The ‘80s were an interesting time for American V8 cars. The years of large cubic-inch engines were long gone and Ford’s high performance engine platform had reduced in size to 5.0-liters. After the first few years of the new 5.0-liter engine yeilded less-than-stellar results, Ford bumped horsepower to 175 from a measly 119 seen in 1982. However, Ford had a bigger trick up its sleeve and employed Jack Roush to complete the task.
Ford hired Roush to build and enter a Mercury Capri in the SCCA Trans Am championship before the start of the 1984 season. While it is unknown if Ford was trying to reinvigorate enthusiasts towards a love for the Fox Body or produce a race-winning vehicle to highlight upcoming iterations of the street going version, what is known, is that Roush completed the task quite well.
Roush is known for building race engines, so when tasked with building and entering a complete vehicle, he sought help from custom chassis builder Protofab. Protofab would then employ the expertise of engineers Bob Riley and Gary Pratt to develop the tubular steel chassis. Meanwhile, Roush devoted his efforts to developing an extremely potent naturally aspirated 5.9-liter engine that would make between 650 and 800 horsepower.
The combination proved to be a winning one, as legendary driver Willy T. Ribbs piloted the car to eight wins in the 1985 Trans Am championship. The following year, Scott Pruett would jump behind the wheel, but with the fiberglass body now styled after the Mustang design, rather than the previous Mercury Capri. Pruett would end up taking the 1986 IMSA GTO Championship winning position.
This pedigreed race vehicle could be yours now, as it is being offered by Canepa for sale. While Chassis 008 has made several appearances at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, imagine rolling this beautiful example off the trailer at Mustang Week, or any other motorsports event. For more information on this amazing vehicle you can check the dealership advertisement out here.