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2005 Ford Mustang GT - Snakebit

It’ll leave you charmed and dazed all at once

By Eric McClellan, Photography by Eric McClellan

We passed this car on the road thinking it was a stock '05 Mustang GT with a set of aftermarket wheels. That was until we heard the car pull up. The twin turbos sounded like an irregular heartbeat, as each blow-off valve discharged independently of one another. We just had to get the story straight from the owner.

"I originally bought the car on the Internet with only 15,000 miles. It had a Vortech supercharger and a Ford Aluminator block that made 611 rear-wheel horsepower," says owner Zach Northrup, a general contractor from Burnsville, Minnesota. "I wanted to have a real, 1,000hp car I could actually drive, enjoy, and get some use out of. I can take this car to work, on road trips, or just to the track--all while running the A/C and stereo! In that configuration, it went 11.0 in the quarter. While walking through the pits with my wife, Sheila, I was explaining other people's cars and how they ran 9s or 8s. She looked at me and said, ‘Well, you better step it up.' Right there, I decided to take it to APS Autoworks in Shakopee, Minnesota."

Zach made the decision to go with turbochargers after a talk with Todd Hardy at APS. They wanted faster spooling for the street and determined a twin-turbo setup would be the way to go. After long Internet searches and countless phone calls, the guys decided on a pair of 61mm Garrett turbos controlled by an AMS 1000 boost controller. They even had to ratchet down the gearing from 4:10:1 to 3:27:1 so the car wouldn't rev too quickly.

"APS tuned it for E85 on the street and E98 on the track if I want it. I can even run it on pump gas in the event that E85 is not available. So far, it has made 950 rwhp on only 25 pounds of boost, so there's a lot more left in it. At 75 mph, the engine is turning 2,000 rpm and pulls like a freight train when I stand on it. We kept the stock appearance, which makes it that much more fun to drive. We've gotten quite a few surprised people that tried to beat it on the street."

Zach has a lot of people to thank for this build, namely his wife, Sheila, who drives a '72 Challenger (what a gal, huh?) and the folks at APS Autoworks: Todd Hardy, Rob Torgerson, and Casey Wittmer. "If it weren't for those guys, the car would never have been on the road this year."

Zach has yet to take it to the track for an official pass down the old 1,320, but suffice it to say, it should post a solid time well below his original 11.0 e.t.

Tech Notes

Who: Zach Northrup

What: '05 Ford Mustang GT

Where: Chilly Burnsville, Minnesota

Engine: It's a Ford 4.6 Aluminator block with twin, 61mm Garrett turbos feeding the JPC intake manifold with 25 pounds of boost. A Walbro fuel pump nourishes 160-lb/hr injectors and a BBK throttle-body carefully mixes all the air. The fact that the block can handle this amount of abuse with no modifications is testament to its durability. On the chassis dyno, it made 950 rwhp at 5,700 rpm and 866 rear-wheel torque.

Transmission/Rearend: Lentech Motorsports built the 4R70W with a transbrake and a PTC torque converter. Zach makes precise shifts with a TCI Outlaw shifter. The stock 8.8-inch rearend is stuffed with 3.27:1 gears.

Exhaust: A very quiet MagnaFlow system adds to the stealth factor.

Paint/Body: Stock as the day is long. Why mess with a good thing and give away the tasty surprise?

Suspension/Brakes: No shocker here. Not much was changed other than a set of Eibach springs in the front with the stock sway bar removed. The rear suspension uses BMR springs, a sway bar, and an adjustable Panhard bar combined with Metco upper and lower trailing arms and QA1 shocks to help plant all that power.

Wheels/Tires: 18x9 front and 18x10.5 rear FR500 wheels are wrapped in super-sticky Nitto 05R drag radials.

Thanks: Tom Hardy, Rob Torgerson, and Casey Wittmer of APS Auto Works, and, of course, his wife, Sheila, and their two kids, Mike and Lindsey.

By Eric McClellan
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