Pro 5.0 legend Les Baer targets Blow-By Racing for a Hellion upgrade on his rare Boss
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Steve Gelles/Blow-By Racing
Does the name Les Baer sound familiar? If you are into fast cars or firearms, it should. Les was a big dog on the drag strip during the heyday of Pro 5.0 drag racing. Always a threat to win at the races, he made history in his 1982 GT racer before turning the street-legal drag racing world on its ear with his iconoclastic SN-95 Mustang racer, which pushed the Mustang racing world toward purpose-built machinery.
As you might imagine, racing at that level for any length of time is not for those working with a small budget. However, Les always ran a self-backed effort. He could do so because he paid his bills as a successful and noted gunsmith. His weapons are highly regarded by firearms enthusiasts and used by many top professionals.
With a storied history in racing and an exciting business keeping him on his toes, it’s not hard to imagine that Les might desire some exciting street cars too. That he does. He has a robust collection of performance Fords, including vintage Shelbys, modern Boss 302s (like the one you see here), and one of each Cobra R—1993, 1995, and 2000.
As cool as these cars are, Les likes a bit more power than the factory puts on the lot. To that end, he often turns to experts to take his rides to another level. For many years, one of the shops he has relied on is Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton, Florida.
“Les is a longtime customer of ours, and we are honored that he continues to choose us as his go-to performance shop. As far as getting involved, it’s pretty simple. Les called me and said he wants to do twin turbos on his 2013 Boss Leguna Seca,” Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing said. “I said, ‘Sure, like the other two Boss mustangs we did for you?’ He asks: ‘Are there any new upgrades we can do?’ I informed him that Precision has these new Gen2 Turbos that are awesome. He replied, ‘Let’s do it.’”
And do it they did. A longtime proponent of the bolt-on turbo systems created by NMRA Street Outlaw super star John Urist’s Hellion Power Systems, Chris ordered Hellion’s Boss kit with the aforementioned Gen2 turbos. He then took it a step further by encouraging Les to balance the car with a well-rounded selection of supporting mods. The results were pretty impressive.
“…The goal for this build was 750-800 rear-wheel horsepower, which we know is extremely easy to reach safely. We started at 6 psi as we always do to make sure tune was spot on and car made the average horsepower of 600 range,” Chris explained. “Long story short, we played with the controller and tried to achieve the correct boost level we were looking for. We made a partial dyno pull at 14 psi and kept her under 6,000 rpm, the car dyno’d at 949 rear-wheel horsepower! I was shocked to say the least. We turned everything back down to a safe level and the results are what you see. Maybe you will see a built motor next year and some crazy horsepower out of this beast.”
Clearly the RoadRunner engine takes to boost like Wile E. Coyote to an Acme anvil. However, the big dyno numbers are one thing. This car is still a street car. So, how does it drive? Well, Chris is one of the lucky few that will get behind the wheel of this Laguna.
“This car drove like stock at part throttle and handled great with the Watt’s link,” Chris said. “Under wide-open throttle the car is a beast in any gear after 3,000 rpm. She is a handful, as the tires don’t stand a chance.”
Les concurs. “I got it back a week ago. If it’s not 75 degrees you can’t get on it. Even in fourth gear it blows the tires off it.”
That sounds like just the caliber of car to hold the interest of a Pro 5.0 legend. “You can’t compare the older stuff to the newer stuff. It’s like night and day,” he said.
So if you see a black Boss hurtling through the cornfields in Iowa, move out of the way. This one is faster than a speeding bullet.