"The Boss is Back"

    Denis Poirier's '82 GT

When I built this car I had a very specific plan. Safety, versatility, and drivability”
— Denis Poirier

    Back in 1982 the performance cars coming out of Detroit left much to be desired. Just a few years back the gasoline crunch had everyone scared, and manufacturers were still trying to figure out the emissions standards set forth by the federal government. Add in CAFE standards, and it's not hard to understand why there was not much to cheer about for performance enthusiasts. Ford was determined to breath new life back into the market, and launched a new campaign centered around the '82 GT titled: "The Boss is Back". After three years, the 5.0L was back! Only available with a 2bbl carb, single exit exhaust, and a mildly improved cam; it cranked out 157 horsepower. With a measurable weight advantage over the F body twins from GM, it was more than enough to trounce the floppy door competitors from the general, and be crowned king of the pony cars.

   Denis Poirier owns one such '82 GT, although it makes a bit more than 157 horsepower now. When Denis decided to restore his foxbody, he had a solid vision for the car. He wanted the car to perform at the drag strip, open road course, and maintain acceptable street manners. Equally important was an appearance that was tribute to it's original form. Denis wanted the best of old and new; the ultimate street machine. Not exactly an easy task, Denis set out on a two year long build to make it happen.

    To get things rolling, the entire driveline from a low mileage '93 Cobra was purchased. The block was sent off to Air Cooled Machines in Tiffin, OH where it was bored and stroked to 347 cubic inch. A main girdle, and intake valley supports were installed to bolster the block, and a Callies forged rotating assembly was torqued down. The factory GT40 heads were retained, a custom ground cam was slid in, Crane roller rockers were snugged down, and a deep sump oil pan sealed up the bottom end. Topping off the stroker is a Weiand 177 supercharger, pullied for 8psi of boost. Helping the beast breath are long tube headers, and Spintech oval x-pipe with side exit tips. Feeding the beast is a complete Aeromotive fuel system with an A1000 pump, and the MSD Atomic EFI engine management system keeps everything in check.  

    The guts of the '82 also received it's due attention. Starting with a regulation eight point roll bar, racing seats, and five point harnesses keep Denis secure behind the wheel. Where things get interesting is the installation of the Eaton VFX7S electronic programmable display. The Eaton Pro-FX software monitors a multitude of parameters including: coolant temp, oil temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure, voltage, supercharger vacuum/boost, and engine vibration. A two axis motion controller mounted in the car's center of gravity calculates degree of angle relative to the earth's ground, and offers Denis a wealth of real time data. 

    The controller allows Denis to calculate his tunes via different atmospheric conditions. All of the inputs are fed into the controller, and displayed on the VFX screen. Talk about a wealth of information at your fingertips. Denis can store multiple tunes for the engine, based on data collected in different conditions, as well as study vehicle angle to set up his suspension perfectly. This would be the most technologically advanced '82 GT in the world!  

    I could literally write a three page story about this fox, the details are mind blowing. What is even more astounding is that Denis is not done. There is still plenty of tuning to be done, and Denis plans to install methanol injection to run more boost. Power should be in the mid 600 range on pump gas, and she gets 17mpg cruising at 70mph. Let's not forget that the car can be changed from drag to road course with a few clicks of the adjustable suspension, and a wheel swap. There isn't any guess work involved either, all adjustments are made via real time data Denis has saved on his laptop. Consider the bar, raised.  CR


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