If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram @editorturner (shameless social media plug) you already got a look at Jon Larsen’s gorgeous 2013 Shelby GT500. The Trinity 5.8-equipped monster just might be the baddest Mustang built by Ford thus far, and Jon’s is a gorgeous example. Taking Flight
Mustangs and airplanes land in Central Florida at the Imperial Polk County Mustang Club show
For the last 17 years, the
Imperial Mustangs of Polk County has kicked off the Mustang’s birthday month with its annual show. For as long as we can remember, the show has taken place at Fantasy of Flight, a unique aircraft museum and attraction that highlights the passion and collection of airplane enthusiast Kermit Weeks. This show is one of the few opportunities for Mustang automobile enthusiasts to have photos of their cars taken with the car’s namesake airplane, which is guaranteed to register show participants.
Adding a bit of extra excitement for potential attendees this year was the earlier announcement that Fantasy of Flight would be closing to the public the day after the big Mustang show. It was a last chance for both car and plane fans to check out the facility before it switched over to only hosting private events.
The Imperial Mustangs club wisely judges Mustangs with at least a couple years under their belt. The more homogenous, just-of-the-lot models are judged via the popular-vote format. This brought out 409 registered cars, with 285 of those pre-registering before the event date. The draw extended far beyond the Central Florida area, as Mustangs from all over Florida made the trip, and some even drove down from northern states to attend.
Your editor was on hand to check out all the cars. If you were there and want to flash back or you missed it and you want to see what you missed, check out our gallery. If you’ve never been, it’s another show to put on your radar for next year.
Jon’s Shelby features gorgeous wheels, a few red accents, a Bob’s Auto Sports oil separator (passenger side), a JLT oil separator (driver side), and a JLT carbon-fiber inlet tube.
At first glance you might assume Derek Beans’ 2003 Mustang GT was a vaunted Terminator. After all it does have the requisite Termi nose and chrome wheels, and that is a Kenne Bell under the hood.
However, upon closer inspection you’ll see that Derek’s ride is indeed a GT with a Trick Flow top end and a Kenne Bell Twin Screw supercharger fed by a JLT inlet. It cranks out 413 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, so it will definitely surprise a stock Terminator.
With the hood down, Brian Ross’ Coyote looks pretty stock, but that 2013 GT500-style grille reveals a pretty big hint that it’s not in the form of a sheetmetal ProCharger intercooler.
Underhood the blown 5.0 might well be Captain America’s nemesis, as it is adorned with red skulls on the intake and radiator covers. Brian wasn’t around for us to ask him how much the car makes, but ProCharger promises a boost of 165 horsepower from 7 psi, so we’re sure Brian’s GT will move out in a hurry.
It was the wide stance that first attracted our cameras to Bruce Dally’s badass, black Mustang. Upon further inspection, we found something that didn’t quite arrive from the factory.
Bruce’s S197 features a swapped GT500 5.4 topped by a Kenne Bell 3.6-liter Twin Screw supercharger. Bruce’s 5.4 sports a JLT oil separator on the driver side and a Bob’s Autosport oil separator on the passenger side to keep the air path free of contamination.
What’s not to love about an Azure Blue 2003 Mach 1? What’s even better from your editor’s perspective is the carbon fiber hood that’s painted on the edges, but leaves the carbon exposed (but cleared) in the center so it acts as a stripe. The black SVE wheels from Latemodel Restoration also provide a nice accent to the striking blue paint.
Well it gets a lot more loveable when you peer under Elliott Nethro’s modified Mach 1 hood scoop to find a Kenne Bell supercharger.
Red paint? Check. Chrome wheels? Check. Chrome GT-40 intake? Check. Yes, Jason Prescott’s Vermillion-hued Fox has all the necessary attributes to get our shutter snapping.
The pushrod 5.0 is boosted by the classic combination of a Vortech supercharger breathing in through a Power Pipe. A DiabloSport MAFia keeps the mass air voltage under control when the boost is at full tilt.
It boggles the mind that Rob Edwards’ sharp 1999 Mustang GT is an example that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Mustang. That seemed like a huge milestone some 15 years ago.
Now as we celebrate the Mustang’s 50th birthday, Rob’s GT is looking as sharp as ever, and it runs even better thanks to the Kenne Bell blower atop the Two-Valve 4.6.
A T-top Fox will always catch your editor’s eye, but a T-top coupe will stop me in my tracks. Owner Billy Sherman considers this 1988 LX a work in progress, but it looks really sharp with Calypso Green paint. It gets even better inside, as it features a swapped black interior with fresh upholstery on the seats.
The basic, naturally aspirated 5.0 features a vintage Edelbrock intake, and we can’t wait to see how far Billy takes this coupe.
We don’t run into too many S197 Saleens out East, much less convertible versions. However, that’s just what Mark Eustis was showing of in the Florida sun.
Making the car even more special is the Saleen Series VI intercooled supercharger boosting the Three-Valve 4.6. Under the tutelage of a Saleen Powerflash tune, this twin-screw-style supercharger boosts a Three-Valve to 475 horsepower with only 5.5 pounds of boost.
Tara Bradley knows that Grabber Blue accents work quite well on a black 2014 GT. Not only does her car look great with the contrasting color, but it also rides on black GT500 wheels to round out the blacked out theme. T
The blue coil covers lead your eyes to the engine where you’ll find another highly effective combination a Roush 2.3-liter TVS supercharger mated to a modern 5.0-liter. We’ve driven several TVS-blown Coyotes, and this is a really happy combo.
One of the rarest rides on the property at Fantasy of Flight was this 2013 Saleen S351. We don’t see many examples of this exclusive ride, but this one might just be the most rare. It is the prototype, which was used for the media launch of this modern S351.
Powered by a 351-cube, 5.4-based engine topped by a Saleen-branded, Liquid Cooled Twin-Screw supercharger. This GT500-style combo should provide sufficient cruising thrust for this striking convertible.
Bob Lacoste’s 1997 Cobra definitely has the right idea with the Vortech supercharger fronting the Four-Valve engine. It is pretty stock otherwise, save for the chrome Cobra R-style wheels and the light bar tucked under the convertible top.
High-winding Four-Valve 4.6-liter engines and centrifugal superchargers are a match made in heaven. With enough gear out back and deep enough overdrive, these combos will purr like a kitten on the highway and scream like a banshee when the pedal hits the floor.
A blast from the past, Dick Kellar’s 1993 LX convertible wears some modern upgrades, like the one-piece headlights.
However, the engine combo is a classic Edlebrock-inducted, Vortech-blown 5.0. It is so classic that it even wears the fuel-management unit from the standard Vortech kit. This boost-referenced device spikes fuel pressure in reference to boost. In later years, it became more common to run larger fuel injectors a boost-referenced fuel-pressure regulator for more precise tuning. That said, the FMU is a simple way to get the job done, and it seems to be serving Dick well to this day.
We have run across George Haines’ sanitary 2005 Roush Mustang at several events in Central Florida. Besides its obvious Roush lineage, George made it his own thanks to a black-and-white theme that extends inside and out.
Under the hood the TVS supercharger wears a gloss-white paint job just like the car’s exterior, which makes it jump off of the black-accented Three-Valve 4.6-liter engine. In the trunk there is a Roush Stage 3-emblazoned nitrous bottle that’s painted, you guessed it, white.
If you checked out the SVTP coverage of the NMRA Season Opener in Bradenton, Florida, you will recognize Wayne and Debbie Vance’s incredible Coyote-powered 1986 SVO.
As you can see from the sign, this cool couple was not content to just swap in a basic Coyote 5.0 in their formerly turbocharged Fox. No, they opted to go all out and add a Whipple 2.3-liter supercharger to the mix and back it up with all the needed support hardware. We see them at shows all over the Southeast, so this beauty definitely racks ups some miles and smiles.
Boss 302s are awesome. Grabber Blue paint is awesome. Put them together, and you don’t really need too many mods to attract attention at a car show. Owner Mark Emerson did get into the aeronautical theme of the show with the “Remove Before Flight” ribbon dangling from the hood.
Don’t tell the Four-Eye fans, but Thomas Shields apparently updated his 1986 Mustang to aero-nose-Fox specs with a few aftermarket alterations. The sail panels and smaller quarter windows are a giveaway that this is an early Fox, but the rest of the conversion is convincing. Thomas obviously loves red, as the interior is full of red accents, like the Corbeau seats and the roll bar. The engine combo is all muscle with a pushrod 5.0 breathing through and Edelbrock Victor 5.0 intake and a Power Pipe.
Our friends at VMP Tuning tirelessly work the event circuit, and it’s always a pleasure seeing them out at shows. As the show wound down a bit, they decided to strap down BJ McCarthy’s 700-plus-rwhp GT500 and tune in its new JLT Super Big Air intake. Besides getting some needed tuning it, running a big-power blower car on the dyno is a sure way to attract a crowd.[