"Road Less Travelled"

    Johnny Schneider's '91 GT

“Once I get my eight second timeslip, I am retiring this car from track duty”
— Johnny Schneider

    I have seen it a thousand times over, what starts off as a mild bolt on car, ends up being a full blown track car. This is how it usually happens, before you know it your street car isn't so streetable anymore. Not that there is anything wrong with that, quite the contrary. I love the stories of the guys who used to have a small Vortech on their car, playing  around running twelves at the track, and now the car is making over a thousand horsepower. However, there are some guys who have a ton of sentimental value in their cars, and set clear limits on just how far the car will go. Johnny Schneider is the latter. Johnny didn't scoop this car up as a roller to go racing. This '91 has quite a different story, as well as a ton of memories. 

    The story begins when Johnny's father picked up a '88 4cyl vert for a project. Wanting his son to share the same passion for cars, Johnny's father decided they would do a V8 conversion together. Johnny and his father finished the build on the '88 and he drove it throughout high school. One weekend near the end of his senior year, Johnny was rear ended in the vert, and the car was a total loss. Johnny hated to let go of his first project, but as graduation came up, he had no choice. Shortly after that, he went on a senior trip to Great America. Upon arriving back home, a black '91 GT sat in the driveway. Johnny couldn't believe it, he finally had a Mustang GT. 

    With the car being a bone stock AOD, the saga begins quite humbly. Barely able to spin the tires, and running mid fifteen second times at the Friday night T&T; the struggle was real. After this, Johnny blew through three different combos with the car to quench his need for speed. He ended up running 11.00 on the stock short block, AOD, and a D1R Procharger. At this point the stock block was living on borrowed time, and the call was made to step up his game. The new combo consisted of an R block 306, and a C4; the car instantly went 10.00. Just when things began to get serious, the impeller on the blower decided to let go, sending metal everywhere. Luckily the front mount intercooler trapped the metal fragments, and the engine itself suffered no damage. At a crossroads, Johnny decided to make the switch to turbo, which he had been wanting to do for a while anyway. 

    

    For the new combo, the car was sent off to Lee Winkleman at PSI racing for a complete overhaul. The first phase was a custom turbo kit based around a big frame 88mm turbo. The entire car was rewired from front to rear, and a Big Stuff III engine management system was installed. The suspension was beefed up with Afco double adjustable shocks, to complement the previously installed goodies from UPR. The converter was sent out for a re-stall for the turbo, and the tuning finally began. On the first outing with the new combo, the '91 clicked off a 10.0. Sure the car had run that fast before, but that was on 20psi with the Procharger, this was on 9psi. 

    On the next outing, they decided to turn the car up to 15 psi, spending much of the pass peddling the car, she clicked off a 9.6. Over that winter, Johnny found a smoking deal on a Dart based 363. A friend was needing his current short block, and after some wheeling & dealing, the 363 was his. Before stabbing it in, a new cam from Comp was slid in, to take advantage of the extra cubes. The first test hit with the 363 netted at low nine on only 9psi. Things were really coming together now.  

    Johnny, like most of us, works a ton of hours. That coupled with other life happenings have conspired to keep him from the track as much as he would like. To date he has yet to score that elusive eight second time slip. "Every time I turn it up it blows the tires off", explains Johnny. That being said, once the car earns it's first eight, it will be retired from track duty. "I would be heartbroken to total this car, and at this power level it can happen anytime" said Johnny. Having so much history with this fox body Mustang, the evolution stops here. Johnny does have plans to build another fox for track only duty, that he isn't quite so attached to. For this GT however, he's taking the road less travelled.  CR  


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