WITH A flow of Mustangs finally coming into the country – a good year after we expected them – there’s a whole secondary industry that’s breathing a big sigh of relief. That’s the aftermarket modifiers and tuners.
Prominent among them, and arguably the most experienced, is Craig Dean of Mustang Motorsport on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne. He’s been importing and converting Mustangs for decades and, somewhat ironically, saw business drop off during the long hiatus between when the local cars were announced and when they actually turned up.
His two main lines are Roush and Shelby, each with a number of options, right up to a 627hp package in the case of Roush, or a 750hp monster from Shelby.
However the two brands take a very different approach.
With Roush you can in fact order individual components from well under $1000, while a complete top-line MMR627 will set you back around $50,000. That gets bodywork, brakes, suspension and supercharged engine.
As for Shelby, you cannot buy individual components – it’s a package starting at a little over $50,000 for the GT, which includes suspension, wheels, exhaust and body kit.
Shelby’s approach is that each car is to be numbered to be recognised as a Shelby (which has an intrinsic value) and has to have a minimum fitment to qualify. An el-primo Super Snake can climb to around the $100,000 mark (plus the car).
Is it worth the trouble or expense? In-house racer and driving guru John Bowe took an early MMR627 Roush out for a spin a few months ago and reckons it represents a hell of a lot of performance for the money.
At the heart of the engine modifications – which claim 627 horses at the flywheel – is a twin-rotor R2300 supercharger. It’s running a twin 60mm throttle body with Roush injectors. That lot is backed up by an upgraded cooling system and is run by an in-house electronic tune.
In fact, there is a lot of tuning and diagnostic ability built in.
“It’s super fast,” he said. “I drove out of the workshop, slipped it gently from first to second, and again gently into third and then accelerated quite quickly and it broke into wheelspin in third gear at 60km/h – that’s pretty powerful.
“This example was running the Roush suspension upgrades. There are a couple of levels available: one with height adjustment only, or the premium kit that’s also adjustable for compression and rebound damping.
“The Brembo brakes on the test car did the job well, with decent feel and good power. It goes and stops really well, but to use its full potential you’d have to get it to a race track.”
With its bigger horsepower claim, there’s reason to believe a Super Snake 750 would be even quicker, albeit at a much higher price.
BORN IN 1923, Carroll Shelby had his first race at the wheel of a flathead Ford-powered hot rod, in a drag race. He went on to great success on the international and US tours as a circuit racer, eventually moving on to hotting up and developing cars in partnership with Ford. His first customer Mustang was sold in 1965 – a milestone we marked in issue 381 of Unique Cars.
He passed away in 2012.
ROUSH IS named after Jack Roush, a US industrialist who started up his car company in 1995. The business has broader interests and does a lot of high-end engineering work. Roush has also long been an enthusiastic backer of US race teams.
BODY Monocoque steel two-door coupe ENGINE 5-litre Coyote V8 with Roush Rootes-type supercharger and intercooler POWER 468kW @ 7000rpm TORQUE 729Nm @4500rpm PERFORMANCE 300km/h top speed (est) TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual SUSPENSION Roush adjustable coil-overs BRAKES Brembo discs TYRES Dunlop SportMaxx Race PRICE @ $100,000 depending on specifi cation CONTACT mustangmotorsport.com.au