“We always attend the Car Craft Summer Nationals.” - Mike Wolfson. (Thanks, Mike, your che
Hollywood is all about image, with substance and character falling a distant second and third in terms of importance. But Ford tipped that equation more than a little sideways when it introduced the Bullitt Mustang in 2001. The Bullitt package backed up good looks with performance parts such as a high-flow intake manifold, Tokico shocks, and bigger brakes, wheels, and tires. Mike Wolfson wanted one the moment he learned about the car, and to prove it, he canceled his order for an ’01 Cobra and got in line for Bullitt No. 1543. Beyond the lowered stance, the better shocks and struts, and even the slightly revised power numbers that pushed the 4.6L 2V up to 265 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, there are far more visceral reasons why this particular Mustang is just plain cool. It has more to do with what Mike did after he bought the car.
Mike’s son, Dan, owns a shop in Rogers, Minnesota, called DB Performance. This is a serious shop, where horsepower and tuning take place on a daily basis. While the Bullitt purists might be aghast, Mike didn’t flinch when Dan suggested going inside the low-mileage mod motor in search of more power. The plan was to bolt on a Kenne-Bell supercharger, but they decided to bump up the engine’s durability with a set of forged pistons, better rods, and a Cobra crank. They left the two-valve heads alone and retained the stock camshafts with the goal of enhanced midrange torque via the blower’s instant boost. Combine that with the small-displacement motor, and a 15-psi boost bump is the equivalent of doubling the size of the engine. That’s why those superchargers feel so good. Dan also added a few other goodies, including headers, exhaust work, and a stronger clutch. All that tuning was worth 417 rwhp at 6,000 rpm on DB Performance’s in-house chassis dyno. And Mike admits to seeing the other side of 150 mph; while on the dragstrip it has notched a 12-flat at 111. No pretenders here.
So let’s see, a late-model Mustang that has enough power to intimidate all the local fillies, an exhaust note worthy of a real performance car, and a little channeling of that McQueen cool all encased in simple Dark Highland Green machine. With all that going for him, it appears Mike doesn’t need much of an excuse to make a check-out pass. Good thing there aren’t many hills in Minnesota.
Who: Mike Wolfson
What: ’01 Ford Mustang Bullitt serial No. 1543
Where: Rogers, Minnesota, not far from Frostbite Falls, Minnesota
Engine: Son Dan tore into the low-mileage iron short-block, replacing the stock pistons with a set of 0.020-over, 18cc Probe forgings connected to a set of Manley forged rods and a Cobra crank. After rebalancing the rotating assembly, Dan reassembled the engine with the stock heads and cam. The big move was to add the 1.7L Kenne-Bell supercharger, a true twin-screw compressor, fitted with larger 36-lb/hr injectors and a larger 75mm AccuFab throttle-body. The blower demands a high-flow exhaust, so Dan added a set of BBK 15⁄8-inch shorty headers and a Basani 21⁄2-inch dual-exhaust system with Mac mufflers.
Transmission: The Bullitt Mustang came with a factory-upgraded Tremec 3650 five-speed instead of the T45, and Dan enhanced his with a complete Spec Stage II clutch to make sure all that power arrived at the rear tires.
Rearend: The solid-axle 8.8 rear came from Ford with a 3.27:1 rear gear, but Dan yanked that in favor of a 3.73:1 cog along with the factory limited-slip.
Brakes: As another nod to performance, Mike upgraded the brakes to Brembo 13-inch-diameter rotors with PBR calipers and rounded that out with 11-inch rotors in the rear.
Wheels/Tires: The factory Bullitts came with 17x8-inch wheels that Mike yanked in favor of a set of Wheel Replica 18x9 fronts and 18x10 rears mounting a set of Nitto 555 255/45R18 front tires and 295/45R18 rears.
Interior: The cockpit is mainly stock, but Mike added a pair of Auto Meter boost and fuel-pressure gauges along with a shift light. Other than that, the Mustang retains a majority of its creature comforts. End