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Featured: Mark Kauffman’s “Chevy Killer” 2005 Roush Mustang

By - July 1, 2010 – 8:18 pmNo Comment | 4,583 views

Like many Mustang owners, Mark Kauffman comes from a family of racers. Unfortunately, they also happen to be diehard GM fans. So when Mark decided to purchase a ponycar sporting the Blue Oval logo, you can imagine the heckling he received from his Bow Tie-loving relatives. “When I said I was going to build a Mustang, they all told me I was crazy and that I should just work with Chevy’s because I’d never make a car that could hang with any of theirs,” Mark told us. Of course, this just made him more determined to build the ultimate Mustang that he lovingly named ChevyKiller.

Mark’s car started life as one of the very first Roush Mustangs built in 2005, delivered in Stage 1 form. While many changes have been done since then, a few of the original Roush components are still on the car including the four-piece body kit, white face gauges, and aluminum pedals. “I had originally planned just to supercharge the car and take the stock motor to about 500 rwhp which I did for the first year,” he told us. It didn’t take long, however, for the urge to go faster changed his mind. “I quickly became obsessed with more power and began plans to build a street car that I could drive to and from the track in full factory trim and compete with trailer race cars,” said Mark, who was more than up for the challenge.

To make the power he was looking for, Mark knew he would have to make some serious changes underneath the hood. He turned to Adam Montague of ST Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA, who cooked up a recipe for some serious horsepower. He started with an order from the Ford Racing Parts catalog, replacing the stock aluminum block with a cast iron Boss 5.0L unit (part #M-6010-BOSS50) that maintained identical deck height. The new block allowed for an increase in bore, and it eventually yielded a total displacement of 330 cubic inches after Montague was finished with it. The internals went in next including a Kellogg forged steel crankshaft, custom Diamond forged aluminum pistons, and Manley H-beam forged steel connecting rods. A set of Comp Cams XFI SPR cams were installed after that, followed by a set of Livernois ported and polished heads with titanium springs and retainers.

Forced induction was next on the list, but Mark wasn’t exactly sure which direction to go. He had previously tried two different turbo setups utilizing a single large turbo and was happy with the power, but found that it wasn’t practical for street use. A twin-screw supercharger was needed to achieve more linear power delivery, and Mark began searching for the system that could handle the most horsepower. His answer came in the form of Whipple’s W210HPR supercharger capable of compressing 3.4 liters of atmosphere per rotation. The only problem is that kits were only offered for the 2003-2004 SVT Cobra and the 5.4-liter V8 in the Shelby GT500. Unabated, the crew at ST Motorsports fabricated a custom intake tube, intake manifold, and lower manifold to make the Whipple to fit.

At this point Mark determined it was time to start adding some show to the go. “I decided to take the care to Galpin Auto Sports when I committed to make a truly unique show and drag car,” said Mark. “Their quality and craftsmanship and ability to help construct my vision of unique features made them the logical choice for doing the work here in Southern California.” The crew at Galpin essentially gutted much of the car and built it up from scratch, making sure that everything was done to show car standards. A custom sheet metal rear seat delete that houses a nitrous bottle adds a nice touch to the interior, as does a Momo steering wheel to match the Sparco race seats and Cageworks full roll cage.

Galpin also helped Mark hurdle the toughest part of the built yet, the electrical and wiring. “The stock fuse block, harnesses, and factory wiring positions are great for the stock mustang and bolt on mods, but they aren’t up to the task of supporting the massive amount of electrical additions a build like this creates,” he told us. “Modifications like boost a spark, high flow return fuel system, MSD 2-step, a nitrous system, fan based cooler systems, gauges, trans brake, etc. work great on their own or when a few are combined together, but when you throw all of them together, it is just too much for the factory relays and block to handle without constant challenges and failures. Through trial and error, it was a big challenge of the build to completely rewire the car and utilize additional panels and blocks to route all the current properly while keeping the car acceptable for daily driving conditions.” Fortunately, Galpin was not only able to get everything to work reliably and consistently, but they made it look good as well.

Another big challenge was the drivetrain. As you can imagine, building a transmission and rear end that can handle daily driving duties as well as nine second 1/4 mile passes can be a challenge. Mark turned to Larry’s Transmission in Corona, CA, who built up a custom Art Carr 4R70 full manual transmission with transbrake. Power is fed through an Ultimate 10-inch converter from Ultimate Converter Concepts as well as a steel one-piece driveshaft, Detroit Locker rear end, and Moser 32-spline SFI axles.

As you can imagine, getting all that power to hook up created some necessary upgrades to the suspension, wheels, and tires. Galpin handled installation duties, and put in QA1 front coilovers as well as QA1 rear shocks with Shelby GT500 springs. Other upgrades included Metco upper and lower controls arms, Steeda subframe connectors and adjustable panhard bar, BMR extreme anti-roll bar, front swaybar delete, and tubular A-arms and K-member. Eighteen inch polished Bullitt wheels are wrapped with Nitto NT555 tires in street trim, while Bogart welded RT wheels with Goodyear Dragway special rear tires and MT Sportsman radials up front are fitted for track duty.

With everything in installed and in place, Galpin sent the car over to Racer’s Edge Tuning in Downey, CA for final a final tune and dyno testing. The result: 851 rwhp and 782 lb-ft torque on just 18 pounds of boost and a 100 shot of nitrous. With the car dialed in, Mark was anxious to take his Mustang to the track and he soon enough had some real numbers to brag about. His best time at the local 1/8 mile track is 6.17 @ 110 mph and he easily broke in the 9’s in the 1/4 mile with a best of 9.67 @ 141 mph.

While Mark no doubt loves the performance of his Mustang, his favorite part of the car has nothing to do at all with how fast it is. “Though I’m a big performance guy and love track ET’s, I have to admit my favorite part of the car is the custom airbrushing by Bill Coogle throughout the car. It is so unique and draws the attention of everyone who sees the car immediately. The car speaks volumes when it’s in action, but the custom airbrushing sets the car apart if it’s just sitting in a parking lot.” The custom paint can be seen in the engine bay on the custom intake tube and the radiator support cover, as well as the pony logo on the side and front grille and the faux gas cap at the rear.

As with any project car, especially one that pushes the limits of what’s been done before, Mark’s Mustang wasn’t without problems. Ask him if it was worth the time and frustrations, though, and he’ll tell you that it was most definitely worth it. “During the build, there were many times I wanted to quit, but now that it is all finished, the car is a masterpiece and I am very pleased with it. I would like to give special thanks to Steve Carpenter and the entire GAS (Galpin Auto Sports) team for sharing my commitment to build this car.  I would also like to thank Tony at Larry’s Transmissions for all the development and time put into this car, and lastly, but certainly not least, Greg at RET (Racer’s Edge Tuning) for his tuning efforts on the car.”

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