When all the OEs converted to EFI back in the '80s, it seems the Ford dudes got it right a lot sooner than the Chevy guys, probably because they realized they had a much lighter car, even if it was only a 5L. As it stands right now, the Fox-body Mustang has become the 21st Century '55 Chevy. And nobody knows that better than Michael Davis. His blueprint evolved out of the classic file: find an affordable car and shove a bunch of horsepower under the hood. When it comes to horsepower, there are two schools of thought-the hard-headed, engine-only guys who claim that normally aspirated is the way God intended engines to run. On the other side are the power-adder guys who just don't really care much about self-imposed dogma. Place Michael Davis in the latter category.
Nod your head if you've heard this story before. Michael has always been a Ford guy with a string of Mustangs that plays out right up to a '93 he brought home right off the showroom floor. By the time he finished tweaking the Mustang, it was running low 10s. Of course, that result took years to create. Michael even remembers converting from the original five-speed to an AOD: "I picked up a half second but lost a couple miles an hour. That's because I wouldn't drive the manual like I stole it."
By 2006, the Mustang was 10-second quick. One night in June, he took a buddy out for a ride through the countryside. "I heard a whoosh, and I could see flames up through the fiberglass hood," Michael says. He's not sure whether a loose injector seal or fuel line caused the fire. "I could hear a sizzle like pressure was feeding it." The flames torched his ride. "I remember thinking, That's a brand-new hood! It took the fire department 12 minutes to get there, and by that time, the flames were 20 feet high."
Some guys might give up after that experience and take up basket weaving, clinical psychology, or some activity less volatile, but not Michael. Instead, he bought the hulk back from the insurance company and got right back on the horse with a '92 notchback he purchased a few weeks later. He managed to save part of the engine, but the Vortech supercharger was too badly distorted to salvage. The guys at Vortech helped him out with a good deal on a second blower, and he was right back in the game.
The original motor started out strong with a good Ford Racing A4 5.0L block that would take a serious 0.080-inch overbore along with an Eagle stroker kit to produce a hefty 356ci small-block. But it's that Vortech centrifugal T-trim supercharger that brings it all together. Then plug in a hopped-up AOD trans and you have a drivetrain that can take some serious steam.
Superchargers are great at making torque, so Michael doesn't even need a ton of gear to push 3,200 pounds down the track to a best of 10.26 at 136 mph. Once he leaves the track, he slides the shifter into Overdrive, cruises home at a sedate rpm, and life is good. It's the classic case of decent power in a lightweight car that's hooked up enough to perhaps push its way into the 10s. What more could you want-9s?