Larry Doran’s 1,050 Horsepower VMP Gen3-Supercharged 2014 California Special Ford Mustang
Larry Doran’s 2014 California Special Ford Mustang convertible looks like your typical modestly modified Mustang convertible. It’s lowered, with aftermarket wheels, tinted windows, and has a rumble that lets you know it’s not quite 100-percent stock. It wears the kind of stuff you see every day in the Mustang community. In reality, there’s something sinister lurking under the Deep Impact Blue paint.
A former Chevy guy and diesel pickup owner, Larry became attracted to Mustangs when his father-in-law purchased a 2013 Ford Mustang California Special (GT/CS). “The funny thing is I was a Chevy guy through high school,” Larry told us. “I had a bunch of mid-80’s IROC Camaros and a Nova with a big-block. The Nova made good torque, but it never breached 500 horsepower. With the trucks, my most powerful was a 2005 Ram with a twin-turbo Cummins that dynoed right around 600 rwhp. It had 1,000 lb·ft of torque, but after I started driving my father-in-law’s 2013 California Special I fell in love with the car,” he added.
“Having the truck with big power was cool, but because of my father-in-law, and several family friends who had cool cars, I wanted to get a car to take part in cruises and car shows. I wanted a California Special convertible for cruising. I searched the Internet and found this one in February of 2016. At the same time my buddy got a Hellcat. It was built by Petty Enterprises, so the buddy competition kicked in.”
To keep up with the blown kitty, Larry turned to VMP Performance for a Gen2R 2.3 L TVS Stage 2 supercharger kit. “I did maybe six or seven months or research before my initial purchase. The overall customer experience was bar none and miles above what I’ve experienced in the past. It made me go with them as a vendor, and ultimately why I chose them to do the build,” he stated.
“I bought the Stage 2 kit and did the install on my own in the garage,” he explained. “The kit showed up when my wife was pregnant and about to give birth.” Larry’s kit included a Dual Fan Triple Pass Heat Exchanger and PMAS Intake. He also installed a Corsa Xtreme X-pipe and cat-back. Once installed and running, he met with the VMP team at the NMRA/NMCA event in Joliet. There, they tuned the GT/CS to produce 610 rwhp on the VMP mobile dyno. “While 610 was fun, after a while it just wasn’t enough,” Larry says. So phase two of the build was launched.
Enter The Path of Extreme Horsepower
Phase one lasted through the summer of 2017. “That’s when I reached out to VMP and we started to discuss a max effort build. I had very specific parts and vendors I wanted to use that included L&M Engines, ATI, and Fore Innovations to name a few.”
“I trailered the car down to VMP and had them source the build and do the labor. Ultimately, I selected VMP because of their overall capability. It’s easy to build a motor and then throw a blower on it. VMP can cover all facets of your build, including the tuning, and that’s why I chose them.”
Larry set a target of 1,000 horsepower and looked at various power adders to reach the goal. “Coming from the diesel side, and having twin turbos on my Cummins, I realized there’s too much lag with twins. You can undersize the primary turbo, but you leave power on the table on the bottom end. I have a lot of experience with turbo vehicles and I wanted something more responsive. I wanted the new VMP 2.65 L TVS Gen3 supercharger.”
Justin Starkey and the VMP team laid out a plan to extract four-digit horsepower from the Coyote. The build started with an L&M 2000-series engine that features a sleeved block, 11.5:1 compression, Ford Boss crankshaft, Diamond Pistons, Manley Pro I-beam billet rods, and King engine bearings. L&M installed a quartet of custom cams in the stock heads, which are secured to the block with ARP studs. MMR gears drive the cams, and MMR was also sourced for billet lower crankshaft and oil pump gears. Other parts include BBK ceramic long-tube headers, ATI Super-Damper, Fore Innovation return-style fuel system, ID 1300X injectors, and E85 in the tank.
“We also installed a Mantic 9000 dual-disc clutch and a one-piece aluminum driveshaft from The Driveshaft Shop. The Mantic clutch includes sprung center, cushioned discs which use Mantic’s premium Ceremetalic Friction material. Essentially, this allows more power to be put to the ground with no slip and great pedal feel.
“We switched to a 69 mm blower pulley and installed the ATI damper with 5-percent overdriven crank pulley,” Larry stated. “Now we’re switching to an 8-rib drive kit. We used a Scott Hasty bracket that allows the belt to wrap the snout of the supercharger.”
Bolted together and tuned to perfection at VMP Performance. The 2014 California Special belted out 943 rear-wheel horsepower (estimated 1,050 hp at the crank) and 819 lb∙ft of torque at the tires. More than just numbers, the power is enough to fry the tires in every gear and at virtually any speed. Best of all, there’s hardly a car in his hometown of Dunlap, IL that can compete.
Larry rows the gears with a Barton Hyper 3 shifter. He keeps an eye on engine vitals with an N-Gauge. He also added a C&E Racing radiator, Ford Performance GT500 fan, Boss 302 oil cooler, and a Ford Performance transmission cooling scoop. Future plans call for Maximum Motorsports 6-point roll bar. Larry’s also considering a 6R80 swap. “I want the car to remain stealthy, I don’t want it to be the loudest car on the block. I want people to think it’s just a dressed up Mustang and I can surprise them later. That’s why I went so far as to use caliper covers on my Wilwood Aero 6 Big Brake Kit. I want to be the guy everyone thinks is cruising around in a common Mustang. For that very same reason, I swapped to a 2014 GT500 axle back that made it quiet.” Larry Doran’s California Special has power and poise and VMP is happy to help him live his dream.