In the mid-'60s, Jack Roush joined the "Fastbacks," a group of Ford enthusiasts who pooled their own resources to go racing. Even though Jack had a secure job as an engineer at Ford, he left the company in 1969 to work with the club and also develop speed products for other race teams. After the Fastbacks disbanded in 1970, Roush teamed with Wayne Gapp to become a dominating force on the drag strip. The rest is history as Roush now has successful NASCAR teams and a thriving aftermarket-product business. Drawing from his experience as a member of the Fastbacks, Roush has revived the famed Ford Drag Pack Mustang, but with his own special brand of performance. Starting as a Roush Stage 3 Mustang, the car gets drivetrain and suspension upgrades and low 4.10:1 rear gears. Even the battery is relocated to the trunk, ala Boss 429. After a year's testing, the prototype is consistently running under 12 seconds at the drag strip on Mickey Thompson slicks. That's right out of the dealership. Just drive it to the track, swap on the slicks and go racing. Weight-reduction steps and other modifications could probably get the car into the 10s, if the owner desired. Roush will sell 50 Drag Pack Mustangs through a Florida dealer. Talking with Autoblog, Roush urges dealers to purchase the car. "I would hope that some of the people who wind up with them are dealers and they will let their mechanics in the back shop work on them and race them. That's one of the things that worked for the dealers in the '60s," said Roush, signing autographs at the SEMA Show. The Drag Pack cars won't have decals as shown on the prototype but Roush said he's working on a special graphics package. Roush components that make up the Stage 3 and Drag Pack Mustangs are all available separately. "With a few tweaks I hope to have another version in 2008," added Roush.
More photos and the news release after the break.
FROM STREET TO STRIP WITH ROUSH DRAG PACK MUSTANG
LIVONIA, Mich. (Oct. 31, 2006) – As a direct result of more than a year's worth of testing, research and development for the ROUSH Competition Line of performance parts, the company has decided to take the next step and offer a complete race-ready Drag Pack Mustang that can roll from the street to the strip.
The ROUSH Drag Pack Mustang is the first drag racing purpose-built Ford since the 1969-70 Super Jet Cobra. This car had 335 horsepower, oil cooler, enhanced connecting rods, modified crankshaft and a choice of 3.91 or 4.30 Traction-Lok gears. In 1970, the Mustang Boss 302 was also available with a drag pack option but that only included different gears and external oil cooler. Since then, for the past 36 years, no manufacturer has offered a drag specific car, though there have been several parts packages made available for customers to install post-title.
This 2007 Ford Mustang is based off the flagship ROUSH Stage 3 and designed for safety, durability and adjustability. A prototype has been racing in the Modular Muscle class of the NMRA and tested almost weekly at Milan (Mich.) Raceway.
"When we returned to having a drag racing program last season I challenged the team at ROUSH Performance to build a car that can be driven to the track, have the tires changed to slicks, and perform on the drag strip," said Jack Roush. "This Drag Pack Mustang is the culmination of those efforts." Roush has a fondness for drag racing that goes back to when he began his motorsports career in the late '60s with the "Fastbacks," a group of Ford engineers that pooled their money to go drag racing. He personally oversaw the development of the ROUSH Drag Pack Mustang.
Some of the parts that are unique to the ROUSH Drag Pack Mustang include an upgraded flywheel and clutch, a one-piece driveshaft with safety loop, a polished 4:10 ring and pinion gear set, upgraded posi rear differential, bracing on the rear axle housing, new lower control arm brackets with two attachment positions, and high-strength axle shafts with extended wheel studs.
The suspension components are highly adjustable and include tubular steel upper and lower control arms with rod ends, tubular steel panhard rod and relocation bracket, rear stabilizer bar relocation kit, and single adjustable front struts and double adjustable rear shocks.
Other unique elements of the ROUSH Drag Pack Mustang include having the battery relocated to the trunk for better weight distribution and the inclusion of an external on/off switch, a tachometer with shift light mounted to the dash, smaller ROUSHcharger™ pulley and engine calibration with a maximum of 7000 RPM. The car will ship with both street tires and a set of Mickey Thompson rear drag racing tires.
There are also a variety of options available, including carbon fiber hood and fenders, line lock system, four-point bolt-in safety bar, open system chiller box which provides maximum intercooler performance, SFI-approved bell housing and upgraded transmission shift fork pads, and straight pipes for the exhaust system. A ROUSH short throw shifter is available with reverse and fifth-gear lockout.
More than 200 runs were made in the testing of the vehicle, each challenging the functionality and durability of the parts. If a component didn't perform as anticipated, failed, or the ROUSH engineers saw some type of premature wear the design was modified and then re-tested on the track. The 430 horsepower car has achieved several runs in the 11.9-second and 113 mph range.
Plans call for only 50 ROUSH Drag Pack Mustangs to be built, and they will be exclusively offered through Brandon Ford in Tampa, Fla. For pricing and more details, contact Brandon Ford at (813) 246-3673 or visit online at www.TampaBayFord.com.
Many of the parts that are included on the ROUSH Drag Pack Mustang are also sold separately for existing car owners. A complete listing and pricing can be found at www.RoushPerformance.com or by calling (800) 59-ROUSH.
Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at Roush Performance. In addition to the Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Ford Mustang and F-150 styling, handling and performance upgrades, a complete line of performance parts and crate engines are offered. For more information see your local ROUSH dealer, visit www.RoushPerformance.com or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.