also ported a Holley Systemax intake manifold to match. "I wanted a cam that could make tons of power and yet have good driveability," says David, so he turned to Brian "Freezy" Friedentag, a friend of Chahalis who is a whiz with cams. Freezy designed a one-off camshaft profile that fit David's requirements, but David wouldn't give us the specs.
"I originally wanted a turbo car, but Jim (Chahalis) talked me out of it. I'm glad he did." What Chahalis had in mind was a Vortech Renegade YSI kit. Making a whopping 24 pounds of boost, the supercharger sports a 3.12-inch pulley and an Anderson Motorsports Mr. Freeze methanol-injection system. Massive 83-lb/hr injectors and a 95mm MAF sensor controls fuel delivery when David mashes the skinny pedal. An MSD 6AL ignition box, coil, and wires allow the Accel spark plugs to light the fire. Exhaust fumes escape rapidly through Accufab long-tube headers, then out a completely custom 3-inch exhaust by Stan Bachonski. Bachonski created a system that could handle over 800 hp and still appear stock. Artistic Metal Polishing of Somerset, New Jersey, polished the supercharger, intake manifold, and miscellaneous components to give the engine compartment a bright, clean look.