THE TEST MULE…. Breathing New life into an old star…..
As speed shop owners and tuners, we strive to be at the top, showcasing our skill and abilities by trying to build the baddest engines and cars on the planet. But we need to devise ways to do this within the budgets of our customers, which means constant testing. From all those test builds, triumphs and failures occur and we start to acquire a heck of a lot of used race parts. I am a firm believer that a well-engineered plan leads to the correct combination of parts that should always net positive results.
After trying so many different combinations, you come up with your own recipes for success to pass on to your customers and end up with many used, good quality parts for others to enjoy. Every shop has a test mule and a budget for this kind of research and development, and this “test it, test it again and then test it more” mindset really helps make each shop owner nique in their projects and results.
After owning a speed shop for many years and still dabbling in the automotive game, I naturally had my own test mule. The car was purchased new in 1984—an ’85 Mustang Cobra GT, dubbed the FLY N 5. The car was campaigned through the late ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s as a shop car running in “true” street style drag racing in Canada and the United States. Now though, it is mainly a street car with the occasional drag strip appearance; probably close to something that most readers have in their garage and would love to update and turn back into a high power bruiser. The test mule gave us the ability to install different parts in diverse combinations from the many quality manufacturers that the high performance industry has available to us. The relationships that form between shops and the manufacturers, along with the sharing of test results, makes for a … Read more of this article. Just click on the digital feature below this introduction.
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