The Rowdiest Engine Bays of the 2021 LMR Cruise-in

The Rowdiest Engine Bays of the 2021 LMR Cruise-in

At Ford Muscle we love wild engine bays! There is nothing like a large turbo filling the engine bay or a supercharged high horsepower motor swap. Sometimes a rare motor will even catch us off guard. These are the vehicles that we seek out at shows. This year’s Late Model Restoration Cruise-in was no different. As hoods were raised, our cameras were too.

Australian-Powered – Josh Williams 1969 Mustang

Williams’ great-grandfather purchased the Mustang in 1969 after retiring from the Air Force. 22 years later, William’s was offered the car at the low price of $100. The purchase was a no-brainer for a 13 year old, as the car only had 28k miles. Over the years the car has seen three different paint jobs and a variety of American V8s. While the original 302 has been bagged and stored, a built 347 and turbo 363 have all spent time in this engine bay. Now the engine bay is host to an Australian expat.

Being one of the first on the market can be extremely difficult. Williams’ build was the second one to enter the US and first to make it past dyno time. Williams found himself making parts at his aerospace machine shop. Technical help was being given from the Aussies at Empire Elite and Dynomite Performance. This 2003 Barra motor is now powered by an 80mm turbo and controlled through a Link ECU. A Tremec Magnum F Transmission allows Williams to bang through gears as a Tilton ST246 twin disc clutch transfers power. Williams has plans to swap in a HGT sequential 6 speed before the next Cruise-in. We look forward to catching this Mustang at more shows!

Never Late with a 5.8 – Jeremy Morris 1993 GT500 Swap

When not wrenching countless hours at Reaper Garage, Morris can be found “budget” building some amazing Mustangs. His reef blue 1993 coupe is no exception. After pulling Maximum Motorsports suspension and coilovers off a 1999 model, he installed them on this car with the help of new caster plates. Morris installed a fully built IRS and a set of Weld S77 wheels. The wheels were sized at 17×10 and 18×5.  Mickey Thompson ET Street R tires were mounted on the rear in an effort to maintain traction.

When leaving the Ford factory this 4 cylinder model never knew what lay ahead of it. One of which was a complete 5.8 liter Trinity motor. Morris sourced a wrecked 2014 GT500 with only 11k miles to swap in. Morris installed a Kenne Bell 3.6 Mammoth blower and wiring was handled by Power By The Hour with a custom harness. A Cobra T56 with Stifflers cross member was installed to keep Morris rowing through the gears with no problems. While the 5.8 liter Trinity ran a dead head fuel setup, Morris decided to make a return style using an Aeromotive A1000 in tank fuel pump with a -6 return line. Morris did such an amazing job that offers were on the table at this years Cruise-in.

Rarity at it Finest – Larry Brewer’s 2000 Cobra R

Alright, before everyone starts chastising us for picking a stock motor to feature, when is the last time you saw a 2000 Cobra R? If you were at LMR’s Cruise-in you could have laid your eyes upon four, yes four, authentic 2000 Cobra R’s. We still can’t get enough of the oversized intake manifold and Cobra R badging. While this strays away from the field of forced induction vehicles, its reigns supreme with rarity. At this year’s Cruise-in we were able to see this Cobra-R show off its handling skills with a few parade laps.

Abstract Paint, Actual Power -Tom Merritt Turbo Fox

After wanting to connect with his brother through a mutual love of cars and hang out with him, Merritt decided to also get a Mustang. Merritt’s motor is packing some serious power with a JayFab Custom turbo kit utilizing an 80/96mm T6 turbo. The heads and block are o-ringed by Morgan and Sons while the engine was assembled by Kuntz and Co. The motor is stuffed full of high power goodies like Diamond Pistons, Carrillo billet rods, Trick Flow 11R 205 ported heads and a Bryant crank good for 9800 RPM!

Merritt’s car sticks out with the large frame turbo taking up the drivers side fender well, additionally the paint scheme had us puzzled.  At first glance I thought it was to dupe a fellow racer into thinking something else about the car. My theory was squashed when Merritt informed me he actually uses his titanium down pipe as a creative outlet for art. Merritt pours acrylic paint into the downpipe before blasting it onto a canvas upon start up. One might call this an….exhausting process.

Two Times the Original – Stratton Wall Cobra Replica

The Shelby Cobra was the epitome of hot rodding. The ability to combine a high horsepower engine with a lightweight chassis put Senór Shelby on the list of legends. While the original Cobra’s were offered with engines ranging from 260 cubic inch to 427 cubic inch, none topped 500 horsepower. This power to weight ratio is still incredible today, but Wall had plans to blow that out of the water with his Twin Turbo replica.

Wall decided he wanted to go a little overboard, so a Dart 347 block was acquired and filled with top notch internals. AFR renegade heads were put on top and a custom ground twin turbo camshaft installed. A Holley High Ram intake manifold was placed on top receiving loads of boost pressure from the pair of VS Racing 67mm turbos. A PA Performance Promod C4 transmission with transbrake allows hard launches at the strip manages to hold the power and offer a great launch.


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About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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