Shaping the minds of today's youth is an immensely important task. As the younger generations grow into the future leaders of our world, parents and teachers, as well as the culture they grow up in, shape them into who they will be tomorrow.
Chad Miller is a high school social studies teacher at Laurel Highlands High School in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Along with being an avid Mustang enthusiast, Chad has the coolest car in the faculty parking lot. Cars like Chad's are not only cool, but they give our younger generations the inspiration to build some awesome cars in years to come. The youth of America will one day be designing what we drive. The cars of the past have shaped what we drive now, and without the roots of the muscle cars, there might not be a Mustang today.
Chad picked up this '89 Mustang GT as a cool commuter when he graduated from college. "The car was in fair condition when I bought it," explains Chad. "It had all the basic bolt-on performance parts and ran 13-second quarter-mile times." With 13s not being nearly quick enough, Chad spent the next few years adding power and perfecting his driving style on the way to ripping off high-11-second passes with the stock block, heads, and five-speed transmission. As engine parts started to fail, and the body and paint needed some attention, Chad turned to longtime friend Bernie Kasievich and the rest of the crew at Karnuts Auto Center (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) to bring out this Pony's beauty.
Chad brought his Stang to Karnuts to bring the faded blue and silver hues back to life. The stock color combo would soon give way to a few fresh layers of PPG blue, custom mixed by Karnuts.
While bringing the shine back to his GT, Chad also needed to address the issue of a smoking engine. When it came time to freshen the motor, Chad found some broken parts and the stock block had to go. After planning the build with Kasievich, a new engine came together starting with an FRPP R302 block. Kasievich filled the bores with JE forged pistons. Manley H-beam rods connect the slugs to the forged Crower crankshaft that sets it all into motion. The combination of 4.030-inch bores with a 3.40-inch stroke brings this combination to a healthy 347 ci. The short-block was topped off with a set of AFR 205 Outlaw Race aluminum cylinder heads, bringing compression to a boost-friendly 8.8:1. A Comp Cams camshaft manipulates the 2.05/1.60 Manley valves inside the heads.
Air is force-fed into the hungry mill by way of a Paxton Novi 2000 centrifugal supercharger making a stout 21 psi. An Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold directs the incoming air to the massive AFR combustion chambers. Fuel is introduced to the party by 83-lb/hr fuel injectors fed by an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump. Once the MSD 6AL ignition box fires the Autolite sparkplugs, spent exhaust gases exit through a set of 15/8-inch BBK headers, an H-pipe, and 3-inch Dynomax Ultra Flo mufflers.
A Performance Automatic Supercomp C4 with a reverse manual valvebody and a trans brake backs the new engine combination. Power is transferred to the gearbox with a 4,000-stall, 9-inch JW torque converter, and gear selection is accomplished with a B&M Bandit pistol-grip shifter. The C4 spins an FRPP aluminum driveshaft, which transfers power to the 8.8-inch rearend housing out back. An Auburn posi unit and 3.73 gears use 31-spline axles to turn the 15x8 Weld Pro Stars, which are wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street rubber. Matching 15x3 Pro Stars with 165/15 rubber reside up front.
Safely tuning a combination as radical as this is not easy. To ensure the motor performs at its peak, Chad enlisted the help of SGS Automotive of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, to handle the tune. SGS installed an Accel Gen VII DFI to dial in the GT. When SGS was finished working its magic, Chad's GT laid down 663 rwhp with 634 lb-ft of torque.
Making 663 hp is one thing-getting it to the ground is a different story. Chad started by adding a set of Maximum Motorsports subframe connectors to stiffen the chassis. Wild Rides' upper and lower Battle Boxes strengthen the mounting points of the baseline suspension and the Steeda control arms that keep the rearend housing in line under hard acceleration. Lakewood 50/50 shocks and stock rear springs help with the launches. Up front, a QA1 tubular K-member helps this GT shed a few unwanted pounds. Weight transfer comes from a set of Lakewood 70/30 struts and four-cylinder springs.
The interior still sports the grey tweed that came stock in this GT. It has been updated with an eight-point rollcage from Competition Engineering and RJS five-point harnesses to keep the driver and passenger held securely in the car. A bevy of Auto Meter gauges allow Chad to keep an eye on everything happening under the hood. A few billet accents from UPR Products finish the interior.
The Fox-bodies of the '80s and '90s have molded the Mustang into what it is today. With the guidance of teachers like Chad, and cars like his GT, we can't wait to see what the future holds for our youth and the car we love so much.