A Convert Builds A Shrine – David Van Voris’ 2018 Mustang GT

It is rare to see someone jump from one automaker to another, it is even more rare when they jump from an import to a domestic vehicle. However, there are a few that have seen the light and made the transition. In doing so, they’ve evoked a new found passion and took their build above anything they built before. David Van Voris is one such example of a man who jumped from manufacturer to manufacturer before finally biting the bait and building an extremely well done 2018 Ford Mustang GT.

Van Voris was not always a fan of what the domestic market had to offer, after all, his formative years of driving were spent in the import scene. He finally graduated from imports after his desire to stop breaking parts met the power potential of what the American V8 offers. This resulted in the purchase of a Dodge Hellcat and a newfound appreciation for ¼-mile racing. While the Hellcat produced the power he was looking for, it lacked a strong aftermarket support and supplied an obscene weight difference compared to its competition.

“I decided I needed something with a lot larger aftermarket backing and a lighter platform. The 2018 Mustang had just come out and after seeing how fast people were going on stock engines, I jumped ship to the Ford.” -David Van Voris

Van Voris was able to pick up a 2018 Mustang GT in early January of 2019. The car instantly went into the shop for a turbo kit with the help of Joseph Young of StreetcarJoe. The first round consisted of a stock unopened Coyote engine with a 76mm turbo attached to it. This combination managed to knock out a 8.26-second pass, which at the time was the fastest unopened Coyote engine record. He knew he wanted to continue progressing and decided to utilize an RPG Racing Engines‘ sleeved Coyote with an 88mm turbo, along with all the supporting mods needed. This setup would allow Van Voris to enter the 7-second range before a head gasket decided it couldn’t handle the pressure any longer.

Once we took the car apart we knew we wanted to take it to the next level. This is where things got out of hand.

A running engine would have suited most, but Van Voris decided he wanted to take it up a notch and went with an RPG 5.2-liter sleeved block with R&R aluminum rods, Manley pistons and Comp Cams camshafts. The engine also received top fuel hoops and ported Frankenstein heads to complete the engine build. StreetcarJoe returned to action and mounted a Forced Inductions 98mm turbo up front, tubed the front end, wired the car, and even added a TRZ 9-inch chromoly rearend. A Holley Dominator was chosen to replace the stock ECU and provide all the precise tuning features the engine could need. Fuel was supplied to the Injector Dynamic 2600-XDS injectors via an Aeromotive 10 gpm fuel pump.

Since drag racing was going to be the primary target, a Hughes-built Powerglide was installed with a Hughes torque converter. As we all know the 2018 Mustang GT came with either an MT82 or a 10R80 transmission, so Van Voris had to build a complete custom transmission kit and have his Mustang become the guinea pig for Powerglide swaps.

Without proper suspension the Mustang would have become a smoking tire show. Van Voris knew this and decided to build a quality and adjustable suspension setup. The front end received a set of Viking shocks. The rear was switched over to a solid rear axle, and a TRZ bolt-in four-link with AFCO shocks were installed. Bringing the car to a stop, while shaving as much as weight as possible, required the use of Strange brakes on all four corners. A pair of Strange 40-spline axles were installed to avoid any breakage from the massive amounts of torque the RPG-built engine made off the line.

The last piece of the puzzle to complete the build was a pair of 17-inch Weld V-Series wheels mixed with 15×12-inch Weld Alpha wheels in the rear. The rear wheels were wrapped in 275 series Mickey Thompson Radial Pro tires providing maximum grip off at launch time. The Weld wheels’ shine provided the perfect companion to the Lava Red and orange blend paint that was sprayed by Lupe Vargas and Joseph Huffman in Amarillo, Texas.

Van Voris

“The long term goal is to eventually break into the 6 second barrier, but overall we just want to be competitive in all of the Street Car classes. This car can still make the required cruises, as it has a full cooling system and alternator.” -Van Voris

While some may think Van Voris just jumped on the bandwagon as a way to keep up with the crowd, you would be wrong. Van Voris found the chassis and engine combination that was best equipped for the job and then built a prime example of perfection. He has even started Coyote Direct, which aims to provide parts to racers who are using the Coyote platform. So, remember next time you see someone who recently converted to a new manufacturer, be careful as they might mean more business than you could ever imagine.

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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