Bryan Sharer used to work for Dr. Phil. Yes, the current tool of pop psychology and the guy who let the air out of Oprah's bouncing ball of weight fluctuations. But Bryan doesn't care; he'd already been fired for racing at Oklahoma's Thunder Valley dragstrip instead of attending a last-minute business trip for that gig. Would you have picked racing? Us too. After three months of unemployment, his racing buddy John Dodson invited him to work as a tech for a Volkswagen dealership in Lewisville, Texas. He's been there ever since. And if you ask him, he's never been happier.
Morphing to a fresh VW wrench while still a longtime Mustang racer caused Bryan to change a few things. "I had a fast nitrous Mustang but I couldn't keep from just driving it around and spraying it. I kept having to fill the bottle and then at the track keep the pressure up and everything. And Mustangs were everywhere. You couldn't do anything that someone else hadn't done." His mind was popped when he saw a Fairmont wagon cracking the whip at the street races. He knew the truth immediately. When you drive a Fairmont, no one cares. When you drive a fast Fairmont, everyone thinks you're cool.
He paid $250 for a '78 that was sitting in a field with two smoked trannies in the trunk and nothing under the hood. The first race for the car was at the same track in Oklahoma that got him fired the first time. He ran a twin-turbo setup using a pair of small spools from smashed '86 Thunderbird Turbo Coupes to feed a 600-cfm Holley on a 302. After one would grenade, he would go to the yard and pluck another. In the meantime, his wife stuffed her Mustang on the freeway. The 85mm Garrett intended for her became the Fairmont's new single turbo. About that time he met Dave Harjtes from Majestic Turbo who turned him on to tuning with compressor-housing sizes. Bryan ended up with the current version: a mild 302 with an 88mm Garrett with a smaller exhaust turbine in proportion to the compressor to eliminate the big-turbo lag.
We couldn't feel any lag when Bryan winged it to whiplash speed for us. Makes you giggle. John Dodson sat shotgun with one eye on the EGT gauge and the other on the guy in the next lane. The delivery of boost is smooth, but there is nothing subtle about this combination. It roars and the Heim-joint rear suspension thocks and cracks as the car struggles to hook it all up. The converter stalls above 4,500, which we will argue is beyond the street, but lifting then flashing it back up gives the impression of a major jolt of speed and power on the freeway. It keeps on building with the nose up and the car absolutely bellowing through the 4-inch Bullets. His latest combination netted a 9.80 at 138 on the race tune-up, yet we found him driving it on the street. Turbos rule.