Justin Young has a real love for modular-powered Fords. The proof is easy to find on his online channels ModMotorMustangs.com, Mod Motor Mustangs on Facebook, and @modmotormustangs and @modnationals_racing_event on Instagram. The staunch modular enthusiast uses these sources to support his racing event Mod Nationals, a annual gathering of modular-powered Fords at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
The 35-year-old has been rolling with mod power since 2000 when he purchased his 1998 Mustang GT. More recently he’s been laying down rubber in his VMP Performance-boosted 2013 Shelby GT500.
“Since the ’98 is more of a race car, I wanted something for the street,” Young told us. “I went to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang in Vegas and decided I wanted a 2013 GT500 because it was the best Ford offered. I had my 1998 since 2000, but I’ve had a lot of bad luck with it so I needed a car that I could take to events to represent the company. So, I built the Shelby with the intent of it being reliable, good-looking, and specifically not a race car that’s gutted or undependable.”
Young is equally dedicated to his Mod Motor Mustangs social outlets in order to give modular owners a voice online. He serves as administrator on the pages he hosts and does most of the ground work to produce the Mod Nationals event that features 12 classes for Two-Valve, Three-Valve, and Four-Valve modular Fords.
He’s all about modding the modular, so you can expect that his Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang isn’t exactly stock. While it started life with factory parts and Sterling Gray paint with Sonic blue-stripes, it now wears a Pearl White wrap, Weld wheels, and a parachute to slow him from triple-digit speed.
“Since I was at the limit of the stock rods, I built a new motor for it. That was about 18-months ago,” he told us. “It now has a double-keyed, cryo-treated Cobra Jet crank with I-beam rods, Diamond pistons, and Darton sleeves. It’s built pretty well. The factory OE supercharger was a TVS and I made a lot of power with it. I like the TVS blowers and I especially like all that torque and the broad powerband. But when I heard the VMP Gen3 2.65 L blower was coming out I talked to Justin Starkey, President of VMP Performance, and waited until the unit was ready.
Justin has been a sponsor of Mod Motor Mustangs (MMM) and we formed a relationship, so I knew he’d be the one to take my car to the next level. Justin talked about the process of developing the VMP Gen3 blower with me, which was really interesting. When the blower became available, I had the car shipped to VMP in New Smyrna, Florida and had it installed.”
When Young’s Shelby first arrived at VMP, it had a ported 2.3 L Trinity blower atop a built aluminum 5.8 L block. The short-block was toughened up and the top-end consisted of stock heads, Comp Cams custom cams, Accufab billet oil pump gears and timing chains, Power By the Hour elbow, and a Kenne Bell 168 mm throttle body. On the VMP Performance Dynojet chassis dyno, it produced 860 rear wheel horsepower and 818 lb·ft of torque with a 2.8 inch upper pulley, 20.5 degrees ignition timing, and 18.9 psi.
To build more power, Justin and the team swapped the ported 2.3 L blower for a VMP Gen3 2.65 L TVS supercharger. They also installed a VMP 173 mm single-blade throttle-body, a 1320 Junkie Performance tube, and a PMAS air intake. With the new set up, Young’s car belted out an impressive 1,014 horsepower and 925 lb·ft of torque at the wheels! “This was a big power gain,” said Young. “At that point we used a 2.4 upper [pulley], 10 percent overdriven lower [pulley], 20.5 degrees of timing and 22 lbs of boost on an E85 race blend.
“Now I can take the GT500, run whatever I want, and be happy. I could run a road course, half-mile event or whatever. But we’re not done yet,” he added. “The end goal is to make more boost and use less timing. At the end of the day I don’t care about Internet records or being the fastest. I just want to have fun with the car. I’ll be heading to Mustang Week, then some Half-Mile events and finally the Mod Nationals AT SGMP November 9-11. Future plans are to make a little more power with a little more boost and better flowing exhaust. With the old setup it ran 172 mph, before the built motor, but now I think it will go 190 mph in the half mile.”